operations | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

When You Know More Than They Do - 7/19/22


It was 95 degrees outside.  That’s not too bad when you’re inside and enjoying the air conditioning; but when Rachel’s A/C went out, in came Rachel’s worry.  Luckily, she knew the company to call, and a technician from Acme HVAC (fake name, real company) came out the next morning. Rachel Read more

Give Them a Vote

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In the Seattle Times article “Starting with citizen priorities builds a better budget in Redmond,” the Mayor of Redmond, WA, wrote about the local government’s budgeting process. While that’s not normally a cause for a customer service posting, the method described in the article (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2013081400_guest06marchione.html?prmid=op_ed) WAS customer-focused.

They inquired from the citizens what was most important to them in terms of the City environment. There were 6 priorities noted, and they were outcomes-oriented (“a vibrant business community; a clean environment; greater community connections; infrastructure investments to keep up with growth; a safe city; and a responsible government.”). To address these priorities, the City began focusing on customer service – and began to solicit employee suggestions to improve operations and expenditures.

The article continues to talk on about all the good they’ve accomplished, and I’m sure those details can be debated, but I won’t go there – this isn’t a political blog.

Where I will go is to the lesson learned from Redmond. There are times when your organization (like now for many companies) cannot be all things to all people. There are times when you can’t provide every service your customers want or every perk your employees desire. There are times when you have to say “No.” But one of the best ways to prioritize is to involve the people that will be impacted by the priorities you set.

If it’s a decision about a service your organization provides, bring customers into the decision-making process.

If it’s a decision about internal operations, the work environment, or employee motivation, bring employees into the decision-making process.

It’s easier to feel more confident that you made the right decision for the stakeholder if the stakeholder was a part of the decision.

Make customers and employees part of the process in making decisions that will impact them.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more information at: http://www.cssamerica.com/

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/