Redmond | 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

Give Them a Vote

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In the Seattle Times article “Starting with citizen priorities builds a better budget in Redmond,” the Mayor of Redmond, WA, wrote about the local government’s budgeting process. While that’s not normally a cause for a customer service posting, the method described in the article (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2013081400_guest06marchione.html?prmid=op_ed) WAS customer-focused.

They inquired from the citizens what was most important to them in terms of the City environment. There were 6 priorities noted, and they were outcomes-oriented (“a vibrant business community; a clean environment; greater community connections; infrastructure investments to keep up with growth; a safe city; and a responsible government.”). To address these priorities, the City began focusing on customer service – and began to solicit employee suggestions to improve operations and expenditures.

The article continues to talk on about all the good they’ve accomplished, and I’m sure those details can be debated, but I won’t go there – this isn’t a political blog.

Where I will go is to the lesson learned from Redmond. There are times when your organization (like now for many companies) cannot be all things to all people. There are times when you can’t provide every service your customers want or every perk your employees desire. There are times when you have to say “No.” But one of the best ways to prioritize is to involve the people that will be impacted by the priorities you set.

If it’s a decision about a service your organization provides, bring customers into the decision-making process.

If it’s a decision about internal operations, the work environment, or employee motivation, bring employees into the decision-making process.

It’s easier to feel more confident that you made the right decision for the stakeholder if the stakeholder was a part of the decision.

Make customers and employees part of the process in making decisions that will impact them.

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