issue resolution | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Handle Interruptions Heroically - 6/18/24


In the middle of a project, Jimbo, the customer service team member, had to stop what he was doing because he received an e-mail from a customer complaining about their experience at a recent event. Later that day, Jimbo was asked by his boss to put everything on hold for Read more

From Employees to Teammates: The Shift - 6/11/24


Be a great teammate. Be a good team player. We’re all part of the team. We’re no longer employees, we’re team members! The phrase “Team” is used in describing co-workers so much more than it was used years ago.  Then, we would be talking about employees, talking about staff, talking Read more

Nurture New Relationships - 6/4/24


Freddie was a new business owner in town.  He was launching a franchise, had acquired some funding from a local bank, and was in search of staff who cared about customer service. All the while, he was in the process of renovating a storefront for his business, so he was Read more

There’s Positivity in Patience - 5/28/24


The employee at the financial services firm was working with a new client on a relatively simple loan.  The documentation was about as clear as it could get to the employee, but the customer had lots of questions.  The employee calmly, clearly, and specifically answered each question.  The meeting Read more

The Goal – A Great Experience - 5/21/24


The following is a narrative of a great experience (people, process, service, facility) at a minor league sporting event – key points that could apply to any business are in bold… Mark and I pulled into the parking lot, excited about the game.  The Slapshots had been on a roll Read more

Your Best Ability is… - 5/14/24


I enjoy watching sports, and I’ve even listened to some sports press conferences over the years, just to hear what coaches are saying.  Basically getting the leadership perspective from the sports industry either out of my interest or curiosity, or to figure out how to apply it to the Read more

A Complaint is a Gift - 5/7/24


A complaint is a gift.  Okay, so the complainer is not always a “gift.”  The customer’s delivery of the complaint is sometimes more like a stocking filled with coal than a vase filled with roses.  But this is why we need to be able to differentiate the complaint from Read more

Mastering Confidence in Customer Service - 4/30/24


It’s not what you said…it’s how you said it. If you’ve ever had someone say this to you, raise your hand.  (I just raised my hand) Usually this is being said when someone is upset with you, but regardless of the reason, that phrase illustrates that HOW we say something often Read more

Be Amazing - 4/23/24


Watching Michael Jordan steal a pass and then dunk a basketball is amazing.  Taking a rocket to the moon is amazing.  The taste of my mom’s homemade beef soup is amazing. We all have our personal examples of what is amazing.  Usually, it’s something that we cannot comprehend, that we Read more

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

What Annoys the Customer? – 9/19/23

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

Domino’s Pizza had TV commercials years ago where they promoted how they trained their employees to “Avoid the Noid.”  The “Noid” was basically an annoying person or thing that would disrupt the delivery driver, possibly making the driver drop the pizza on the way to your door.  The goal at the time was to deliver a Domino’s Pizza in 30 minutes or less, so Domino’s tried to avoid those situations that kept them from their goal.

It was important for Domino’s to avoid those negative customer experiences – those delivery delays – especially since its advertising promoted that 30-minute goal.

Every one of our organizations also has goals, and one of the more tactical goals should be to avoid customer dissatisfiers.  Avoid the issues that cause lost customers, that create a negative experience.

Most organizations focus on what they do best or what they can do to make the perfect experience for the customer.  They focus on retention drivers, which is great, but they define retention drivers purely as why a customer patronizes that business.  They never expand the definition of retention driver to include what could make that customer so upset that they’d leave.

Do account representatives never return customer voice mails?  Does the event organizer fail to communicate effectively with fans during a weather delay?  Does the customer choose the electronics store because of the technology selection, but they never return because of the aggressiveness of staff in selling warrantees?  Does the local government provide a great experience at the front desk, but their website and phone trees are so confusing that the taxpayer HAD to go onsite to get their question answered?

It’s great to strive to be the best in your customer experience, but make sure you’re also identifying and avoiding those things which can drive the customers away.  Avoid the Noid.

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


Addressing the Horror Story that Wasn’t – 9/5/23

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

You may have seen the commercials for one of those garden hoses that fits in your pocket.  When you put it on the valve outside your home and turn on the water, it expands to 50 feet.  When you’re done and turn off the water, it contracts and fits right back in your pocket.

Jamie had only been at his new job for 2 weeks at the hardware store, and he witnessed just how important some of these expandable/retractable hoses are to the homeowners.  A frantic homeowner came in – somebody who had bought one of these hoses from one of Jamie’s co-workers a week ago, and the customer was upset.  She had been so excited about the new hose, but when she turned on the water, it did not expand fully; when she turned off the water, it didn’t contract.

It was a garden hose emergency!  Oh, the horror!

Now, for 99% of us, a garden hose that doesn’t fully expand or contract is not the end of the world.  And maybe to this customer, it was not the end of the world either; however, she was initially so excited about a product that was, now, not performing as designed.

Jamie’s first thought was: This customer is WAY overreacting.  But his second thought was: I better not convey that I think she’s overreacting.

Luckily, Jamie had some training on Key Principles of Situational Service.  So, he provided some Empathy, explaining his understanding of what went wrong to the customer, what she expected to happen versus how the hose actually performed.  He was Patient with her, listening and not rushing her along.  He tried to be Helpful, facilitating a resolution, whether it was initially with the use of the hose and then finally finding an alternative.  He Explained the product exchange process and Why the process was needed, and he did everything with Respect and Courtesy.

Sometimes the issues you are presented with seem like they should be no big deal, but for whatever reason, they are a big deal to the customer.

Apply Jamie’s Key Principles of Situational Service to make sure all of these situations turn out well from the customer’s perspective.

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


Respect, Regardless of Rank – 8/22/23

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

I was reading a management book written by a former naval officer.  He was given a leadership role over a ship that had been underperforming and had low morale.  One thing he did to turn around the performance, to improve morale, was instill in everyone onboard the principle that we need to respect each other, regardless of rank.

For anybody who’s watched an old military movie where the personnel show respect for rank, often you hear the statements of “Yes, General” or “Sir!  Yes, Sir” that we see exhibited by those with the more junior ranks.

But the Captain of this ship, the one trying to instill a new, high-performing culture, expected EVERYONE to be respectful of EVERYONE.

To understand “respect” in customer service, we have to paint a picture of it.  For many people, it’s much easier to paint a picture of respectful behavior by describing disrespectful behavior so that people know what action NOT to take.  Sometimes we literally define the word respect to paint that picture for those in customer service.

Communicating Respect to Rank

Today, let’s think about respect in terms of how it’s conveyed to people of rank – whether it’s an organizational leader or even the President.  The words we use (Yes, Sir or Yes, Ma’am) are stated frequently in response to what the ranking person says.  With individuals in those in high-rank roles, we try to understand their needs so that we can address them, carrying out their orders or requests.  We listen as much as possible in that one encounter to minimize the need to meet with them again as well as to ensure we don’t take up any more of their time than is necessary.

Communicating Respect Regardless of Rank

These are all actions and behaviors we can do with each other – with co-workers and with customers.  Use personal names and respectful terms to greet and address individuals throughout the conversation.  Try to understand specifically what they’re saying by asking the right questions and spending the majority of our time listening.  Allow them to speak first, and be patient through the conversation.  Follow through on what we offered to do, trying to limit how much of their time is required, whenever possible.

Respect, Regardless of Rank – find ways to make respect an all-the-time thing.

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


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 19 20   Next »