municipal | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 9

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

Structured for Service?

Posted on in Business Advice, Government, Healthcare, Sports Please leave a comment

Yet another company is caring about customer service, and this one is an Australian telco – Telstra. The organization is trying to get rid of its reputation for horrible customer service by – in part – creating a combined structure for its sales and service areas. According to a Wall Street Journal article, Telstra wants to “improve service, win customers, simplify processes and build new growth businesses.”

In short, it’s restructuring for the money. Who knows today if it will work for tomorrow, but the attempt has some key points that need to be addressed.

First, your organizational structure has a HUGE impact on customer service. We see this all the time with hospitals and pro sports teams alike. Two different departments talk to the same customer (i.e., patient or season ticket holder) at two different times. Does one department know what the customer just communicated to another department? Think “shift change” on a hospital unit or a handoff of a new sale to a season ticket account representative on a sports team. Is the organization structured for responsiveness and seamless communication?

The article also talks about how structures impact processes. If you’ve ever tried to get a permit to renovate a building or to add a deck to your home, you know about which I’m referring. How many different places do you have to go, people do you have to interact with, information sources you have to research to get the “okay” to do the work? The structure of most local governments emphasizes the efficiency of the siloed department above the efficiency of the overall process from the customer’s perspective.

To improve customer service, look at your structures and processes. Where do they hinder Service Excellence?

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/


The President is Pro-Customer Service – What This Tells Us

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In the article Obama Calls for ‘Customer Service’ Improvements in Federal Agencies, it’s noted how the President signed an Executive Order “mandating that each agency consult with OMB to develop a plan within 180 days to improve the user experience of its customers.” At least some component of the plan involves leveraging technology for customer service improvements.

Now we could delve into the political reasons for a President addressing customer service, but that’s not the focus of this post. The focus here is what we can learn from their approach.

The government is typically not an early adopter of new business trends and technology, but the article points out that the benefit of that is that it can look at what’s worked (best practices) and what hasn’t worked in private industry to learn from the outcomes of others. So this is Lesson One – don’t rely on your own smarts when there are probably others (in similar industries or situations) who may have already blazed a trail, identified what works and what does. Find best practice organizations and learn from them.

Much of the Federal Government’s initiatives are focused on internally sharing information on the customer (i.e., you and me), becoming more integrated from a data-standpoint to become more efficient internally and consistent and responsive externally. This is Lesson Two. At some point, you have to look at all the systems, all that data that you have organizationally that relates to your customer and make sure it’s shared internally, easily accessible internally, fresh and accurate. You have to see a common picture of your customer no matter where you are in the organization.

Find best practices from others, and find a way to have all the siloed pieces of your organization sharing what they know about your customer. It can improve efficiencies, quality, and – oh yeah – 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/


When Contracts are Ending, Decisions are Pending

Posted on in Business Advice, Government, Sports Please leave a comment

In the recent article Landlords must focus on customer service, landlords in Nottingham, England note how they are focused more and more on customer service. With the down economy, they’ve been forced to shorten the length of leases, which means the customer’s decision to stay or go is made much more quickly and frequently. According to Anna Kirk of King Sturge, “tenants, in the main, hold the balance of power.”

So the customer holds the power. The customer makes the decision. The customer – your revenue stream – has leverage. For a landlord, the tenant’s leverage increases as the length of the lease decreases.

Likewise, for economic development agencies who have a business retention and expansion program, when local businesses’ leases are up, that’s an opportunity for them to move.

Similarly, when a season ticket holder for a sports organization comes to the end of the season, they have to decide whether or not to renew.

The point is that – whether with the landlord, for a local municipality, or for a pro sports team – when contracts are ending, decisions are pending. Revenue streams are not permanent; you have to work to make them continue. You have to work to build relationships and value during the contract term so that you’re not having to sell so hard at the end.

Having a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month contract with a client should be looked at as a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month opportunity to build rapport, relationship, trust, and credibility. You should be executing a plan during that timeframe to result in a renewal at the end.

So what’s your plan?

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/