helpful | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22


The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22


The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22


If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22


As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22


We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22


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, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21


The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21


Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21


Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21


Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to Read more

Use Millennials’ Favorite Words – 10/3/17

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


Okay – you got me. This tip doesn’t JUST apply to Millennials or JUST their favorite words, but I’m going to use that title as a jumping off point.

In recent research conducted by Prosper-Insights & Analytics, the 5 key terms that Millennials most frequently use to describe excellent customer service are: Helpful, Quick, Returns, Easy, (Fix/Resolve) Problems.

Essentially this is how Millennials define excellent customer service. There are 2 ways we’re going to suggest you use this information.

Self-Analysis
The first is self-analysis (for you or your organization):

  • Are you helpful? Yes, you may provide facts or information, but do you help the customer address their goal or need? This is second level customer service – going beyond the response you provide to the result the customer desires.
  • Is your service quick? Do you respond to the e-mails, calls, chats, needs, and issues expeditiously, and do you ask for the customer’s timeframes so that you know how they define “Quick?”
  • How do you handle returns? Is it as simple for them to return as to buy; are the employee attitudes as pleasant when customers return and want the refund as they are when customers buy and make the payment?
  • Do you make it easy for them to do business with you? For them to understand their responsibilities v. the company’s? For the customer to communicate with you?
  • Finally, what do you do when things go wrong? How are you at fixing/resolving problems? With many customers, your response to the issue tells them far more about your level of customer service than your response to the sale.

 
Phrasing with Customers
The second way we suggest that you use this information is to incorporate it into your daily phrasing with customers – particularly the words helpful, quick, easy. “I want to help you. We want to make this a quick and easy process for you. How else can I help? What’s the easiest way to keep in touch with you?”

When customers tell you what’s important, use that information to improve. And use those words in your customer conversations.

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Provide More Than the Truth – 9/3/13 TOW

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

Every year Customer Service Solutions custom-designs and delivers customer service training, and when I’m facilitating classes, I find myself saying a certain phrase more and more – “That’s true, but is that helpful?”

Usually we end up discussing this when we talk about how to deal with customer complaints, anxious customers, or the irate customer. Too often, we make these situations worse for the customer and ourselves when we simply make true statements such as “No, you can’t do that” or “That’s against policy” or “I don’t know” or “That’s not my job.” Each of these statements is often true, but it’s also NOT helpful.

If the customer “can’t do that,” what CAN they do? What’s an alternative?

If it’s against policy, then how can a customer achieve their end-goal by doing something within the policy?

If you don’t know, then who does know? How can you ensure a strong handoff to the other employee?

If that’s not your job, then whose responsibility is it?

Great customer service requires far more than being reactive, answering questions, and telling the truth – particularly in situations where you’re saying “No,” facing a complaint, dealing with a misdirected customer, or addressing emotions.

Go beyond the truth to always think of the next step. When customers feel like no options exist, like their idea won’t work, like they can’t be helped, then that’s when the anxiety rolls in; that’s when they feel like they lose control; that’s when anger and upset rise.

The next time you have to provide the response they don’t want, don’t stop the conversation. Lead them to a next step.

Provide more than the truth; be helpful.