productivity | 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

Make it a “Good Busy” – 9/28/21

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

When I’m speaking with colleagues or clients, I’ll often ask how their day is going. The response I get almost once a week is something like:  I’m incredibly busy!

When I get that response, sometimes I’ll ask whether it is a “good busy” or whether they are “fighting fires.”

I’ll ask that question to gauge how they’re feeling.  Being “good busy” with important work helps you feel positive and fulfilled.  Spending days just fighting fires – urgent tasks that pop up unexpectedly or at the last minute – can result in anxiety, stress, and poor quality work.  That can trickle into customer engagement where we’re too busy to be responsive to customers, are short in speaking with them, or make mistakes in service actions.

While fighting fires is something that we could deal with because other people fill our inbox at the last minute, some of the activities that are urgent and require us to drop everything else or cause us to work into the late hours every evening are things we can control.

If we find ourselves constantly working on the urgent to meet a deadline at the last second, if we find ourselves constantly stressing about not having enough hours in the day, if we find ourselves feeling unsettled with all the plates that are spinning around us at the same time, realize that this situation is something we can take more control over in the future.

Particularly where you have deadlines, document the key steps that need to be addressed and how much time others will need to do their part through the process.  Put those timelines on your daily To Do List.  Reflect back on how much time it takes to do these tasks so that you’re allocating enough time today on something that needs to be completed three days from now.  You have enough understanding of how many activities you can do in one day, so, where you have control over those activities and when they’re done, you can massage your schedule for the week so that the workload is a little more evened out.

We’re all going to be busy at times if not almost all times, but the type of busy we’re dealing with is often affected by how well we’re planning to meet the deadlines.

Make it a Good Busy.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page







Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? – 9/8/20

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

This is a quote by Edgar Bergen.  He’s one of the most famous ventriloquists of all time, but I guess he wasn’t necessarily one of the hardest workers of all time.  By sharing this quote, I am not supporting the idea that we shouldn’t work hard…or am I?

We only have so many work hours in the day – hopefully we have some time for our personal lives and for sleep. But the work is still there to be done.  The question is, how do we find ways to work less hard?

I’m not suggesting we find ways to be less productive or less quality-oriented or less customer-service oriented.  I’m just posing the question:  How can we find ways to work a little bit smarter and a little less hard?

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • When do I write things on paper that I have to keep track of and manage (or rekey into a computer) which I could instead log directly into the computer and save?
  • When do I touch a document or a project or spreadsheet or report or an e-mail 3-4 times, when I could touch it once?
  • When do I copy 5 or 10 or 20 people on an e-mail who all now have to read that e-mail, when I could copy 1 or 2? Similarly, when do I get copied unnecessarily when I could reach out to those senders and let them know they don’t need to copy me under certain circumstances?
  • Could I do a better job of planning my day today – and working my plan today – so I don’t have to constantly think today about what I need to be doing tomorrow?
  • Is there a report or document that I produce once a week that I could stop producing and no one would ever notice or ever care?
  • If I slept an extra 10 minutes or drank an extra cup of water or ate 1 less candy bar (Milky Way is my preference), would I be able to work a little shorter day and have the energy to get a little bit more done?

 

These are some simple questions, and if we can come up with answers to a few of them and implement solutions, maybe we would find ourselves working a little less hard and yet being a little bit more productive, more focused, more energetic, and producing a little higher quality work.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page







To Do More, Find Ways to Do Less – 2/9/16 TOW

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


“I have too much to do and not enough time to do it.”

“I can never get anything done.”

“They keep adding things to my plate, but they never take anything away.”

I’m sure most everyone reading this tip has said something similar at some point in their work lives. We are asked to do more and more and more, and at some point the quality suffers, or we work ridiculous hours, or we can’t get it all done, or we burn out.

Often, we can’t control what we’re assigned by others to do, so how do we do more? Start by asking yourself: “How can I do less?”

Leverage Technology – About one year ago, I bought a new computer/tablet to replace my 7-year old lap top. Instantly programs loaded more quickly, information linked together more smoothly, technical issues virtually disappeared, and now I use almost NO PAPER – leveraging technology made me more productive.

Stop What You’re Doing – I periodically ask myself – what if I stop doing this? Would anyone care? Too often, people generate reports, track worked hours or productivity or quality statistics that – today – are no longer meaningful or even read. At least once a quarter, look at the data you collect and the reports you generate, and question whether they need to continue.

Reduce the Excess – When CSS started 18 years ago, we spent hours creating these gorgeous 20-page proposals for relatively small projects. Over the years, we moved to 6-page proposals and then 4-page approach documents. Now we do a great deal of 1-2 page Price Quotes. Customers don’t have time to read large documents, so why should we give them something they don’t want? When you’re designing documentation for customers, find out how they’d prefer to receive information and what information is truly important to them. Design it that way, and get rid of the documentation excess.

Don’t Create from Scratch – For years, I’ve been a proponent of replicating (but personalizing/customizing) e-mails. You can be so much more productive/professional if you don’t create everything from scratch.

Get Information in a Productive Format – Finally, get people to give you information in a standardized manner – we provide our mystery shoppers with very specific templates so we can focus on the content of what they found rather than the structure of HOW they provided their analysis to us. Use forms, templates, and clear/specific questions to have people submit information in a way that’s most useful and productive.

To do more, find ways to do less. Build your own customer service capacity.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page