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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

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

The Problem with “No Problem” – 5/18/21

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

The man asked for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage, and she said: That’s not a problem!

The customer walks into the bike shop wearing a cast and notes that the new bike he just bought had brakes that failed and that need to get fixed. The employee responds:  No problem.

The employee picks up the phone, and the customer says:  Thank goodness I finally got a live voice! I’ve been on hold for 15 minutes!  The employee responds:  No problem.

These are just crazy examples…or are they?

I wish we could strike “no problem” from the list of acceptable phrases in the world of customer service.  The problem with “no problem” is that it is literally saying that the customer is not a problem for the employee.

In the example above, the girlfriend’s sentiment is to shout Yes, but she says “no problem.”  Oftentimes customers do their part in a process or are doing something nice for the employee, and instead of employees being appreciative, they say “no problem.”  Where is the positivity and appreciation?

With the customer in the bike shop, there was an issue that was caused by the company, and instead of the employee being empathetic/understanding and accepting responsibility, he basically ignores all that and instead states “no problem.”  Why would you just tell somebody who you’ve created a problem for that helping them is no problem?

Just because the customer who’s been on hold 15 minutes says “thank goodness,” that doesn’t mean that the employee should respond “no problem.”  A 15-minute wait actually IS a problem.

In customer service, we talk about body language and tone of voice a lot, but the words matter, too.  Appreciation for customers matters.  Accepting responsibility for problems a company causes matters.  Conveying some empathy for the difficulty customers had to go through to get to us matters.  And all those things that matter don’t come across in the phrase “no problem.”

Realize the problem with no problem.  Make sure the words we use convey the right message to our customers.

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Social Media and Customer Service – Are you integrating?

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

It’s a big buzz in the customer service world and in the business world in general. It’s all about social media – Twitter, Facebook, whatever your preferred flavor may be.

In the article Carriers using social media to measure & improve customer service, an IBM exec notes during a forum in Dublin, Ireland that a recent study indicates 33% of consumers overall look for product information via social media while 50% of 18-25 years olds search the social platforms.

Panelists on the topic agreed that “Effective social campaigns to measure and improve customer experience require individualized attention and an increased response speed.”

Let’s stop. Forget about the fact that we’re talking about social media; I’ll even take that word out of the statement. Think about your store. Your online business. Your hospital. Your bank. Your sports team or club.

Now read this statement again: “Effective campaigns to measure and improve customer experience require individualized attention and an increased response speed.”

This fact is NOTHING NEW!

It applies to your storefront, your web, your phone response systems, and – yes – social media. Social media may set an expectation for more immediacy since people using that vehicle are part of a demographic typically looking for quick information and response. Also, from the company’s perspective, since social media can “go viral” to many hundreds or thousands of people quickly, there is a need to address issues fast to maintain the brand and minimize customer churn.

But the core point applies throughout any business; it goes beyond social media. If you want to measure and improve your customer’s experience, get to know your customer as an individual. Communicate with them as an individual. Respond to them quickly…as an individual.

Integrate Social Media and Customer Service in your business, but when you do it, keep in mind that you’re not using Social Media just to promote and sell to existing clients.

You’re doing it to serve your customer as an individual.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

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