processes | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


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 Read more

Be Kind to Yourself When the Customer Isn’t - 9/13/22


I was having a debrief call with one of my clients recently, and this was regarding a survey of employees who work events.  One of the survey questions asked employees for advice on how to improve the customer experience.  When the employees shared their input on the guest experience, Read more

Being the Emphatic Employee - 9/6/22


Empathy is the key quality of somebody who’s great at customer service.  We talk about it often - what it is, how to convey it, what it looks like, and how it makes the customer feel. But along with knowing how to be empathetic, we also need to know how Read more

The Good, the Really Good, and the Ugly of Customer Service - 8/30/22


Here are three helpful customer service stories.  They may not be from your specific industry, but it’s always good to learn from others. The Good… Paula submitted a ticket to the I.T. vendor.  Below the signature line in the reply she received was the following:  Please share your comments or needs Read more

A Great 2-Minute E-mail - 8/23/22


I know.  You probably get e-mails all the time from customers griping about some aspect of your organization or their experience.  You’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told by staff Read more

When They Want to Talk to Your Boss - 8/16/22


“I want to talk to your supervisor.” That’s their opening salvo.  Before you can hardly finish your greeting, the customer is asking for your boss.  This is done by a customer who has tried to get an issue resolved, and it hasn’t worked, so they want to go to somebody Read more

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

Now That You’re On Time, Please Wait – 7/9/13 TOW

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

Ellie went to her eye doctor to get her cataracts checked. Are they bad enough to get the procedure? That was her question – she wanted the cataract surgery so she could see better, but every year her physician said they were not quite bad enough.

After checking in, Ellie went to the waiting room and noticed a new automated board that tracked physician delays. Apparently, the office had added these “scheduling status monitors” within the past month in order to set appropriate expectations with patients about wait times. The theory was to best manage expectations and communicate via monitors with the patients. This ensures patients won’t be upset at delays, and they won’t constantly interrupt receptionists asking for updates.

When Ellie found her physician on the monitor, she noticed that her doctor was running about 90 minutes behind by that point in the day. And while it was good that the monitor gave her a realistic expectation of the delay, Ellie was frustrated. Why? Isn’t this one of the core concepts behind great customer service – that you constantly have to reset customer expectations to match reality?

To Ellie, this definitely wasn’t an example of great customer service – or even good customer service. From her perspective, if the office knew that they were 90 minutes behind, why didn’t they call her to tell her so that she could arrive later? Why couldn’t they use their information so the customer could rest a little longer, run an errand or two on the way, get more work done, or avoid having to leave home in the middle of a thunderstorm?

In other words, why couldn’t they use the information to reduce the patient’s wait time and make it more convenient for the patient?

Maybe the office’s response would be “if we tell them they can come in later, they won’t be here if we get back on schedule.” That may be true periodically, but it’s not the right answer in most situations.

If we can’t serve clients earlier, there are still opportunities to reduce their waits.

If we expect clients to be on time, do whatever is necessary to deliver with minimal wait time.

 


“A Man is Known by the Company He Organizes” – Ambrose Bierce

Posted on in Business Advice, Carolinas, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

Here’s a customer service horror story from many years ago. It’s worth recalling for you…

I went to get the newspaper on a Sunday morning and noticed water flowing from the garage. Yikes! The water heater was leaking, so I called a plumber. After one ring, the company answered and promised a prompt response from a serviceman, and the response came 30 minutes later. I explained that our water heater also heats the house, and after a very cold Saturday night, my wife and child needed a warm house as soon as possible. "Someone will call you back at 8:00 a.m. Monday to schedule a diagnostic check and probably order a replacement," he said. Another cold night ahead…

Nobody called Monday morning, so I had to call them twice. The first time because they didn’t call as promised at 8:00 a.m., and the second time because they hadn’t called back after the first call. The customer service rep couldn’t find a record of my Sunday conversation, so again they logged my information. We scheduled a diagnostic check for that day between 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. At 10:50 a.m., I finally received a call regarding my Sunday conversation, but they couldn’t find a record of the appointment I had set up only one hour earlier.

At 11:05 a.m., I was told that my address was entered incorrectly, and my appointment would have to be rescheduled. What?! For the first time in my life, I asked to talk with the Service Manager. He listened to my situation and sense of urgency, and he called a plumber from another company to come out and install a new water heater. Let’s tally the score:

· 6 people from the first company spoke with me.

· 3 times they logged or updated my personal information.

· 2 times they scheduled me.

· 1 time they got the address wrong.

· 1 time they lost my appointment.

· 2 times they said they’d call back and did not.

For all the nice people, the one ring pickup on Sunday, and all the best intentions, this company was so disorganized that they lost my business to another company.

If you’re going to be judged based on your customer service, you’re going to be judged based on your organization.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

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