phrases | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 2

“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

Be Grateful for the Good – 11/21/23

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

There are several different ways you could define gratitude, but I like the simple definition:  Being grateful for the good.  There’s a lot to be upset about, a lot to be frustrated with, there’s a lot to lament about in our customer service roles.  But even in these challenges, we can also find some good.

So, in this time of the Thanksgiving Holiday in the USA, here are some things for which we can all give thanks, and we can feel and convey gratitude…

I’m thankful for the customer who’s patient with a long wait on the phone or in a line.  I’m thankful for the person with the good attitude despite the complaint that they’re sharing with me.  

I’m thankful for the co-worker who lets me vent when things go wrong.  I appreciate co-workers who educate me on a job so that I can do it better, even though it’s not their job to be my informal trainer.

I appreciate the bosses who give team members support without micromanaging, and those individuals who are great models to follow.

I enjoy laughing with co-workers and customers; sometimes it’s about co-workers and customers, but it’s always in good fun.

I’m grateful that I have the technology to make my job more efficient.  I have gratitude for the kindness of others who think about little things I’ve said in the past and remember them, whether they’re my individual likes or my personal concerns.

I appreciate that people in customer service usually think first about what’s best for others before thinking about what’s easiest for themselves.  And I appreciate you all for subscribing to these tips and reading them every week.

As I noted earlier, gratitude is, in part, something you feel, often due to the kindness of others.  But gratitude is also something you can convey.  So, to those you are grateful for, tell them of your appreciation for their kindness.

Let’s all be grateful for the good.

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Sport Some Customer Perks – 11/14/23

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

Of all the industries we work with, the one that talks most about providing perks and benefits to its customers is pro sports.  We’ve worked with NASCAR, MLS, the NBA, and a little bit with the NFL and the NHL.

And most of the teams or organizations will provide their season ticket holders, their account holders with perks. They’re doing this to help the fans feel special but also to engender some loyalty.  Loyalty leads to retention and growth, and, therefore, the strategy is to provide perks to help drive long-term revenue.

If your organization is in healthcare or local government, if you’re in finance, education, manufacturing, retail, or some other key industry, there are still lessons to be learned from these sports perks.  Here are some examples.

Sports clubs offer dedicated client service representatives to their account holders. Your organization could have a dedicated account rep for your customers, as well.  Why tell the customer to call the toll-free number when they could call Janie instead?

Teams provide online account management for dedicated fans. Your organization could have a web portal (or sections of your website) dedicated only to your key customers.  Premium access for your premium people!

Clubs have phone numbers for certain categories of account holders, prioritizing those calls.  Could your company fast-track some process for your key clients?

Sports organizations allow free access to forward tickets to families and friends.  You could provide free access to online webinars or other resources that may be valuable to your customers.

The clubs will offer single game tickets to season ticket holders before releasing them to the general public.  When your organization launches a new service at your facility, you could provide an open house or first access to your longer-term clients.

Clubs offer complimentary tickets for some away games. Your organization could partner with local businesses to provide complimentary products to the customers.

Teams provide invitations to exclusive events.  You could set aside a certain number of seats to grand openings or holiday events just for some key customers.

Perks and benefits can be useful tools in building loyalty and relationships.  Use these examples from sports, and determine how to best apply them to your business to deepen relationships, retention, and revenue.

Sport Some Customer Perks.

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Customer Service Lessons from the E.R. – 11/7/23

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

Every industry is interesting in its own way, and healthcare is definitely no exception.  We’ve done many different types of studies and projects in the emergency rooms at hospitals, and it’s interesting to look back at some of the results of focus groups we conducted with the E.R. patients.

We asked about their experience, everything from the admission through triage, care they received all the way through the discharge and billing.  For this Tip of the Week, so that it applies to everyone reading, let’s focus on some of the ways that patients evaluated employees:

Talk On My Level: When the staff and physicians would speak with the patients “on their level” and were not condescending, that was greatly appreciated.  Patients liked when a nurse talked with a child in terms they could understand and in an appropriate manner, or they spoke more slowly and clearly with a senior.

Don’t Judge Me: Patients were concerned about being judged by the staff – where patients were unsure if they truly needed emergency care or they didn’t want to be perceived as being there unnecessarily.  When staff conveyed that patients were there for a reason (they made a good decision to go to the E.R.), that was positive.  With one participant, a physician directly doubted/argued the need for the patient to be in the E.R., and this left a highly negative impression.

Convey You Care: Staff and physicians were generally perceived positively if they conveyed they cared about the patient.  The way patients felt that the personnel cared was when service was quick, personnel asked questions, patients weren’t rushed, and the staff and physicians showed empathy.

Think about these takeaways when considering how your customers view you. Do you speak in a way appropriate for that particular customer, making communications clear but not condescending?  Do you avoid judging the other person and arguing about their request?  Do you try to provide service quickly, ask questions, avoid rushing the other person, and convey a little empathy?

If so, they’ll likely appreciate you more.  They’ll feel respected, and are much more likely to respect you, in turn.

Talk on the customer’s level, avoid judging, and convey you care.

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