moment of truth | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24


Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24


We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24


When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

Care Enough to Give Them a Heads Up - 1/30/24


Nothing bad at all might happen.  Every day in the office could seem like every other day.  Sights and sounds and smells might continue to be the same.  But we have a lot of construction going on around our offices, and the building manager knows the type of work Read more

Be Better than AI Customer Service - 1/23/24


There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers. The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds. There are clear Read more

Recognize the Situation, and Pivot - 1/16/24


The customer has a complaint, or they may have an important question about an order or their account.  You may be talking to them in an emergency room, in the lobby of the government building, on the phone, or in a video conversation.  And in many of these Moments Read more

Sharpen Your Service Delivery - 1/9/24


You work so hard at being responsive and providing high quality information.  You work hard at fixing problems.  But is your delivery…dull? I’m not saying that it has to be exciting, but let’s think of the word “exciting.”  It means that something’s interesting, has energy, is positive.  Just by its Read more

Make Empathy Your Superpower - 1/2/24


I was facilitating a Service Excellence Training class for a Higher Ed client in the Northeast several years back.  As I was walking through the portions of our technique for defusing the angry customer, I talked about empathy.  I talked about accepting responsibility. Immediately, one of the hands in the Read more

Holiday Poem 2023 - 12/26/23


The days are getting longer, The skies are getting brighter. Festivities behind us, And festivities before us.   There’s ups and downs and change coming, And we can’t predict when or where. There’s challenges and joys and opportunities around, Of which you may or may not be aware.   But one thing we know as we look at each Read more

Refresh, Rejuvenate, Refocus - 12/19/23


It’s that time of year.  We’re going 100 miles an hour, and holiday time is upon us.  We not only have all the work to do, but we somehow have less time to do it.  We somehow have other things that are of competing interest, and even though those Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations – 1/18/22

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

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 customer – where they’re coming in irate, upset, or complaining.

In that short moment-of-truth, your response can trigger their emotion, even if they’re not yet there.  So it’s important to be aware of potential signs of trouble:

  • They have been waiting a long time.
  • They’re looking at their watch.
  • They mention a previous conversation about an issue or unresolved need.
  • They’re LOUD!
  • They say “I expect
  • They state that they’ve been directed to several other employees or departments before you.
  • They use (and often emphasize) words like: problem, issue, mad, upset, angry.

 
It’s at times like these – situations like described above – that our service recovery senses and skills need to kick in.  We need to make sure we’re not making the situation worse with our original response and that we’re immediately focused on listening, empathy, and self-awareness of our body language at that moment-of-truth.

Identify the signs of a need for service recovery.

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Customer Service Experts have a Presence – 7/20/21

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Standouts in the sports, entertainment, business, and political fields are sometimes said to have “an air about them.”  Unfortunately, that definition of air sometimes is perceived as an air of superiority or an air of condescension or something that doesn’t always have the most positive connotations.

Well, the greats in customer service have more of a presence than an air, and that presence is a presence of mind.  It’s a phrase we don’t hear as much about as we used to, but it’s all about being in-the-moment.  It is being able – based on the unique circumstances of this specific situation at this point in time – to know what to say or not to say.  It’s about knowing what to do or not to do. It’s about thinking of alternatives and options and resources, all while maintaining your emotions and helping to manage the customer’s emotions.

This is one of the most difficult things to do in customer service.  It’s being able to be agile in your approach at any given instance based on the situation.

Some people are really good at customer service, but if the circumstances go off script or require thinking out of the box, the conversation can go awry.  Maybe they have difficulty with the emotions or are hesitant to or unable to come up with the alternatives.

If you want to be GREAT at customer service, know your resources.  Know your co-workers.  Know your policies and procedures.  Know the alternatives and the options and the next steps you can share.  And above all, know your customers.  Ask enough questions so that you can head them in the direction that’s going to work for their unique instance.

To be great, cultivate your presence of mind by building your knowledge, adding to your service recovery toolkit, and practicing for the most difficult of situations so that those that are routinely tough are easier for you to navigate.

Cultivate your customer service presence of mind.

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A Wait is a Moment of Truth – 4/27/21

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Moments of Truth in customer service can be conversations with a customer about some complaint that they have, they can be interactions when they’re buying something in the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant, they can be questions about an order that the customer calls in to the company, or they can be brief interactions in an emergency room or in the lobby of a government building.

During these interactions, there are often waits. At the fast food restaurant, the employee at the window is waiting for the food to be prepared. In the E.R., the employee waits for the room to be cleaned for the next patient.  When the customer calls about an order, there could be wait time while the employee researches the order and the customer’s question.

During these Moments of Truth, the employees are often waiting or doing an activity while the customer is present.  Yet, too many employees only communicate with the customer when the employee needs or conveys information. The employee doesn’t realize the importance of keeping the communication going during the rest of the Moment of Truth.

We need to view these periods of silence as opportunities to build rapport, as opportunities to improve the customer experience.  While research is being done or the wait is underway, we can simply say nothing and create a cold, impersonal experience for the customer – where inactivity can create customer doubt, frustration, or questions.

Or we could engage the customer.  We could talk to the customer about their situation, describe what is being done during the wait, educate them on some aspect of the product/service/facility/website, or note what activities may follow.  We could use these times of waiting and research as times to build rapport and relationship.

The next time you’re with the customer and the customer is waiting, keep the communication going.  Turn wait times into part of a positive customer experience.

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