municipality | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22

The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22

The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22

If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22

As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22

We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22

I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21

The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21

Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21

Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21

Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to 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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