efficiency | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24


Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24


We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Create a Common Definition of Customer Service – 9/15/20

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

Peter, Paul, and Marie are co-workers. They are all customer service representatives.  When Peter thinks of good customer service, he defines it as being friendly to the customer. “And I am friendly,” Peter says.  “That’s why I don’t know why they send me to customer service training.”

Paul thinks customer service is about being responsive.  When he gets e-mails, he replies right away that he got the message.  When he gets a voice message, he calls right back.  If the same customer calls 5 times for updates, that’s OK to Paul, because he’ll get back to that customer immediately every one of those 5 times.

Marie defines customer service as getting the customer what they want.  “If I do my job in getting them what they want, that’s all that matters. I hate when they whine that I was rude to them or short on the phone.  They got what they wanted, didn’t they?”

Peter, Paul, and Marie all have different definitions of customer service. They are all right…and they are all wrong.

Great customer service has a cordiality peace – a friendliness aspect.  Having that warm and positive engagement with another human being should always be a part of great customer service.

Delivering exceptional customer service also has a component of speed.  Being respectful of people’s time and responsive to their needs is a part of the process of serving a customer effectively.

And great customer service, in the end, should be about giving the customer what they need – it should be about striving to achieve outcomes as much as possible.

So, Peter, Paul, and Marie were all correct – what each emphasizes is part of the definition of customer service.  But they’re also wrong – each person has a limited view of what it means to deliver great customer service, and each individual’s version of great customer service will lead to a positive experience for only a subset of their customers.

For organizations to deliver great customer service, they need to create and instill a common vision among all staff of the desired customer experience.  Organizations need to make sure that definition is broad enough to address the attitude, the process, and striving for the desired outcome, as well.

Create a Common Definition of Customer Service.

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Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? – 9/8/20

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

This is a quote by Edgar Bergen.  He’s one of the most famous ventriloquists of all time, but I guess he wasn’t necessarily one of the hardest workers of all time.  By sharing this quote, I am not supporting the idea that we shouldn’t work hard…or am I?

We only have so many work hours in the day – hopefully we have some time for our personal lives and for sleep. But the work is still there to be done.  The question is, how do we find ways to work less hard?

I’m not suggesting we find ways to be less productive or less quality-oriented or less customer-service oriented.  I’m just posing the question:  How can we find ways to work a little bit smarter and a little less hard?

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • When do I write things on paper that I have to keep track of and manage (or rekey into a computer) which I could instead log directly into the computer and save?
  • When do I touch a document or a project or spreadsheet or report or an e-mail 3-4 times, when I could touch it once?
  • When do I copy 5 or 10 or 20 people on an e-mail who all now have to read that e-mail, when I could copy 1 or 2? Similarly, when do I get copied unnecessarily when I could reach out to those senders and let them know they don’t need to copy me under certain circumstances?
  • Could I do a better job of planning my day today – and working my plan today – so I don’t have to constantly think today about what I need to be doing tomorrow?
  • Is there a report or document that I produce once a week that I could stop producing and no one would ever notice or ever care?
  • If I slept an extra 10 minutes or drank an extra cup of water or ate 1 less candy bar (Milky Way is my preference), would I be able to work a little shorter day and have the energy to get a little bit more done?

 

These are some simple questions, and if we can come up with answers to a few of them and implement solutions, maybe we would find ourselves working a little less hard and yet being a little bit more productive, more focused, more energetic, and producing a little higher quality work.

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