morale | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“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

Don’t Assume Their Motivation – 6/28/22

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

The company was instituting new human resources policies aimed at holding employees accountable for being late to work.  Employee lateness had been rising, and management wanted to make sure they reinforced the need for people to be on time.

At a meeting to roll out the new policies, a leader stood up in front of his staff and said:  The new policy states that if you’re late to work once, you will get a verbal warning.  If you are late to work a second time, you’ll get a written warning.  If you’re late to work 3 times, you have to take a day off without pay.  And for every other day that you’re late, you have to take an additional day off without pay.

One of the young employees raised their hand, and said:  Just to clarify, I only need to be late for work 3 times, and I get to have a day off?  And every other time I’m late, I get another day off?

The leader looked quizzically at the employee, and said:  Yes…uh, that’s correct.

The employee said to himself:  Cool!

One person’s punishment may be another person’s motivation.  One person’s carrot may be another person’s deterrent.

We cannot assume that everybody is wired the same way, with the same things that get them excited, or make them apathetic, or inhibit their behaviors.  Whether we’re talking about people who report to us, peers that we’re trying to influence to change their decision or behavior, or customers who we are trying to get on board and do their part in a process or their part to accomplish a task, we can’t assume everybody’s motivators are the same.

Seek out the other individual’s goal or their preferences or their desires, and let that guide the approach we take to motivating.

Don’t assume their motivation.

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It’s Not Always About the Outcome – 6/21/22

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

We want the satisfied customer.  We want the issue resolved.  We want to be able to fix the error or save the client.  We want to feel good coming out of a conversation, or feel like we have accomplished something special.  We want the “win win.”

But all those great feelings and those accomplishments relate to outcomes.  And all too often, we do not control the outcome.

I did the best I could.

Sometimes we have to give ourselves some grace.  We have to realize that we’re not in control of the customer, our policy, our product, our facility, and oftentimes our process or the attitudes of our co-workers.

But there’s nobody in more control of us, than us.

So, if we do the best we could at preparing for the situation through training and practice and reading and learning and listening to others, we can feel good about that.  If we do the best we could in trying to understand the customer, we can feel good about that.  

If we think of potential solutions and we engage the customer and others to try to figure those out, if we tap into what our systems and our policies and our procedures have to offer, we can feel good about that.

The ultimate outcome or the feelings of others are things that we cannot control.

So, if we want to feel good personally regardless of the outcome, we need to do the best we can.  We can feel good about the effort and the actions, and not feel bad because we couldn’t create the perfect outcome.

Do the best you can to prepare and to engage and to try to help.  And instead of feeling bad about the outcome, try to feel a little bit better about the effort you put in preparing for that moment and putting that preparation into practice.

Feel good that you did the best you could.

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Choose Positivity – 1/2/18

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I had the opportunity to conduct employee focus groups and facilitate staff conversations for two different clients recently, and there was a common theme among all the groups. It’s intuitive, it’s understandable, but I was still surprised to hear the sentiment.

Employees consistently said they wanted to work in a more positive environment. Most of us would think that it’s intuitive that that’s what employees desire. Most would think it’s understandable that staff would share those perspectives. But I was somewhat surprised to hear it. Why?

Because, I sometimes have trouble understanding why people or organizations would consistently be negative, or why they would avoid sharing positives, or why their only form of motivation was criticism.

When people work 40 hours, 60+ hours a week, would they prefer to spend those 8/10/12 hours a day around others who are positive or negative? Would they prefer to be in an environment where they are appreciated? Would they prefer to have a reward for a great job or only punishment for a bad job?

I know that many are motivated to avoid the negative, or to avoid punishment, or not to get marked down or written up. But when you think of a healthy work environment, one where people’s values align to those of the organization, one where people WANT to go above and beyond – you are envisioning more positive organizations.

This is not a Tip just for managers; this is a Tip for you and me – everybody. People want positive reinforcement more than negative. They want optimism more than pessimism. They want “Let’s hope it works” rather than “I doubt it will.”

I’m not saying that we ignore the bad or should all be Pollyannas. What I am saying is that we have a choice in how we respond. We have a choice on what outlook we’ll take about a situation. We have a choice about how we engage others. We have a choice about whether we convey appreciation or just think it. And we have a choice about whether we look for ways to build up a co-worker or team, or we only look for ways to criticize.

When you make a choice, choose positivity.

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