mystery shop | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 5

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

“I Don’t Have Customers”

Posted on in World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

The meeting was going well, with a great deal of interaction between the 150+ people in attendance. Everyone was engaged and interested in learning and improving. The focus of the presentation was the results of a recent Mystery Shopping project that assessed various aspects of the organization’s performance from the customer’s perspective. The evaluation provided insight into the company’s web design, its financial processes, its sales and service functions, and its telephone systems among many other aspects of performance.

When the floor was opened to questions, one of the attendees said the following: “Listen. I make products. Why are we talking about this? I don’t have any customers.”

A loud gasp rippled through the audience. An argument ensued over whether that attendee had customers, who paid for the products, and how important service really is to this company. That conversation was a wake-up call to the organization.

We shouldn’t take for granted that everyone understands customer service is important. Based on this story, are we really sure that everyone believes that they even have customers?! When we’re trying to promote customer service within our organization, or get additional funding to retain more customers, or request resources to be more responsive in our service delivery, we’re often met with the answer “No.” We make assumptions as to why we hear “No,” and our assumptions often suggest that “we’re not getting our respect” or others “are pets of the executives.”

But in reality, we need to take on the responsibility to truly find out WHY in order to figure out HOW to overcome these obstacles. Start with the basics – who do the executives consider to be their customers? Is it important to the decision-makers to keep customers? What do the decision-makers consider to be the reasons why customers leave? Do those executives feel that people stay with a business for the same reason they start with a business?

That last question alone is a major red flag to any organization. It implies that advertising and marketing brought this customer in, so advertising and marketing are what will keep this customer as well.

Before you wonder why service isn’t “King” at your organization, start with the basics.

Ask those in-charge “Who’s Your Customer?”

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?”

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website!

Are Your People and Processes Stressed?

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Growing too fast? That is actually a problem some organizations are having. Even in this tough economy, community colleges, for example, are busting at the seams.

With unemployment high, getting low-cost, high quality targeted education is in more demand than in any time in recent memory. But just like throwing a baseball as fast as possible can highlight flaws in a pitcher’s delivery or swinging a golf club as fast as you can highlights flaws in the swing, so does having tremendous student demand highlight operational flaws for community colleges.

We were recently contacted by a community college which is engaging us to mystery shop their registration and financial aid processes. Their concern is that their processes and people are being pushed by the new volumes, and they’re also concerned about the customer experience that results. What are employee attitudes like? Are staff patient or rushed? How long are the waits, and how does the organization manage waits? Are there unnecessary delays and paperwork in the process? How many steps are in the processes, and how long do they take?

There are many questions to answer – questions that become more and more important as organizations’ people and processes are stretched to the limit.

Where are your people and processes stretched too far? Maybe it’s not because you’re growing too fast; in this economy, maybe it’s because you’re trying to do more and more with less and less.

Find out if this new normal in today’s economy has created a new experience for your customers.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more information at:

Check out our new customer service book at

Take the HCAHPS Test

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

Will the government be getting into healthcare with the proposed healthcare reform legislation? That’s probably not the best question to ask, because the government is already in healthcare in many ways. I’m sure we’re all familiar with Medicare and Medicaid, but since this is a customer service and retention-related blog, have you heard of HCAHPS?

The government is already in healthcare in the customer service/satisfaction aspect of the business. The federal government has required that hospitals survey patients using standardized tools to gauge satisfaction with multiple areas of the patient experience including communication, responsiveness, information provided, processes, etc. Then this information is posted on the internet for any current or prospective patient to review to compare one hospital to another.

What if this approach related to other organizations? What if two retail stores had their customer satisfaction ratings posted side-by-side? Or maybe you could compare all restaurants in your region in an evaluation – side-by-side – of key characteristics of the food, the environment, the price, the customer service. How about comparing 3 banks or 4 car dealerships or 5 animal hospitals or 6 grocery stores?

If you were one of those retailers or restaurants or banks or grocery stores being objectively compared for all your current or prospective customers to see, how would you do?

It’s a scary proposition, but if you’re not willing to consider it, believe me, your customers make this evaluation every day.

Think of this as the HCAHPS test. How would you objectively compare on key characteristics of the customer experience with your competitors? If you have no idea, then you might want to consider mystery shopping, having a research firm such as ours to shop your organization…and your competitors.

Make sure you know how you measure up.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more information at: