morale | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

When You Know More Than They Do - 7/19/22


It was 95 degrees outside.  That’s not too bad when you’re inside and enjoying the air conditioning; but when Rachel’s A/C went out, in came Rachel’s worry.  Luckily, she knew the company to call, and a technician from Acme HVAC (fake name, real company) came out the next morning. Rachel 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

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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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