knowledge | 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

To Improve, Understand Why You Do What You Do – 10/19/21

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In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says that habits form at the intersection of desire, skills, and knowledge.  Desire is the WANT TO do something.  Skills is the HOW TO do something.  Knowledge is a combination of the WHAT TO do and WHY TO do it.

Many of those who are best at serving others, who are best at customer service, have the desire to help others.  They have the desire to meet a need, to resolve an issue, or to just engage people and do something for others.

In our professional lives, we hope to build our skill set, we go through training, watch webinars, read, and learn from co-workers and mentors to build our skill set.

To build our knowledge, we learn policies and procedures and people and places and products and services.

Understanding the Why

But the one area of this habit-forming approach that is often neglected – or at least not considered enough – is the “why to.”

And yet, the why to is often the most important thing.  It notes the purpose of what we’re doing.  It notes the potential benefit of our actions and our attitudes.  It suggests the key reason for the habit we have or the habits we’re hoping to form.

So, think about the habits you have formed or want to form.  Maybe it’s a habit of how you greet somebody or how and when you respond to messages.  Maybe it’s a habit of how you plan or how you organize.  Maybe it’s the mindset you take when you’re dealing with an angry customer.  Maybe it’s a habit of who you share information with or who you don’t share information with in certain circumstances.

Now take a step back, and ask yourself the why question.  Why do you greet people like you do?  Why do you respond to messages the way you do and in the timeframe you do?  Why do you plan or organize the way you do?  What do you have a certain mindset when dealing with certain people?  Why do you share information with some people but not other people?

If you want to change a habit, want to form a new habit, really want to improve the things you routinely do, the actions you routinely take, the attitudes you routinely have, then start with asking yourself why you’re doing those things today.  By understanding yourself a little bit better and the reasons behind the habits, it’s easier to see whether and why you should change those behaviors.

To improve, understand why you do what you do.

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Show Your Confidence – 9/7/21

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“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”

To do something great, you need to have confidence in yourself.  That confidence often comes from positive experience, preparation, understanding what has happened and could happen, and having the knowledge and resources and training to address it when it does happen.

If you want to do a great job in your role in service or in delivering a customer experience or dealing with the irate customer, remember your positive experiences, prepare, understand what happened and why and that it could happen again.  Know your resources, and train with others so that you can address even the greatest of undertakings.

“With self-confidence fulfilled, you’ll find that folk have confidence in you.”

While having confidence is important, when we’re working with customers, it’s also exceptionally important to show your confidence.  People don’t always take what you say or the information you provide at face value. Oftentimes, they judge the quality of the information and the credibility of the person providing the information based on how that information is delivered.

If you want the customer to accept what you say, have faith in what you decide, and trust the direction you provide, it needs to be delivered with confidence.

Confidence is often conveyed by presenting something with a focus on the other person.  It’s conveyed with clarity of thought and well-articulated words.  It’s often conveyed with brief statements as opposed to lengthy and rambling narratives.  And it’s conveyed with your nodding of the head or with your strong yet conversational tone.

Set yourself up for customer service success.  Invest in yourself so that you are confident in the work you do.  Then present yourself in such a way that the customer shares your confidence.

Show your confidence.

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Get Your Guru On – 8/25/20

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You may have heard of management gurus – these people who seemed to know all and be all, to have the wisdom of 1000 leaders.  Maybe you’ve heard it in your industry as a guru in sports psychology or the master of economics or sociology or human behavior.

And so you don’t roll your eyes at the thought of you being a guru, it’s always helpful to understand the origin of the word.  Upanishads in 10th century to 6th century BC said “The syllable ‘gu’ means darkness, the syllable ‘ru’ means dispeller; he is therefore called a ‘guru’ because he dispels darkness.”

I really like this definition – it goes away from the modern interpretation that gurus are far more brilliant than any of us could ever imagine being, that they are somehow superior intellectually to others.

The Situations with Darkness

With Upanishads’ definition in mind, how can we become gurus in our respective jobs?  The definition talks about gurus being people who can dispel darkness.  So to be a guru, you don’t have to have knowledge far exceeding others.  You just have to have a given situation where you can dispel darkness.

Maybe it’s dealing with the sports fan who is unsure whether to invest in tickets for games this year.  You could be dealing with the local contractor who is struggling with tasks he’s done 100 times because he’s so overwhelmed by economic concerns.  You could be dealing with a patient or a family member whose anxiety and fear of the unknown is understandably high.

How to Bring Light

Einstein once said that darkness is an absence of light, so how can you bring light in these situations?

You bring it in by listening to the other person.  You bring it in by truly trying to understand what they’re going through, even if you’re not going through it yourself.  You try to identify what is causing that darkness and see if there are some solutions that can be brought to light.  You try to bring some lightness in tone to the situation – often people are so concerned and burdened that just the positive/pleasant/upbeat tone and some levity, appropriately delivered, can bring light in the situation.

Being a guru can mean dispelling darkness.  It can be you enlightening them on new information.  It can be you bringing to light something that’s unknown to them, that may work for them.  It can be you being light at times in the tone you take.

To truly be a guru, understand what could be causing their darkness and dispel it by enlightening them, bringing solutions to light, and bringing a lighter tone whenever possible.

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