listen | 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

How to Rise to the Occasion – 8/8/23

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

In the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Mr. Magorium – played by Dustin Hoffman – tells his protégé that “Your life is an occasion.  Rise to it.”

He’s conveying a big picture life lesson – don’t let fear and apprehension keep you from living.

Rising to the occasion is also something we need to do in serving others.  Maybe it’s not as dramatic an occasion as living life to your fullest, overcoming the fears and the apprehension.  But it’s still important.  Rising to the occasion in a customer service encounter suggests that there is an occasion where the basics, the routine response, the status quo won’t suffice.

Maybe the situation doesn’t warrant the muted response, or the customer doesn’t respond to our typical approach, so we have to RISE!

How to Rise

So, how do you rise to the occasion in customer service?  It’s about ratcheting up the quality of your performance.

Can you respond more quickly, respond with more urgency on the customer’s behalf?  Take action now.  Make them a priority now.

Can you take ownership of a situation and shepherd it forward until it’s complete?  Don’t look for the handoff to others, look for the next step you can take together with them, the document you can work on together, the process you can complete together, the final step you can identify and act on together.

Can you meet their specific need with a specific solution?  Identify their issue, need, or goal.  Then put on your consulting hat and outline a specific solution to address that need.

Rising to the occasion is about the now, taking action together, and tailoring your solution to their situation.

When you are in an occasion of serving the customer, and they need expedited or extra support, tailored support, a final conclusion – Rise to the Occasion!

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Thanks for Reading – 8/1/23

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

My company, Customer Service Solutions, Inc., just celebrated our 25th Anniversary!  We love the work we do for our clients, and we definitely love our clients.  We’ve developed many friendships over the years, and we’ve tried to provide consistently high quality and personal support for whatever may be their particular goals or needs or issues.

For about 24 of those 25 years, we’ve written these tips of the week.  So, thank you for being a Tip fan, and Thank You for Reading!

CSS conducts a lot of research for our clients, and among all the different types of research we provide, we’ve conducted well over 1,000 surveys.

Sometimes these are web-based surveys where – in lieu of or in addition to completing the survey – the customer or account holder will e-mail us directly, since we’re the survey administrator.

If they have a question or a need or an issue to be addressed, we always reply.  It’s amazing how many times that survey respondent replies to our reply by saying: Thanks for reading! By saying: I can’t believe somebody actually responded. By saying: Thanks for taking my issue seriously.

It’s interesting that the customer is showing appreciation just for somebody reading their message.  Just for getting a response.  Just for feeling like they are being heard.

It’s amazing how simply responding – simply allowing people to feel heard – has a tremendous impact on how the customer feels.  And as Maya Angelou once said:  People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

And it makes me feel great that you all have read all these tips, and hopefully they’ve helped you a little bit over the years.

Thanks for Reading!

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Be the Good Doctor – 6/20/23

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

Ginny liked the interaction with her doctor.  She enjoyed chatting with him.  Ginny was a grandma, had been dealing with doctors all her life, and some of the interactions and experiences were better than others.

Was this doctor experienced?  Yes.  Was he intelligent?  Yes.  Was he knowledgeable of what she was going through and the potential remedies?  Again, yes.

So, when Ginny talked about why she liked the doctor so much, she could have described those different attributes.  Instead, she described his openness as the reason she enjoyed him so much.  He was as willing to convey what he didn’t yet know as well as what he did know.  He was willing to ask questions to learn more.  He was willing to listen to what Ginny said.

Your customers are often in a similar situation to Ginny when they’re dealing with you.  You are like the doctor.  Compared to the customer, you’re far more knowledgeable about issues, symptoms of problems, remedies.  You’re much more knowledgeable about the options and the pros and cons of each.  You have a lot more experience in dealing with particular situations, as well.

But oftentimes when customers appreciate you, only part of the appreciation results from the quality of the information and guidance you provide.  The rest of what may cause them to appreciate you is how open you are to ask questions, how open you are to admit what you don’t know and what additional information you need.  They may appreciate you because of your willingness to listen and be patient with them, even though you’re 95% certain that you know the best course of action in their situation.

The next time you’re working with a customer and trying to determine the best way to address their issue or goal, convey the openness of Ginny’s physician.

Be the Good Doctor.

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