municipality | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22

Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22

Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

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

To Streamline or To Serve? Yes, and Yes

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

Many municipalities are taking on the dual goals of streamlining operations and improving customer service. It’s an interesting set of goals since so many people in business assume that improving customer service means adding people, adding services, and adding costs.

But customer service done right should facilitate cost reduction. It should do this primarily because of two different outcomes that effective customer service should achieve. The first is that improved customer service should reduce complaints and redundant contacts from customers. Processes are a huge part of customer service, and if the property bill is right, the resident is less likely to call to complain. If reserving the park shelter online worked, there is no need to place a complaint call to the municipality. If the caller calls in and gets to a person without an undue wait, they’re not going to abandon the call and make a second call. Doing things right the first time reduces contacts and other efforts that result from customer complaints.

The second way that great customer service facilitates cost reduction is that customer service done right implies having standardized and efficient processes which allow less room for individual employees to do things wrong, for errors to occur, for rework to be required. Customer service done right means that the self-service processes which customers use are simple, self-evident, timely, and attractive enough that the customer often prefers doing their own work over contacting an employee to do it for them.

Streamlining operations and improving customer service can co-exist…they SHOULD co-exist.

If your organization can do it right the first time, and if you can make your processes quick, simple, efficient, and high quality, you’ll notice customers are happier, and the workload will decrease.

It’s the win-win-win that customer, company, and employees all want.

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