respect | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 2

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24


Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24


We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24


When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

Show Nothing but R-E-S-P-E-C-T – 8/17/21

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

With the new Aretha Franklin movie, Respect, coming out, it’s a great time to talk about Respect in customer service.  Respect is a word, a concept, an experience that’s brought up a lot in customer service, and it’s usually discussed when someone has been disrespected, Respect is part of an organization’s values or standards, or a customer demands Respect.

But what is “Respect?” While there is no universally accepted definition of Respect, I find it interesting that in Aretha Franklin’s song she says “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.”  Maybe that’s the reason we don’t have a universal definition – because it can mean different things to different people.

When we’ve talked with clients about Respect in customer service, particularly in staff workshops, we often start defining Respect by first defining the opposite – what it means to be disrespected.  The answers flow quickly:

  • No eye contact
  • They don’t listen to what I say
  • They cross their arms or roll their eyes
  • They look at their phone
  • They interrupt me, are rude, or argue with me
  • They give me an attitude that’s condescending
  • There’s no greeting at the start, no “Thank You!” at the end
  • They have a dismissive tone in their voice.

 
These are examples of issues with body language, tone of voice, poor communication skills, and lack of patience among many other concerns.  But what’s the commonality?  The commonality is how it makes the other person feel.  They feel “less than” or not listened to or not valued or unimportant.

Now, I’ve often said that we have no control over how others feel, but we can do things to impact the likelihood that they’ll feel a certain way.  So, Respect is as much about what we don’t do as it is by what we do; it’s about focusing on nothing but the other person.  It’s about thinking about nothing but this situation.  It’s about conveying nothing but an interest in the customer.  It’s about nothing but them.

To Respect someone, ensure you avoid things that convey disrespect.  Work to do nothing but Respect the other person.

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Moving toward Normalcy: The Face-to-Face Keys – 5/12/20

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

As we slowly go back to a face-to-face world, here are a few quick reminders for what positively differentiates employees who understand the importance of body language and expressions v. those who don’t.

Especially if you’re wearing a mask and serving customers, ensure your eyes are focused on the other person as opposed to the activities and technology that surround you both.  Spend one minute or two a day in front of a mirror to refresh on the kind of messages the forehead and the eyebrows convey when you’re looking at somebody. That might be all of your facial expression that the customer sees. Ensure that the smiles are visible in these other aspects of your expressions.

Maintain that 6-foot distance, but make sure you have a comfortable posture and the tension is not visible in your arms, your hands, or your shoulders.  Lean in to show you’re listening, but don’t move toward the customer.  Keep the comfort zone between the two of you.

Realize that it can be awkward and uncomfortable for the customer, just like at times it’s awkward and uncomfortable for you – having a mask on, keeping distance from the customer, having a plexiglass between you and the other individual.  But that awkwardness and the uncomfortable nature shouldn’t come across in your body language and expressions.  If anything, we need to be as proactive, gregarious, pleasant, and kind to the other person as we ever have been in order to create that rapport and establish that comfort level.

The facility itself is creating barriers to comfort, so the individual needs to go beyond what they would normally do to create that engaging encounter with the customer.

Since we’re not going to be back to normal anytime soon, be clear on those little extras we need to focus on and deliver to make sure customers are as comfortable as possible.

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5 Steps to Valuing Another’s Time – 5/5/20

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Is your time valuable?  Is the customer’s time valuable?  I would think we would answer “yes” to both questions, but what does that really mean?  It’s important, and it’s finite.

Time is precious because it doesn’t come in unlimited quantities.  We can’t go to Amazon and buy more time.  It’s important because it’s where we do our work, our play, our fun, our learning, our rest.  In customer service, if we want the customer to feel valued, we need to convey that we value their time.  But how?  Try these 5 Steps:

  • Be Prepared. Have enough organization so that you can promptly greet someone, you can find information quickly, you instantly know to which co-worker or division to refer the customer.
  • Be Efficient. Be pleasant, but limit pleasantries.  Don’t go off on tangents unrelated to the customer or their need for the sake of rapport.  Building rapport is based on a focus on the customer.
  • Be Great at Q&A. Often time is wasted because we don’t fully understand the situation or the customer.  Asking questions to expand your understanding is not a waste of time.  Jumping to a solution before you really know the issue – now that’s a waste of time.
  • Know Your Stuff. It’s hard to have an efficient conversation if we don’t know what to ask, we don’t know what resource addresses what need, what person is responsible for what procedure.
  • Tell Them. Thank them for their time.  Tell them that you want to be respectful of their time.  Sometimes the best way for a customer to feel like you value them is to tell them so.

If you want to value the customer’s time, know that time is important and it’s finite.  Build your approach around understanding what’s important to the customer and how to respond quickly, correctly the first time.

Value the customer’s time.

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