emotion | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


Delivering great customer service isn’t just about responding and reacting.  It’s also about being proactive.  Developing relationships involves reaching out first, not just extending our hand when somebody reaches out to us. But it’s all too clear that those of us who are in service roles prefer those roles to Read more

Be Kind to Yourself When the Customer Isn’t - 9/13/22


I was having a debrief call with one of my clients recently, and this was regarding a survey of employees who work events.  One of the survey questions asked employees for advice on how to improve the customer experience.  When the employees shared their input on the guest experience, Read more

Being the Emphatic Employee - 9/6/22


Empathy is the key quality of somebody who’s great at customer service.  We talk about it often - what it is, how to convey it, what it looks like, and how it makes the customer feel. But along with knowing how to be empathetic, we also need to know how Read more

The Good, the Really Good, and the Ugly of Customer Service - 8/30/22


Here are three helpful customer service stories.  They may not be from your specific industry, but it’s always good to learn from others. The Good… Paula submitted a ticket to the I.T. vendor.  Below the signature line in the reply she received was the following:  Please share your comments or needs Read more

A Great 2-Minute E-mail - 8/23/22


I know.  You probably get e-mails all the time from customers griping about some aspect of your organization or their experience.  You’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told by staff Read more

When They Want to Talk to Your Boss - 8/16/22


“I want to talk to your supervisor.” That’s their opening salvo.  Before you can hardly finish your greeting, the customer is asking for your boss.  This is done by a customer who has tried to get an issue resolved, and it hasn’t worked, so they want to go to somebody Read more

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing – 8/9/22

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

It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer!

We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things.

We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are to blame, but by blaming them, we are often whipping the emotions up.  And when we’re dealing with service recovery, we want to bring the emotions down.  We can waste a lot of time and energy dealing with emotions and never getting to a solution, so we want to find ways to deal with issues without focusing on blame.

Avoiding the You

Avoiding discussions of blame requires that we avoid discussions of You.  At a high level, we basically try to avoid the Who, and focus on the What and the When.  We literally talk about the issue, what happened, when did it happen, how did things occur.  We spend enough time on the issue only to understand the direction to go with the solution.

And with the solution, again, we focus on the What and the When, the How, and – sometimes – the Who.

So how do we avoid talking about who caused the issue?  Sometimes it’s very easy – just talk about what steps were taken without saying who took those steps.  We literally avoid the word You, and we actually use a little passive voice (When this happened… or This occurred after…).  Those are softer ways to describe an occurrence than You did this… You caused this… This problem was created by you.

Getting to the Solution

Again, we want to understand the issue well enough to get to the solution, but we don’t want to be mired in the emotion.  Sometimes it pays not to focus on who is right and who is wrong.  Instead, we need to focus on getting to the right solution as quickly as possible.

The next time you find yourself in one of these service recovery situations and the customer’s clearly in the wrong, focus on the issue and solution, and try to avoid assigning blame.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page


Foster Positive Feelings – 1/4/22

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

I bet a lot of you all are like me – when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings.

However, when customers are providing a word-of-mouth evaluation of our businesses, what they are mostly sharing is their feelings.  Sure, they’re telling their buddy, their co-worker, their spouse, or an acquaintance about the specifics of their experience in working with our businesses.  But they are also sharing their feelings.  How they paint the picture of their experiences is often based on the feelings they take away from their interactions with us.

So, if word-of-mouth can generate business for us, if word of mouth – when negative – can keep potential new customers from even considering our businesses, then the question becomes:  How do we engender positive feelings from customers?

Feelings We Want Our Customers to Have

Most of us want our customers to feel comfortable in working with us.  We want them to have enjoyed the experience, to be confident in what we’re doing, to feel respected, to feel like we valued their time.

If these are some of the feelings that we want our customers to have, some of the positive feelings that they could share in conversations with others, then we need to determine how to engender these feelings.

Foster Positive Feelings

Consider these points:

  • Strive to make your customers feel comfortable – with the environment, the process, and the plan.
  • Be consistent, knowledgeable, and effective enough to gain their confidence.
  • Be efficient enough, patient enough, and communicate well enough so that they feel you valued their time.
  • Tell them they are important, and convey it with your actions and your responsiveness.
  • Use your body language, your tone of voice, and how you engage them with your words to convey true respect.

To foster more positive word-of-mouth, work hard to foster positive feelings in the heart of your customers.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page


It’s Not You, It’s Them – 7/13/21

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

George Costanza – from the Seinfeld television sitcom – broke up with someone he was dating and told her “It’s not you, it’s me.”  It’s a famous line, and I’ve heard it used many times in humor, but I have a customer service twist on that comedic line.

It’s not you, it’s them.

If you’ve worked in a customer service role long enough, and by long enough I mean even just 3-6 months, you have probably dealt with the same complaint but in two totally different situations.  You could have Fred the customer walk into a store or call you on the phone, and there is a problem with his account.  He calmly describes the issue, and you deliver great service and work with him on a solution.

At some other point in time, Matt is the one who walks in; he’s the one who gets you on the phone.  Unfortunately, he has the exact same complaint about his account.  But instead of calmly describing the issue and working with you, he is ranting and raving!  He is blaming everyone under the stars, particularly you.  His tone is inflamed, and before you can even try to help him, you have to figure out how to calm him down and get the information you need to provide the support.

These are two different customers presenting the exact same issue.  One comes in calm, looking for resolution, and the other comes in like a raving lunatic.

Their negative emotion is not about you; it’s about them.  Even if the negative emotion is directed at you, it is about them.  Even if some of the pointed words are toward you, it is about them.

I’m not saying that the highly emotional complaining customers don’t have a right to complain.  Sure they do.  I’m not saying that the company is absolved of any responsibility for issues they cause.  Of course the company is responsible.

But what I am saying is that it’s much easier for us to handle these situations if we can handle our emotions…if we don’t get defensive…if we don’t take things so personally.  And one way we can do that is to realize that we have had customers with the same issue before who have been calm, have been rational, who have looked to work with us to a resolution.

And if we realize we have been blessed with these collaborative customers, then we can also realize that if somebody comes in with the same issue in a totally off-the-wall manner, their emotion is not our fault.

We should try to do whatever we can to help them and move the conversation forward and resolve the issue, and one of the best ways we can do that is to realize that the emotion is not about us.  It’s about them.

It’s Not You, It’s Them.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page