municipal | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 10

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

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

Customer Service Complexity Increasing – Here’s One Reason Why

Posted on in Business Advice, Government 1 Comment

In the Environmental Ladder article “Smart Customer Service for a Smart Grid World,” the writer talks about how most call centers at utilities spend the majority of their customer interactions addressing basic questions about bills, transfers of service, payment plans, etc. But as the utilities’ technology advances such as in the use of the smart grid and real-time data and information shared by consumer and utility alike, things change.

With knowledge comes, power – right? Well the information provided to the consumer, and the choices that the information offers create questions from the educated consumer for the utility. If consumers are more educated on how to manage their power day-to-day, what their consumption is, how to modify power plans, then the more questions they can ask of the customer service representative. The consumer can request more changes; they can better challenge utility decisions.

You see, an educated customer can create work for the business. In the grand scheme of things, this is great. We want consumers educated, having more data upon which to evaluate a service or a supplier. But businesses must realize that more information means that the customer’s expectations will change, their demands will rise, their ability to compare competitive businesses increases.

So businesses need to ensure that their staff understand that the FAQs (frequently asked questions) of the past may no longer apply. And today’s questions may differ from tomorrow’s. Companies need to be more agile in understanding what customers are asking about over the past week and must have plans in place for quick training of staff or quick communications out to consumers to answer those ever-changing FAQs.

Increases in customer knowledge can create increases in complexity for the customer service staff.

Make sure your education and training of your customer service representatives is staying ahead of the education of your customers.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Fearing the Feds…in Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

Let’s keep the government off our backs! That’s the upshot of the article in CIO.com that addressed the mantra of Australian private sector industries struggling to deliver good customer service.

One of the telecommunications executives has heard rumblings from government leaders which suggest that the government is considering mandating that telecoms and ISPs start delivering a certain level or type of customer service. His solution is to get the private sector companies to work together toward improving customer service and reducing complaints – before the government forces them to do so.

Think about your business – imagine if your bank, your hospital, your shop, your university were to get federally mandated guidelines that addressed how or at what level you must deliver customer service.

A nightmare?

Yes, but it’s already happening. Hospitals, for example, will begin to have reimbursement from the Federal Government adjusted based on patient satisfaction scores in the U.S. including the patient’s assessment of their customer service.

The problem with a government mandate is that the business loses control over priorities or actions; the business gains an administrative burden; the business now has an 800-pound gorilla helping to manage it – the Federal Government.

Companies wouldn’t have to worry so much about government intervention if they took the time to measure the link between customer satisfaction, loyalty, word-of-mouth, repeat business, etc. and organizational profits. They wouldn’t be concerned with governmental edicts if they knew what percentage of this year’s revenue came from last year’s customers. They wouldn’t fear the repercussions of the government if they put a dollar value on the cost of the repercussions of their own upset or angry customers.

Put a dollar figure on the value of your customer. Let that number – not the government – be your incentive to improve customer service.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


BRE-vity is the Soul of Wit

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

Do you remember the quote from your high school literature class – “Brevity is the soul of wit”? Basically, Shakespeare meant that clear and intelligent discussion (and wit, of course) usually involves concise wording. In other words, don’t be long-winded. Keep it short. You make better points when you use fewer words.

For Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) organizations, brevity is paramount in data gathering, analysis, reporting, and prioritization. Typically economic development staff in local municipalities, chambers, or other agencies must try to stay on top of what’s going on in hundreds or thousands of local businesses. These BRE groups must do it with limited staffing and resources. So they must be focused, highly prioritized, and efficient. They must have a clear strategy on who to visit versus survey versus monitor using more passive means. They must leverage partnerships, understand when to outsource research, determine ways to gather data on local businesses in as little time as possible, and prioritize.

The analysis of all data collected needs to be as automated as possible, and reporting needs to let a few key metrics (about the company’s jobs/tax/fees impact on the community and its risk of job loss) guide prioritization, actions, and future contacts.

If you’re in an organization that is asked to manage a large client base with a small staff base, learn from BRE organizations.

Focus on how to optimize effort to maximize impact.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/