Guelph | 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

Go Back to Where You Started in Business Retention & Expansion

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

Have you ever been deep into a conversation and then stopped, and tried to backtrack step-by-step to see how you got there?

The back-tracking can go something like this: We’re talking about the recent national elections because we were discussing local political elections because we were discussing a nearby zoning issue because we were discussing the property that adjoins our neighborhood because we were discussing putting a fence in the backyard because we were discussing getting a dog because we were discussing how much fun we have with a friend’s dog because we were discussing the dog’s name Pete because…well…you get the picture. We were talking about a dog named Pete, and we ended up talking about the recent national elections.

For an Economic Development organization’s Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Program, it’s often helpful to do the same sort of exercise – not just to have fun, and not necessarily in a conversation, but about the life of the BRE program. Frequently, relatively young organizations (particularly those under 10 years in business), find themselves at a certain place, and they’ve evolved to that place. They may have had a grand plan to start with, but over time the strategic planning ended and the day-to-day fire-fighting and daily operations took over. And a great question to ask at that point is this: If we had to start this organization over again, how would it look different than it is today?

A great way to answer that question is to go back to the start of the BRE Program. Consider what were the initial goals, the initial focuses, the initial planned allocation of time and resources. How do those goals/focuses/time allocations differ from the reality of today?

The recent article City announces business retention program gives us some of that view of the start. These are some of the highlights from the article:

  • Use the BRE program to better know specific needs from specific companies.
  • Set as a goal of the BRE program to help businesses make profits and grow.
  • Leverage the BRE program to proactively identify growth opportunities and business issues.
  • Promote with local businesses the desire to keep them and have them hire and invest more locally.
  • Target key companies and businesses.
  • Look for macro-issues that impact multiple businesses – have a coordinated effort to address the concerns.
  • Don’t be an island – create a stakeholder system to support research, relationship development, retention, and ongoing funding.
  • Identify dedicated resources for the BRE program.

I’m not suggesting that what we do today is wrong, but what I am suggesting is sometimes it helps to refocus, and a great way to do that is to look at the initial plans, goals, and strategies. Then use those as a guide to redirect and refocus current efforts.

To reenergize your program and reallocate your time, go back to where you started in Business Retention & Expansion.

See more BRE blog posts at: http://brebuzz.com/bre-blog-posts/