proactive | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 2

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

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“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

Be Proactive without being Pushy – 9/20/22

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

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 sales, and when we think about proactively reaching out, often we think that we’re selling to others – Ick!  However, if we don’t reach out to our clients or customers, we are not fully meeting their needs.

So, if we are not pushing products, why are we proactively reaching out to customers?  Here are some examples of why to reach out.

Freshen: To keep the relationship fresh.  If they haven’t heard from us except when they are buying something or complaining, those quiet periods are when relationships go stale.  It’s when they view us more as a commodity than as a partner.  We need to keep the relationships fresh.

Understand: Reach out to better understand them and their needs or issues.  This can be via an informal survey; maybe as part of a conversation, you ask about how things are changing in their business or their lives.  You’re trying to learn from them to better serve them.

Match-make: You reach out because you have a base understanding of their needs, and your organization has something that might help them, in particular.  You’re trying to match who they are with what you can do for them.  In some ways, we’re doing them a disservice if the customer has to go to your company for one thing and 3 other companies for other services – all of which you provide – but they don’t know that because we haven’t informed or educated them on all you can do for the customer.

Thank: You proactively reach out to convey appreciation and show that you value them.  You literally reach out to say Thank You and to check-in on them.  It makes them feel like an individual instead of an account number.

Request: You can even reach out to simply ask them if they know of anyone who might be a good fit with your business, who might benefit from a relationship like your customer has with your company.  You’re not selling; you’re just giving them the opportunity to make a connection for a friend with you and your organization.

Great customer service includes reaching out to customers – be proactive without being pushy.

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And YOU get a Thanks, and YOU get a Thanks… – 6/15/21

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

Yes, Oprah Winfrey gets her first shout-out in a CSS Customer Service Tip of the Week!  She’s famous for many things – one of which was giving out presents to everybody in her audiences.  She would happily proclaim:  And YOU get a gift, and YOU get a gift, and YOU get a gift!

And as generous as that was, in the back of our minds we all know that she’s SO wealthy, that she can afford to give all those people gifts.  Well, even if we all are not rich, we can still afford to give our customers the gift…of thanks.

I’m sure that we’ve all been brought up in homes where we were told that – in business – when the transaction ends, somebody should say “thank you” and somebody should say “you’re welcome.”  But oftentimes in our personal lives, we give them our money, they give us the merchandise, and there is dead silence.  But we want to hear a thank you.  So we, the customer, say “thank you!”  It’s like saying “thank you for taking my hard-earned money.”  Or “thank you for the privilege of buying this combo meal; I really appreciate it!”

It shouldn’t be that way.  Employees should initiate the thanks.  Employees should convey the appreciation because the customer has an option; the customer could take their business elsewhere.  So, the employee should be the one closing positively and showing appreciation.

As you’re completing your transaction, and as that conversation on the phone or face-to-face is about to end, get in the habit of initiating the thanks, of initiating the appreciation.  And even if the customer says thanks before you get the opportunity, say thanks to them back. Say “I really appreciate your coming in” or “I really appreciate your bringing this to our attention.”

Realize that the customer has an opinion, and that opinion matters – that decides if they want to stay with you or want to go elsewhere.  Make sure that their last memory of their experience with you is your statement of appreciation.

Thank the customer first.

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It’s Right to Note “That’s Not Right” – 6/8/21

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TJ was doing some construction work for the homeowner, and he noticed something unusual about the paint texture on the storm door that he was about to install.  The homeowner had purchased the door, and when TJ was getting ready to install it, he noticed that the door had a grainy texture to the paint instead of being perfectly smooth.  “That’s not right,” TJ said, and he talked with the homeowner and investigated whether the paint job was defective or just a different finish than expected.

As he was walking through the house, he noticed cracks on the wall and remembered about some recent construction that had been done near that spot.  He said “that’s not right,” and he told the homeowner, investigated the cause, and offered some potential solutions.

As he was getting ready to wrap-up his work, he noticed some trim at the house that could use a fresh coat of paint.  “That doesn’t look right,” he thought.  He wasn’t a painter, but he offered the homeowner two different painters whom TJ trusted to contact if the homeowner wanted some help.

TJ was observant and proactive.  He didn’t make or buy the storm door, he didn’t cause the crack in the wall, and he wasn’t a painter.  But he noticed all the concerns, proactively brought them to the attention of the homeowner, and gained nothing directly from any of the issues.  In fact, it required more of his time than ignoring the issues would have required.

But TJ was focused on identifying the needs of the customer and doing what was best for the customer.  Know that TJ has gotten multiple referrals from that homeowner and also got some repeat business as well.

Be like TJ.  Look around.  Identify customer needs and point them out to the customer.  Maybe you can address the needs, or maybe you’ll just recommend a course of action to the customer.  But by being proactive, you gain trust, respect, and loyalty.

Identify situations where “that’s not right” to get the right kind of relationship with your customer.

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