municipality | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24

When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by 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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