recognition | 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

Lift It Up – 9/12/23

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

I worked with a great client for several years who was in a leadership role in the education industry, and she was the executive champion for a culture-strengthening initiative.  We were the outside firm helping to develop the overall strategy and facilitate the teams addressing the various aspects of the culture.

She often used the phrase Lift It Up.  If there was an important topic, concern, or goal that needed to be known more broadly throughout the organization or brought to the attention of leadership, she would say that we needed to Lift It Up.  If there was a best practice being utilized in one school which could benefit many other schools, she’d say that we needed to Lift It Up.

What it Means to Lift It Up

When you’re making the effort to lift something up, you’re making something a priority.  You’re making an issue or a concern or goal or an opportunity known.  Lifting something up is a positive thing; it’s like you’re recognizing the thing or the people that made that thing work, or that needs to work better.

How to Lift

So, let’s address this from a customer service perspective in a very tangible way, particularly lifting up positives.

Who can you lift up?  You can lift up the co-worker who does something above and beyond.  You can lift up your boss when they’re exhibiting the behaviors of exceptional leadership.  Lift up your customer for bringing something to your attention, doing their part in the process, or being kind and respectful, despite the circumstances.

What can you lift up?  You can lift up best practices of the facility or on a website.  You can note some change that made life easier on staff or on those that you serve.  You lift up examples of documents or posters that remind people of the organizational values or customer service standards.  You can lift up that information received from customers, sharing how that’s helpful.

To whom can you lift it up?  Lift it up to leaders so that they’re aware of excellence on the part of your co-workers or best practices that could be used in other areas of the organization.  Lift it up to your co-workers so that they feel appreciated.  And lift it up to customers for the same reason.

To infuse positivity and best practices in your organization, Lift It Up.

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Peer Recognition Made Easy – 4/10/18

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


There may be one manager in the department. There may be one supervisor over your division. Those individuals may see you interact with customers, but usually your conversations with your customers are out of the sight of leadership.

Every day you make a difference, and often you’re working side-by-side with co-workers who are also making a difference. So, if we rely only on leadership to recognize us, we’re losing out on one of the greatest sources of recognition – our peers.

A Quick Story – The client called their account representative, Beverly, with a request about the monthly lawn service they were scheduled to provide. Beverly offered some suggestions to the client, noted that Jeremy would be onsite the next day and could provide more information, and shared how knowledgeable Jeremy is on this particular topic.

Jeremy delivered what Beverly promised, and the client sent a thank you e-mail to Beverly, noting and appreciating Jeremy’s patience and information shared. Beverly then routed the kudos to Jeremy and his supervisor.

It was simple.

The employee heard something positive about a co-worker, and let the co-worker know. The employee experienced a co-worker going above and beyond, and she simply shared that information with him.

Beverly could have just heard the compliment, but she took an extra few seconds to share that compliment with others in the organization. This form of peer recognition is exceptionally easy – all you have to do is to share what you hear positively with that co-worker and potentially with their supervisor.

Many of us appreciate being appreciated, but for many of us all the appreciation comes solely from the fulfillment of doing your job well or the occasional but all-too-rare accolades we receive from supervisors. If instead we take on an attitude of appreciation and a desire to point out the positives of peers, we’re filling up people with accolades by simply passing on the positives that the customers share.

Make peer recognition a part of your everyday job. Simply pass along customer kudos.

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It’s About Leadership and Appreciation – 7/5/16 TOW

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


CSS does a lot of work with local government, education, and healthcare organizations. They all have a great deal in common. They typically have tons of customer interactions using various methods – phone, in-person, e-mail, etc. They have many policies, procedures, regulations, and laws to which they must adhere. They’re typically mid-to-large sized organizations, and creating an engaged and aligned workforce can be a challenge.

We’re working with one client in particular on culture change, and in a recent survey of staff, we asked them to describe their desired culture and what’s needed to create it. Two themes came up repeatedly in response to the “What’s needed” question – Leadership and Appreciation.

Leadership. Many staff said that the culture needs to start with leadership. Managers need to model the organizational values and customer service standards. Executives need to treat the staff like they expect staff to treat the customers.

Appreciation. In these types of organizations, legal, political, and financial barriers limit the amounts and types of financial compensation, incentives, and rewards that can be provided to employees. So in this survey, staff focused on Appreciation. They wanted to be recognized for good work and behaviors that align to the organizational values. They liked some of the initiatives that the organization had already put in place that enable staff to recognize each other. They wanted to feel valued, and that sense of being valued is in part driven by the Appreciation of their attitudes, skills, knowledge, and quality work.

An engaged workforce – having employees truly passionate about the company, its customers, and their role in the success – is not easy to create, but it can be done.

And it starts with a concerted effort to address two themes.

Start with Leadership and Appreciation.

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