government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

How to Fix Other People’s Problems - 1/31/23


I was helping a friend navigate some healthcare processes recently, so I conducted a 3-way call with my friend and the physician practice to try to get things cleared up.  The employee I spoke with on the phone - let’s call her Katie. There had been poor communication between different Read more

What to do When You’re in the Middle - 1/24/23


Bob and Sarah are arguing, and you’re in the middle.  Bob’s an employee, and Sarah is a customer, and they have a difference of opinion.  Somehow you’re involved even though you didn’t have anything to do with the interaction in question, the complaint being addressed.  You find yourself being Read more

Is the Customer Issue an Organizational Issue? - 1/17/23


Customer retention is vital.  Most of next year’s customers are going to be those who are this year’s customers. So, the more you lose today, the fewer you will have tomorrow.  Organizations conduct research, data mine, or bring in consultants to help identify those customers who may be most Read more

Decide Who’s Driving the Bus - 1/10/23


I once heard a speech titled: Who’s driving the bus? I knew the speaker beforehand, so that made his talk extra special.  It was funny and relatable and held many words of wisdom.  The crux of the speech was that every one of us has our own facets, our own Read more

Create a Personal Vision for the Year - 1/3/23


This time of year is all about the New Year’s resolution.  We’re going to exercise or eat differently!  Then…2 months later, who knows what’ll be happening, but at least you set a goal.  For many of us, that’s progress. For businesses, that New Year’s resolution often has to deal with Read more

Avoid Making a Bad Situation Worse - 12/27/22


Twitter.  When you hear that word, does your temperature rise?  Do you roll your eyes?  Do you ask: What is Twitter? From a customer service perspective, Twitter has evolved into a virtual place for consumers to complain about businesses.  For those businesses savvy enough to understand the importance of communicating Read more

2022 Holiday Poem - 12/20/22


The year is winding down. The work is still up front. We’re making that transition to close out the 12th month. We’re trying to find a balance between personal life and work. Trying to be kind to people even if they’re acting like a jerk. It’s taking all of our patience and our Read more

Open Minds and Ornery Customers - 12/13/22


We all have to deal with some crazy customers, at times.  They might be loud or sad.  Flighty or mad.  They may have unrealistic expectations or think it’s OK to skip past people in line because their need must be more important than the others.  Some are rude, some Read more

Apply These Values for Great Customer Service - 12/6/22


One of the industries where we do a lot of our work is local government.  These CSS clients are not necessarily selling a product or having the number of competitors that a lot of our private industry clients and our sports clients face.  But they need to deliver a Read more

Redefine “Access” to Treat Customers Special - 11/29/22


One of our clients puts on major events throughout the country.  When we conduct post-event surveys, many of the attendees rave about the access they had to certain entertainers, locations in the venue, parking lots, or even information.  Others decry the fact that they lacked that access. This does pose Read more

Apply These Values for Great Customer Service – 12/6/22

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

One of the industries where we do a lot of our work is local government.  These CSS clients are not necessarily selling a product or having the number of competitors that a lot of our private industry clients and our sports clients face.  But they need to deliver a great customer experience.  They need to excel at customer service.  They need to have core values that everybody can live.

The core values of a local government entity can often tie-in really nicely with any type of business.  Think about these example core values and how they can apply to your organization:

Trustworthy.  Can your customers trust what you’re saying?  Have the expectations you’ve set in the past been met by reality?  Or have the promises of sales not been able to be delivered by operations and customer service?  Make sure your operations can deliver on what is promised.

Clear. Sometimes confusion can lead to complaints.  Because where there’s confusion, customers and employees can more easily do something wrong or miss a step.  Where there is lack of clarity, sometimes two people can have very different expectations.  Are your communications clear – simple, specific, repeated, and documented?

Timely.  This is a nebulous word when it comes to customer service.  What one person thinks is timely may not be the same as another.  So, it’s important to define timely expectations for the customer, or ask what their definition of timeliness is, and – if unrealistic – redefine that to a reasonable expectation.

Open. Since local governments are typically funded by tax dollars and fees, transparency and openness are an expectation.  So, when you think about your business, is there information that is hidden from the customer because of fear of the reaction or how it might affect their decision?  Has that hiding of information – or at least not sharing of information – ever come back to bite the company in the end?  Make sure we’re open up front, so the customer doesn’t get the unnecessary surprise on the back end.

Learn a few lessons from our local government clients.  Make sure your customer service is trustworthy, clear, timely, and open.

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


Redefine “Access” to Treat Customers Special – 11/29/22

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

One of our clients puts on major events throughout the country.  When we conduct post-event surveys, many of the attendees rave about the access they had to certain entertainers, locations in the venue, parking lots, or even information.  Others decry the fact that they lacked that access.

This does pose an interesting question:  If we want to treat our customers special – even if we’re not in the entertainment industry – what kind of special access can we provide to customers?

In some ways, “Special” is in the eye of the beholder, but allow yourself the opportunity to think on the following questions for those customers where something a little special, something above and beyond, makes them walk away feeling a little special.  Let’s redefine “Access.”

People: In what cases can you grant a customer access to a particular co-worker or department within your organization that is not commonly promoted as a point of contact in communications or the company website?  Maybe it’s access to a leader, an expert, a not highly-publicized telephone line or department.

Resources: When can you provide access to resources that are not commonly available?  It could be some internal documents, some How To’s, an online portal or an app, information you can e-mail, or key lessons learned from other similar clients.

Locations: Where can you provide physical access to a certain location at your facility, special parking or entrances, or certain special locations?  The information or the product or service is the same, but how they get there may be unique, where it’s located might be special.

Experiences: What are the types of experiences you can grant access to for this individual?  You could invite them to a webinar or a town hall meeting.  They could attend some special entertainment or presentation.  Think about even small gatherings you have for those community, civic, or charity events that might be promoted to the general public but not directly communicated to the customers.

Granted, access is tough to offer to customers, at times, but if we take a step back and redefine what could be considered a “Special Access Opportunity,” we might be able to grant access to our customers in new ways.

Redefine “Access” to Treat Customers Special.

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


Value the Customer – Actions to Adopt and Avoid – 11/8/22

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

When conducting research for a local government CSS client, we interviewed and conducted surveys with many of their customers.  We analyzed the results of the research based on those who had a great experience v. those who did not.  We uncovered that there were distinct differences between customers who felt valued and those who did not feel valued by the organization.

Empathize v. Defend. When the customers felt like the organization was listening to them, trying to understand their situation, trying to learn about their unique issue or goal or concern, the customer felt valued.  When dealing with an issue, if the customer felt like the employee was more focused on defending themselves or the policy or the procedure, the customer felt devalued.

Proactive v. Reactive. When the employee would suggest alternative options or provide a follow-up call to the customer, when the employee would share information about next steps, the customer felt valued.  However, if the customer had to reach out or they’d never hear from the organization, the customer felt devalued.

Work Together v. Win a Debate. When there was a need to be addressed or a goal to be achieved, if the customer felt like the employee was trying to figure out a way that they could work with the customer to identify a game plan, the customer felt valued.  When the customer felt like the conversation lingered too much on what facts were correct and which were incorrect, who was right and who was wrong in a particular situation, the customer did not feel valued.

Find Solution v. Deflect Blame. When the issue needed a resolution, if the employee was focused on figuring out what would work best for the customer, the customer felt valued.  However, if the customer felt like the employee was more focused on making sure they were not held responsible for the issue, the customer felt devalued.

Avoid being defensive, being purely reactive, debating the customer, and focusing on deflecting blame.

To help the customer feel valued, empathize, be proactive, work together, and find a solution.

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


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11   Next »