personalize | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

“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

Care Enough to Give Them a Heads Up - 1/30/24


Nothing bad at all might happen.  Every day in the office could seem like every other day.  Sights and sounds and smells might continue to be the same.  But we have a lot of construction going on around our offices, and the building manager knows the type of work Read more

Be Better than AI Customer Service - 1/23/24


There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers. The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds. There are clear Read more

Recognize the Situation, and Pivot - 1/16/24


The customer has a complaint, or they may have an important question about an order or their account.  You may be talking to them in an emergency room, in the lobby of the government building, on the phone, or in a video conversation.  And in many of these Moments Read more

Sharpen Your Service Delivery - 1/9/24


You work so hard at being responsive and providing high quality information.  You work hard at fixing problems.  But is your delivery…dull? I’m not saying that it has to be exciting, but let’s think of the word “exciting.”  It means that something’s interesting, has energy, is positive.  Just by its Read more

Make Empathy Your Superpower - 1/2/24


I was facilitating a Service Excellence Training class for a Higher Ed client in the Northeast several years back.  As I was walking through the portions of our technique for defusing the angry customer, I talked about empathy.  I talked about accepting responsibility. Immediately, one of the hands in the Read more

Holiday Poem 2023 - 12/26/23


The days are getting longer, The skies are getting brighter. Festivities behind us, And festivities before us.   There’s ups and downs and change coming, And we can’t predict when or where. There’s challenges and joys and opportunities around, Of which you may or may not be aware.   But one thing we know as we look at each Read more

Refresh, Rejuvenate, Refocus - 12/19/23


It’s that time of year.  We’re going 100 miles an hour, and holiday time is upon us.  We not only have all the work to do, but we somehow have less time to do it.  We somehow have other things that are of competing interest, and even though those Read more

A Story of Willie and Aubrey – 2/8/22

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

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 the shop.  Aubrey was greeted immediately by Willie, the shop owner.  Her first words were “Hi, I’m Aubrey Matthews.”  That’s all she had to say.

Willie was immediately excited, as he recognized the name and instantly knew that this was a long-distance customer.  They had never met, but Willie was so excited to meet Aubrey face-to-face and to talk.  They chatted and walked around the store together.  Though Willie had never met Aubrey and never heard her voice, he instantly knew who she was – a treasured customer.

Willie cared enough to know Aubrey’s name, her preferences, her “story.”  It made a huge impression on Aubrey, and Aubrey bought several items that day as well.

Now, what’s the lesson?

When you interact with a customer, don’t just think about their order or issue – think about THEM.  Who is the person you’re speaking with – what’s their story?

When you complete a call or transaction, document some of the personal side of the customer (Were they rushed, emotional, have some upcoming event?  What did you learn about them personally?).

When you then initiate a contact with a customer, don’t just consider the issue or service you’re going to discuss, consider the characteristics of the customer you’ll be talking with, as well.  Don’t view it as “Company” and “Prospect.”  View it as Willie and Aubrey.

Engage the customer as a unique individual.

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Tailor to the Type – 5/25/21

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

Every customer is different.  We need to look at each customer as unique, because they feel that they and their situation are unique.

But even when you have that individual focus, there are a few basic philosophies of great customer service that apply to certain customer types:

  • If they’re upset, listen.
  • If they’re new, learn.
  • If they’re long-term, appreciate.

 
When people are upset, they want to feel that you care, like you truly want to help.  But when you interrupt or argue, you’re not allowing them to vent and blow off steam.  You’re not allowing them to make their point.  You’re conveying that you don’t care.  If they’re upset, listen.

When a customer is new, you want to begin developing a relationship, and as we often say, it’s easier to have a relationship with someone you know than with someone you don’t know.  Be inquisitive.  Ask questions.  Why did they shop with you?  What do they need?  What do they look for in an organization like yours?  If they’re new, learn.

When you’ve had a customer for a period of time – a recurring customer, they want to feel like you value their past purchases, their business…like you value them.  Get to know their name; be patient; reference past positive interactions.  Say “Thank You” over and over again – they deserve it!  If they’re long-term, appreciate.

Know what type of customer you’re engaging, and refine your approach.

Tailor Based on Customer Type.

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