listen | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22


The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22


The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22


If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22


As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22


We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22


I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21


The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21


Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21


Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21


Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to Read more

Dear Customer, What do you expect? – 8/31/21

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

Studies show that 40% of customer dissatisfaction was because the company didn’t meet the customer’s expectations.  The company overpromised and under delivered, or the company didn’t even do the bare minimum of what the customer expected.

To avoid dissatisfying your customer, meet or exceed their expectation.  Simple, right?  It only gets simple if first you know the customer’s expectation.  So, when you’re interacting with your customer, here are some good questions to ask to uncover your customer’s expectations about the product or service you’re delivering:

  • For WHO, ask: Will you need guidance in setting this up/getting this to work? Reason to Ask:  If you’re providing a service, you’ll identify what they expect in terms of educational support.  Make sure they know what to do with the product or service you’ll provide.  This question is all about them.
  • For WHEN, ask: By when do you need this service? Reason to Ask:  If you’re shipping a product, you want to know when they need it delivered so you don’t provide it later than needed.  This question is about timing.
  • For WHERE, ask: Where would you like this product delivered (or this service performed)? Reason to Ask:  If they want something delivered, you’ll identify where they’d like it delivered, how they’d like it packaged, etc.  Don’t deliver to the wrong location; don’t package the service/product incorrectly.  This question is about location.
  • For HOW, ask: How do you intend to use this? Reason to Ask:  Make sure you understand how they plan to apply your service/product to their need.  This question is about the product’s use or benefit.

 
These questions address the “Who, When, Where, and How” of “What” service is being delivered.

Identify the expectation; deliver the satisfaction.

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Listen Here…or Hear – 8/24/21

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To listen or not to listen?  That is the question…

Okay, so I’m no Shakespeare, but I like to quote the masters – Shakespeare, Senge, Seinfeld – whenever I get the chance.

Today’s topic is listening versus hearing.  There are distinct differences.  It’s important to go beyond hearing what somebody says if you want to truly convey that you care about what they’re saying.

You hear the wind, but do you listen to it?  You hear the laughter, but do you listen to it?  You hear the voices and the background music and the reporter on the television, but do you listen to them?

When you’re listening, you’re not only hearing the noise, but you are also seeking to understand the noise or the person or the content or music.  In customer service, hearing may be passive, but listening is active.  People want you to actively understand them based on what they say and how they say it.  And just as much as they want you to listen, they want to perceive that you’re listening to them.

This means that you have to have the eye contact when you’re listening, you nod periodically, and you have to have a total focus with your body language that conveys that you’re attentive to them and thinking about what they’re saying.

To show you’re listening, it helps to convey your understanding of what they’re saying.  So, take notes on what they’re saying, not relying purely on your memory.  Because from the customer’s perspective, it doesn’t matter if you hear them; what matters is that they feel like you are listening to them.

When you are listening, others feel like their comments are appreciated.  They feel like they are of interest to you and valued by you.  They feel…important.

The next time you are engaged with a customer in conversation, don’t just hear them out – convey that you’re listening.

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A Lesson in Gratitude – 11/24/20

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Mr. Robinson went to the hardware store with his teenaged son, Steve.  Steve was starting his first woodworking project – building a small coffee table – and needed supplies.  As they walked the aisles, Mr. Robinson and Steve couldn’t find the exact type of wood they wanted, so Mr. Robinson suggested that Steve ask an employee for help.  Steve found an employee walking by, asked for help, and got what he needed.

After the employee walked away, Mr. Robinson told Steve:  You did a good job talking with that gentleman.  Next time, though, thank the employee.

Steve:  Why should I thank the employee for doing his job?

The dad’s temperature started to rise.  It rose because this was his son talking, and why Steve was basically stating a truth, Mr. Robinson felt Steve was missing the bigger picture.

Mr. Robinson:  You thank them because they helped you, because we didn’t waste the next 30 minutes walking up and down every aisle, looking at every bin.  You thank them because – whether they were being paid or not – you show appreciation for others.

This was a teachable moment in the dad’s eyes.  You appreciate others.  Gratitude is not a light switch you just turn on when you’re an employee getting paid to answer a customer’s question, and otherwise turn it off.  Gratitude is an all-the-time thing, whether you’re an employee or a customer.

Mr. Robinson:  People have choices – whether to serve you or not, whether to do it with a good attitude or not, whether to listen to you and ask questions…or not.  You have a choice, too.  And I want you to see the importance of choosing to tell other people thanks.

Let’s make gratitude an all-the-time thing.

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