positive | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22


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 Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22


The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22


If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22


As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22


We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22


I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21


The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21


Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21


Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21


Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to Read more

You Mostly Get What You Give – 11/23/21

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

It is Thanksgiving week in the United States, so let’s talk “Thanks.

There’s a saying that You Get What You Give.  And while the goal of giving thanks should not be “To receive things,” getting something positive in return is often a nice byproduct of being appreciative of others.

It’s amazing that when I thank someone for some action they’ve taken, even if it is just “doing their job,” how many times they will pause and smile…or say Thanks…or say It’s my pleasure.  Sometimes they’ll expand and say why they enjoy doing what they’re doing.  And it makes me feel good when they stop for a moment and feel appreciation, and I can see they’re pleased to hear the thanks.

In this current world of ZOOM meetings, there are times when the meeting facilitator is seeking affirmation that people understood what she said or agree with the point…but there’s dead silence.  So, if I feel their uneasiness, I will give them the thumbs up.  I’ll make sure I verbalize that their plan sounds good.  I used to silently agree without stating it, but I’ve found that there are few mind readers in the world.  If I agree, I need to verbalize that support and appreciation.  They, in turn, get the affirmation they deserve.

There have been many instances with CSS, since we are a management consulting firm, where we were brought in by a client or business partner for a project.  I try to be as appreciative as I can for them trusting me and our organization to serve them or service their client on their behalf.  Likewise, when CSS brings in mystery shoppers, research partners, or subcontractors to do some work on behalf of CSS, I’m appreciative of those folks.  I know they’ve got lives and jobs and other responsibilities and priorities, so for them to carve out some time to do work for my clients – even if CSS is paying them – their effort and interest is much appreciated.

Through all this giving of thanks and appreciation, I’ve noticed that the tone of conversations becomes much more positive.  The dialogue is much more pleasant.  The relationships seem to grow more naturally and easily, and the collaboration seems to flow more smoothly.

So, you don’t always Get What You Give, but if giving includes a lot of thanks and appreciation for others, you have a great chance to get more positive and productive days.

Give to give, and watch what you’ll receive.

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Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service – 2/16/21

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

Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water warms, or I can fear that a big wave is going to knock me over.  I can choose optimism or pessimism.

Optimism is about hope – it’s about faith or belief or confidence in the possibility of a positive outcome.

Colin Powell once said that perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.  In other words, positivity can create momentum, can create power – people are attracted to it and will go with you if that optimism can become a sincere all-the-time thing.

If we want our co-workers and customers to follow our lead, it benefits us to enlist the power of optimism.  If we want pleasant, positive, Yes-oriented interactions, it benefits us to be pleasant, hopeful, and optimistic.

Sometimes it’s easiest to define a word or explain a concept by contrasting it, so let’s consider some examples.  Kahlil Gibran said:  The optimist sees the rose and not the thorns, the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose. Here are a couple other quotes…

  • A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping stone to the optimist.
  • A pessimist thinks there’s nothing so bad it can’t get worse; an optimist thinks there’s nothing so good it can’t get better.
  • An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

 
Now let’s refocus on the good – the optimistic viewpoint – hoping and believing that things will turn out well and imparting that hope and confidence to others:

  • Yogi Berra used to say it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. At the end of sporting events where my team is losing, my wife likes to say:  It’s not over yet.  They can come back!
  • Robert Browning encourages us not to look down, but rather to look up. Don’t focus on the difficulty you’re in as much as the direction you want to go.
  • Walt Whitman said the strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung.

 
If times are difficult, remember that today’s circumstances don’t dictate tomorrow’s outcomes.  If times are good, know that they can get even better.

Often our perspectives and our outlooks affect others, and if we want to draw people in and get them to have confidence in us, our decisions, our direction – we can use optimism to be that draw.

Use optimism as a force for good in your service of others.

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Who Loves Ya, Baby? – 2/25/20

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Telly Savalas played Kojak – a hard-nosed detective who solved crimes while eating a lollipop.  He was a tough guy with a tough attitude but a soft side.  He used to say:  Who loves ya, baby?

So, who loves their customer?

If you want to see somebody who loves their customer, walk into a vet with your pet. Oh Bosco! I’m so happy to see you!  How have you been lately!  It’s like the dog is the receptionist’s long-lost friend or the doctor’s favorite cousin.

Congratulations, Zappos Zealot!  You’re one step closer to getting your holiday shopping done! We’ve received your order and are busy picking your gifts from our shelves as we speak. So jingle your bells, and roast your chestnuts, ‘cause we’ve got you covered this holiday season!  With Love, The Zappos Customer Loyalty Team.  Zappos must love that customer who they just sent that e-mail to…

Thank you for coming in today! Is there anything else I can get for you? Oh!  You want some potting soil for those plants you’re buying?  We have some good fresh bags in the back; let me call somebody to bring one up for you. Less than a minute later, a gentleman walks up with the bag, and the customer checks out with a dozen plants, fresh soil, and some helpful advice on how to get things growing quickly. Nice experience at Myers Greenhouse.

These are all experiences that I’ve had, and you may have had similar experiences where companies seem to love their customers.

It’s the organization that is sincerely excited to see the customer, even if the customer is a puppy.  It’s the business that is not just sharing an update on an order, but they’re sending an e-mail that’s shows their excitement to serve and conveys the enthusiasm of what you’ll do with their merchandise.  And it’s an employee that freely gives advice and goes an extra step to quickly give the customer a little something extra.

So, who loves ya, baby? These organizations and their employees seemingly love their customers.  Why don’t we take a few tips from them with our enthusiasm, respect, advice, guidance, and appreciation.

Let your customers know who loves them.

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