quality time | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Handle Interruptions Heroically - 6/18/24


In the middle of a project, Jimbo, the customer service team member, had to stop what he was doing because he received an e-mail from a customer complaining about their experience at a recent event. Later that day, Jimbo was asked by his boss to put everything on hold for Read more

From Employees to Teammates: The Shift - 6/11/24


Be a great teammate. Be a good team player. We’re all part of the team. We’re no longer employees, we’re team members! The phrase “Team” is used in describing co-workers so much more than it was used years ago.  Then, we would be talking about employees, talking about staff, talking Read more

Nurture New Relationships - 6/4/24


Freddie was a new business owner in town.  He was launching a franchise, had acquired some funding from a local bank, and was in search of staff who cared about customer service. All the while, he was in the process of renovating a storefront for his business, so he was Read more

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

Provide Quality Time to Customers – 1/7/14 TOW

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


When teaching communication techniques to client personnel, we sometimes get pushback from participants. It might be an employee saying “If I do what you say, I’ll be with the customer FOREVER.” Or maybe a manager will tell us “I don’t have time to greet, clarify needs, confirm my understanding, ask if they need anything else, etc.”

Just like you probably don’t want to spend exorbitant amounts of time with individual customers addressing needs and working through issues, most customers don’t want to spend a ton of time on those topics talking with us either. Their time is valuable, too.

So let’s shift our thinking away from “great customer service means spending lots of time with customers” to the following thinking: Great customer service means spending Quality Time with customers.

We went through an exercise with a client on the topic of “Quality Time,” and here’s a synopsis of what we found. Many customers define “Quality Time” when:

  • Their time with you is uninterrupted and not rushed
  • They are getting the time expected (employees not showing up late for a meeting, for example)
  • Employees are focused on them (i.e., not appearing distracted during the conversation)
  • Staff “pause” their other tasks (e.g., typing information on the computer) to emphasize something or provide a moment of clarity to the customer
  • Staff educate the customer so they can be more independent.

 
These are key methods of enhancing the Quality of the time spent with customers – without necessarily spending more time:

  • Actively listening – don’t be passive in the discussion (nod, paraphrase their need/issue, ask questions)
  • Ensuring customers feel as though they are part of a dialogue (describe the process your working through or include them in discussions you’re having with co-workers)
  • In face-to-face situations, including those who are with them (family members or friends) in the discussions
  • Explaining procedures, processes up front so they know what to expect
  • Conveying your own calm demeanor, particularly when you’re in the middle of an especially busy/hectic environment (picture a retail business during the holidays).

 
Don’t buy into the assumption that great customer service equals your spending undue amounts of time with customers. Instead, buy into the belief that the time we do spend must be high quality.

Provide Quality Time to Customers.