innovation | 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

The Resourceful Rep – 3/16/21

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

One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is resourcefulness. So, how can you become even more resourceful?

There are two primary keys to resourcefulness.  One is having the assets that you can bring to bear to address a given issue, need, or goal.  The other is having the creativity to formulate a plan or a response in using those assets.

List Your Assets

First, formulate your own list of assets.  An asset could be a subject matter expert in your company, a key contact in another division, or some other constituent or stakeholder or supervisor with a great deal of knowledge on specific topics or about specific customers.  An asset could be the knowledge base in your system.  An asset could be some past correspondence you had with a similar customer or about a similar situation.

As you can tell, the assets can generally be people, technology, or content that is categorized or organized in such a way that you can quickly find a related situation or customer type that you’ve supported in the past.  Create that list of assets so that you can more quickly meet the need of the customer.

Let Your Creativity Flow

Second, to creatively formulate the plan, you need to be able to think differently.  Let’s say that your customer cannot make their payment by the due date.  You start asking yourself: Who in my organization has expertise in dealing with situations like this and has resolved these types of issues previously?  What list of related FAQs exist?  What are some past e-mails or documents that I’ve utilized in similar situations that I can access to help this person as well?

Instead of just considering what you alone can do in this situation, expand your thought to consider who you can contact, what might be the standard answers, or what has proven successful with these types of customers or in similar situations.

To be resourceful, create that list of assets that you can bring to bear in customer situations. Then, take some of the burden off yourself by tapping into the people, technology, and communications that have helped you to succeed previously.

Use your assets and creativity to become the Resourceful Representative.

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Relieve Your Customer’s Pain

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

Disrupt yourself. Let me explain…

In the January 2011 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, David Croslin, a former HP chief technologist and current market trends consultant in Colorado, tells companies to “Be Disruptive” in their strive toward innovation. Essentially, he suggests ignoring the status quo of thinking product first or “beat the competitor” first, and instead focus on the customer first.

Referencing the mobile phone industry, Croslin stated that “They kept trying to top each other with features that most people never used” until the iPhone hit. The iPhone was more simplistic but was designed with the customer in mind. Croslin recommends fixing the “pain points” in your customer’s life.

So what does this have to do with customer service? Everything. It talks about how leaders in innovation need to focus on the customer when designing a product just like customer service representatives need to focus on the customer when responding to issues. It means that business should be all about the customer from start to finish. It means that if you’re selling, you’re selling to a customer. If you’re serving, you’re serving a customer. If you’re developing, you’re developing for a customer.

At some point, stop focusing inwardly on your own organization, stop focusing on the product, stop focusing on the competitor. Look outside your product and your competitor, and look to your customer.

Let the customer guide you. Find their pain, and find ways to relieve the pain.

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