expectation | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

“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

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24


When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

Care Enough to Give Them a Heads Up - 1/30/24


Nothing bad at all might happen.  Every day in the office could seem like every other day.  Sights and sounds and smells might continue to be the same.  But we have a lot of construction going on around our offices, and the building manager knows the type of work Read more

Be Better than AI Customer Service - 1/23/24


There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers. The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds. There are clear Read more

Recognize the Situation, and Pivot - 1/16/24


The customer has a complaint, or they may have an important question about an order or their account.  You may be talking to them in an emergency room, in the lobby of the government building, on the phone, or in a video conversation.  And in many of these Moments Read more

Sharpen Your Service Delivery - 1/9/24


You work so hard at being responsive and providing high quality information.  You work hard at fixing problems.  But is your delivery…dull? I’m not saying that it has to be exciting, but let’s think of the word “exciting.”  It means that something’s interesting, has energy, is positive.  Just by its Read more

Make Empathy Your Superpower - 1/2/24


I was facilitating a Service Excellence Training class for a Higher Ed client in the Northeast several years back.  As I was walking through the portions of our technique for defusing the angry customer, I talked about empathy.  I talked about accepting responsibility. Immediately, one of the hands in the Read more

Holiday Poem 2023 - 12/26/23


The days are getting longer, The skies are getting brighter. Festivities behind us, And festivities before us.   There’s ups and downs and change coming, And we can’t predict when or where. There’s challenges and joys and opportunities around, Of which you may or may not be aware.   But one thing we know as we look at each Read more

Refresh, Rejuvenate, Refocus - 12/19/23


It’s that time of year.  We’re going 100 miles an hour, and holiday time is upon us.  We not only have all the work to do, but we somehow have less time to do it.  We somehow have other things that are of competing interest, and even though those Read more

How to Exceed the Promise – 10/10/23

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

It’s the never-ending battle between marketing and customer service.  Marketing makes promises, and customer service has to deal with upset customers when the company doesn’t deliver.  To ensure we deliver on promises, let’s assess promises by looking at some famous quotes over time…

Promises may get Friends, but ‘tis Performances that keep them. Thomas Fuller

Why you gained a customer is not necessarily why you will keep that customer. Typically, that carrot that leads the customer to your organization is not based on their personal experiences with your business. But their personal experiences are what determine whether they come back or not. 

Don’t ever promise more than you can deliver, but always deliver more than you promise.  Lou Holtz

Promises in business create expectations, so it’s better to under promise and over deliver. Remember, the difference between an expectation and reality is a problem when the expectation is greater than the reality.  Make the reality a little greater than the promise.

Let your yes be yes and your no be no.  James

Just like you need to be clear with the customer about what you can do, be clear with them about what you cannot Don’t give the customer the impression that you can hit a deadline when you probably cannot, that you can process a full refund when you probably cannot, that you can fix a problem exactly how they’ve defined the solution when you know you cannot.  Don’t create your own issues.

An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.  Mae West

The ultimate judgment of an organization is their performance. The lasting impression of an organization is much more likely to be based on the last impression or experience rather than the initial promise.

Deliver on promises by under promising at the start.  By looking for ways to deliver a little bit more.  By being clear when you cannot do something.  By understanding that performance is what makes the lasting impression.

Exceed the Promise.

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Dear Customer, What do you expect? – 8/31/21

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

Studies show that 40% of customer dissatisfaction was because the company didn’t meet the customer’s expectations.  The company overpromised and under delivered, or the company didn’t even do the bare minimum of what the customer expected.

To avoid dissatisfying your customer, meet or exceed their expectation.  Simple, right?  It only gets simple if first you know the customer’s expectation.  So, when you’re interacting with your customer, here are some good questions to ask to uncover your customer’s expectations about the product or service you’re delivering:

  • For WHO, ask: Will you need guidance in setting this up/getting this to work? Reason to Ask:  If you’re providing a service, you’ll identify what they expect in terms of educational support.  Make sure they know what to do with the product or service you’ll provide.  This question is all about them.
  • For WHEN, ask: By when do you need this service? Reason to Ask:  If you’re shipping a product, you want to know when they need it delivered so you don’t provide it later than needed.  This question is about timing.
  • For WHERE, ask: Where would you like this product delivered (or this service performed)? Reason to Ask:  If they want something delivered, you’ll identify where they’d like it delivered, how they’d like it packaged, etc.  Don’t deliver to the wrong location; don’t package the service/product incorrectly.  This question is about location.
  • For HOW, ask: How do you intend to use this? Reason to Ask:  Make sure you understand how they plan to apply your service/product to their need.  This question is about the product’s use or benefit.

 
These questions address the “Who, When, Where, and How” of “What” service is being delivered.

Identify the expectation; deliver the satisfaction.

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Back to Reality…for Customer Expectations – 7/30/19

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

Have you ever walked into a patient registration area of a hospital and seen a sign that said “if you’ve been waiting longer than 15 minutes, please see the receptionist?”

Have you ever called a customer service number and been told by a recording that “the average hold time is ‘X’ minutes?”

Have you ever begun the process of getting a permit to build a deck on a home and been given a form that says what each step in the process involves, when you need to do each step (including inspections), and whom you need to contact?

You may reply “no” to all of these or “yes” to some, but these are examples of companies who understand the importance of trying to set or manage customer expectations. These companies understand that that first person may complain after waiting 5 minutes if they don’t realize that a 15-minute wait is realistic. These companies realize that that second customer may get irate or take their business elsewhere if they had to wait on the phone 2 minutes but might be more patient if their expectation is a 3-minute wait. These companies understand that a customer educated on a process is more comfortable and less likely to have issues with it, less likely to do things incorrectly.

Companies who attempt to proactively set or manage expectations understand the importance of the customer having some concept in their mind of what the reality is going to be; that makes it more likely that the customer will be satisfied with the experience, and the employee won’t have to deal with an irate customer.

Where can your company proactively set an expectation with customers about how long a process will take, how long a wait might be, what actions are about to take place, or what they need to do?

Determine where the opportunities to set expectations exist, and then use signage, messaging, documentation, and direct one-on-one conversations to do whatever you can to set (or reset) your customers’ expectations.

Get customer expectations back to reality.

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