helpful | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

When You Know More Than They Do - 7/19/22


It was 95 degrees outside.  That’s not too bad when you’re inside and enjoying the air conditioning; but when Rachel’s A/C went out, in came Rachel’s worry.  Luckily, she knew the company to call, and a technician from Acme HVAC (fake name, real company) came out the next morning. Rachel 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.

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

 


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.