positive | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

There’s Positivity in Patience - 5/28/24

The employee at the financial services firm was working with a new client on a relatively simple loan.  The documentation was about as clear as it could get to the employee, but the customer had lots of questions.  The employee calmly, clearly, and specifically answered each question.  The meeting Read more

The Goal – A Great Experience - 5/21/24

The following is a narrative of a great experience (people, process, service, facility) at a minor league sporting event – key points that could apply to any business are in bold… Mark and I pulled into the parking lot, excited about the game.  The Slapshots had been on a roll Read more

Your Best Ability is… - 5/14/24

I enjoy watching sports, and I’ve even listened to some sports press conferences over the years, just to hear what coaches are saying.  Basically getting the leadership perspective from the sports industry either out of my interest or curiosity, or to figure out how to apply it to the Read more

A Complaint is a Gift - 5/7/24

A complaint is a gift.  Okay, so the complainer is not always a “gift.”  The customer’s delivery of the complaint is sometimes more like a stocking filled with coal than a vase filled with roses.  But this is why we need to be able to differentiate the complaint from Read more

Mastering Confidence in Customer Service - 4/30/24

It’s not what you said…it’s how you said it. If you’ve ever had someone say this to you, raise your hand.  (I just raised my hand) Usually this is being said when someone is upset with you, but regardless of the reason, that phrase illustrates that HOW we say something often Read more

Be Amazing - 4/23/24

Watching Michael Jordan steal a pass and then dunk a basketball is amazing.  Taking a rocket to the moon is amazing.  The taste of my mom’s homemade beef soup is amazing. We all have our personal examples of what is amazing.  Usually, it’s something that we cannot comprehend, that we Read more

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24

When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

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

Sharpen Your Service Delivery – 1/9/24

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

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 nature, excitement attracts others, usually involves others.

Now let’s define “dull.”  It means that something doesn’t keep interest.  It’s not sharp.  It brings to the mind images of yawns, of boredom, of sleep.  Something that’s dull makes the mind wander.

Are you attracted to something that keeps your interest…or are you attracted to things that don’t?  Do you prefer interactions that engage you…or those that make your mind wander?  Are you more interested in something that has energy…or something that doesn’t?  Do you prefer something with a positive nature…or something that lacks positivity?

For your service to be effective, functionally it needs to fix the problem, respond quickly, and provide accurate and helpful information.  But for your service to be a relationship-builder, it needs to keep the customer’s interest, to engage the customer, to convey energy, and to be put forth in a positive nature.

As a customer service professional, think not only of what you deliver, also consider how your service is received from the customer’s perspective.  Work to keep the customer engaged, to make the interaction interesting, to convey your energy, and to be a positive part of their day.

Identify aspects of your interactions (your way of speaking with or writing to others) and your service processes that are “dull,” and seek to serve in a more engaging manner.

Sharpen your service delivery by keeping customers engaged and interested…in a positive way.

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I Did This…For You – 10/31/23

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

Michelle needed to run by the grocery store during her lunch break, and because it’s October in the USA, that means it’s Halloween month!  Fittingly, the grocery store had every shape and size of a pumpkin you can imagine; there was even this small basket of mini pumpkins.

They were very cute – with a wide body and a long stem on top.  Michelle immediately thought of a co-worker who was having a bad day; the co-worker’s morning presentation didn’t go well, and he had a lot of work to get cleaned up by day’s end.  Michelle picked up one of the small pumpkins, put it in her shopping basket, and bought it for her co-worker.

When she got back to the office, Michelle walked up to her co-worker’s desk and set the pumpkin down.  Michelle said:  I got this mini pumpkin for you.

Her co-worker looked down at the pumpkin, then up to Michelle, smiled, and said thanks.

Now, I’m sure many of you do things for co-workers and customers every single day.  It’s a task, it’s an action, you’re giving them information or handing over some product.  You’re having a conversation with the other person.

And believe it or not, the simple phrase for you makes a big difference to them:

  • I tracked down a status update for you.
  • I verified that the transaction went through for you.
  • I pulled this quick summary together for you.
  • I’m going to submit this request now for you.
  • I initiated the return for you.
  • I booked the conference room for you.
  • I followed up on that item for you.
  • I got this mini pumpkin for you.

With most of us, having somebody do something for us is a wonderful thing, but we might not fully realize or appreciate what they did unless there was some verbal reinforcement of the action.  And when that verbal reinforcement includes for you, it makes us feel special, it makes us feel like we got a little gift.

When you do something for others, weave in the phrase “For You.”

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Lift It Up – 9/12/23

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

I worked with a great client for several years who was in a leadership role in the education industry, and she was the executive champion for a culture-strengthening initiative.  We were the outside firm helping to develop the overall strategy and facilitate the teams addressing the various aspects of the culture.

She often used the phrase Lift It Up.  If there was an important topic, concern, or goal that needed to be known more broadly throughout the organization or brought to the attention of leadership, she would say that we needed to Lift It Up.  If there was a best practice being utilized in one school which could benefit many other schools, she’d say that we needed to Lift It Up.

What it Means to Lift It Up

When you’re making the effort to lift something up, you’re making something a priority.  You’re making an issue or a concern or goal or an opportunity known.  Lifting something up is a positive thing; it’s like you’re recognizing the thing or the people that made that thing work, or that needs to work better.

How to Lift

So, let’s address this from a customer service perspective in a very tangible way, particularly lifting up positives.

Who can you lift up?  You can lift up the co-worker who does something above and beyond.  You can lift up your boss when they’re exhibiting the behaviors of exceptional leadership.  Lift up your customer for bringing something to your attention, doing their part in the process, or being kind and respectful, despite the circumstances.

What can you lift up?  You can lift up best practices of the facility or on a website.  You can note some change that made life easier on staff or on those that you serve.  You lift up examples of documents or posters that remind people of the organizational values or customer service standards.  You can lift up that information received from customers, sharing how that’s helpful.

To whom can you lift it up?  Lift it up to leaders so that they’re aware of excellence on the part of your co-workers or best practices that could be used in other areas of the organization.  Lift it up to your co-workers so that they feel appreciated.  And lift it up to customers for the same reason.

To infuse positivity and best practices in your organization, Lift It Up.

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