irate customer | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24

Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24

We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24

When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

Care Enough to Give Them a Heads Up - 1/30/24

Nothing bad at all might happen.  Every day in the office could seem like every other day.  Sights and sounds and smells might continue to be the same.  But we have a lot of construction going on around our offices, and the building manager knows the type of work Read more

Be Better than AI Customer Service - 1/23/24

There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers. The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds. There are clear Read more

Recognize the Situation, and Pivot - 1/16/24

The customer has a complaint, or they may have an important question about an order or their account.  You may be talking to them in an emergency room, in the lobby of the government building, on the phone, or in a video conversation.  And in many of these Moments Read more

Sharpen Your Service Delivery - 1/9/24

You work so hard at being responsive and providing high quality information.  You work hard at fixing problems.  But is your delivery…dull? I’m not saying that it has to be exciting, but let’s think of the word “exciting.”  It means that something’s interesting, has energy, is positive.  Just by its Read more

Make Empathy Your Superpower - 1/2/24

I was facilitating a Service Excellence Training class for a Higher Ed client in the Northeast several years back.  As I was walking through the portions of our technique for defusing the angry customer, I talked about empathy.  I talked about accepting responsibility. Immediately, one of the hands in the Read more

Holiday Poem 2023 - 12/26/23

The days are getting longer, The skies are getting brighter. Festivities behind us, And festivities before us.   There’s ups and downs and change coming, And we can’t predict when or where. There’s challenges and joys and opportunities around, Of which you may or may not be aware.   But one thing we know as we look at each Read more

Refresh, Rejuvenate, Refocus - 12/19/23

It’s that time of year.  We’re going 100 miles an hour, and holiday time is upon us.  We not only have all the work to do, but we somehow have less time to do it.  We somehow have other things that are of competing interest, and even though those Read more

Perpetuate Positivity with the Customer – 5/9/23

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

We’ve written many Tips on how to deal with various negative customer emotions.  Those emotions could reflect anger, fear of the unknown, upset, anxiety, or nervousness.  But instead of talking today about how to deal with their negative emotions, let’s talk about how to engender some positive emotions.

We want our customers to be happy.  We like when they’re content.  They’re usually more supportive and understanding, less argumentative and less questioning when they have that happiness, they have that contentment.

For Contentment, scientific studies have shown that one key to contentment is for somebody to feel fulfilled or feel at peace.  From a service standpoint, a customer has more of a feeling of fulfillment if they got their needs met, so professionally reinforce when a need was met.  They can be more at peace if they shared their concern, they enjoyed the conversation, and they know what will happen next.

For Happiness, there are strong correlations between happiness and people being pleased, filled with joy, or enthusiastic.  People who are happy tend to have been encouraged and are hopeful.  So, how do we help engender happiness?

Tell them when they do something well.  Tell them the types of positive outcomes that can happen with them, just as they have happened with other customers in similar situations.  Provide some hope of what good could transpire.  Reinforce what’s already been accomplished so that they are pleased, and give it with some positive energy to impart your enthusiasm on the customer.

When interacting with your customers, use proactive tools to impart positivity.

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

Are You in a Position? – 5/2/23

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

Last week’s Tip compared Perspectives and Positions, and we noted that when people have a perspective on a given topic or issue, that’s often useful.  However, when people are more focused on their position, things can get testy.

One topic we didn’t fully address last week was the definition of Position.  Using a military analogy to define position, think about old war movies where soldiers dig a trench.  They’re taking up a position.  They hunker down in the trench, raise up to shoot at the opposition, and then they duck back into the trench.  Trenches don’t move.  The battle can take a long time, and they typically don’t advance until the opposition dies or they retreat.  They’re stuck.

Here are some other, more business-oriented examples of taking a position:

Mine is More Important: I facilitated a community group that was addressing how to best use funds from a national settlement.  Funds were to be used to address a community health issue.  There were over 20 members of the group, and – initially – each of them thought that their cause or solution deserved the majority of the funding.  There were 20 different positions.

Date Conflict: One employee said their draft report would be ready on Thursday.  The other employee told their teammate that it needed to be done on Wednesday.

The Full Refund: An event attendee wanted a full refund for the costs of their tickets to the sporting event that had a long weather delay.  The policy stated that there were no full refunds.

These are three very different examples, but they have one commonality – they all start with people taking a position.

Even though the starting point might be the position, just like in the military analogy, if we maintain those positions, the battle will go on for a long time.  People might fire shots at the other until one person, one position gets beaten down, or the other retreats.

Remember these examples to recognize quickly when someone is taking a position, so you can redirect and – instead – identify common goals.  This could save yourself and the other person from unnecessary arguments, negative emotions, and wasted time.

Recognize when you (or they) are in a position.

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

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

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

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 employees at the clinic, but Katie didn’t throw the others “under the bus.”

The office coordinator (who has since left the practice) had previously told my friend that the coordinator had certain paperwork, but the papers had not been filed correctly.  However, Katie still apologized on behalf of the office for the coordinator’s misstatement.

Another practice was supposed to forward information to this office, but they sent it to the wrong facility.  Katie offered to call that other practice to get them to resend it.

Katie tried to call my friend, but my friend had changed their phone number and forgot to tell the office, so the calls did not go through.  Katie did not complain or huff and puff in frustration; instead, she offered to update the contact information so she could follow up with my friend.

It wasn’t Katie’s fault, and it’s probably not your fault in most cases when you find yourself in these situations.  Sometimes it’s the co-worker that drops the ball.  Maybe it’s another organization that didn’t do something correctly.  Perhaps the customer makes a mistake.

Katie showed that even though it wasn’t her fault, she was willing to rectify the problem.  She was willing to apologize on behalf of others.  She was willing to be proactive, and she was willing to do it without a negative tone or a negative word.

Channel your inner Katie the next time you find yourself having to fix problems caused by others.

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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 14 15   Next »