responsiveness | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

“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

Care Enough to Give Them a Heads Up - 1/30/24


Nothing bad at all might happen.  Every day in the office could seem like every other day.  Sights and sounds and smells might continue to be the same.  But we have a lot of construction going on around our offices, and the building manager knows the type of work Read more

Be Better than AI Customer Service - 1/23/24


There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers. The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds. There are clear Read more

Recognize the Situation, and Pivot - 1/16/24


The customer has a complaint, or they may have an important question about an order or their account.  You may be talking to them in an emergency room, in the lobby of the government building, on the phone, or in a video conversation.  And in many of these Moments Read more

Sharpen Your Service Delivery - 1/9/24


You work so hard at being responsive and providing high quality information.  You work hard at fixing problems.  But is your delivery…dull? I’m not saying that it has to be exciting, but let’s think of the word “exciting.”  It means that something’s interesting, has energy, is positive.  Just by its Read more

Make Empathy Your Superpower - 1/2/24


I was facilitating a Service Excellence Training class for a Higher Ed client in the Northeast several years back.  As I was walking through the portions of our technique for defusing the angry customer, I talked about empathy.  I talked about accepting responsibility. Immediately, one of the hands in the Read more

Holiday Poem 2023 - 12/26/23


The days are getting longer, The skies are getting brighter. Festivities behind us, And festivities before us.   There’s ups and downs and change coming, And we can’t predict when or where. There’s challenges and joys and opportunities around, Of which you may or may not be aware.   But one thing we know as we look at each Read more

Refresh, Rejuvenate, Refocus - 12/19/23


It’s that time of year.  We’re going 100 miles an hour, and holiday time is upon us.  We not only have all the work to do, but we somehow have less time to do it.  We somehow have other things that are of competing interest, and even though those Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently – 2/6/24

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

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 fame, fortune, awards, power, position.

I believe success can be defined in a lot of ways having nothing to do with any of those accomplishments.  Sometimes those outcomes shouldn’t be the definitions of success.  So, especially as it relates to customer service, let’s define Success differently.

Noted below are three quotes.  Let’s look at how they apply to our work in trying to become successful in customer service.

Effort measures success better than outcome.

When we’re engaged with the customer or dealing with a difficult situation at the office, we can control ourselves, our response, or approach to the conversation.  We cannot always control the environment; we can rarely control the other people involved.  But the environment and the others involved affect the outcome of the situation.  So, don’t get down on yourself if the outcome wasn’t what you were hoping for or the overall tone of the conversation did not strike the right chord.  Define success as having done your best.

The cost of success is exceeded only by the cost of failure.

There’s rarely a perfect solution to a complex situation.  But in the vast majority of the cases, doing something gives you a better chance of success than doing nothing.  Deciding to respond to the e-mail or the voicemail when you don’t have an answer, instead of not responding at all.  Taking action on behalf of the customer instead of hoping that – by ignoring them – they will go away.  In customer service, the cost of doing nothing is a higher likelihood of failure, of losing the customer, of engendering that negative word-of-mouth, of creating bigger issues for your co-workers down the road.

Don’t be irreplaceable.  If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.

Too many people feel that knowledge is power.  They believe in hoarding information or their experience or their expertise so that only they can use it.  This is not only a sign of somebody who’s not a team player, but it can actually be a deterrence to career development.  If we don’t share with others and try to build up and support our teammates, why would leadership want to move us up knowing that they would have a void they cannot fill?

Don’t define success purely based on the outcome.  Define customer service success by your efforts, your willingness to take action on behalf of the customer, and your willingness to impart your knowledge and wisdom to others.

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Van Gogh the Vision – 11/16/21

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Want to create Service Excellence in your organization?  Have a vision, then paint the picture of that vision.  It’s easier to create something if you can visualize it first, so let’s Van Gogh a Vision.

Excellent customer service is delivered in a courteous manner.  Courtesy comes through when employees are pleasant, they smile, they use the basics of “please” and “thank you,” the basics of “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am.”  Courtesy comes through when we are polite, and we have a caring tone about us.

Service Excellence is also delivered with respect, and customers nowadays want respect.  So, what does respect look like?  Respectful customer service is delivered in such a way that our body language, our smiles, how we say things, our attentiveness to the customer, and the phrases we use – they all tend to put the customer in the light of being more important than our co-worker, more important than our paperwork, more important than any task we have in front of us.

And if you look at Service Excellence from the perspective of you being a consumer, think about what makes an organization appear to have excellent customer service.

You usually know you are experiencing great customer service when the organization seems to go above and beyond the basics for you.  They anticipate your needs.  They greet you up front and show appreciation on the backend.  They are responsive to the voicemail and e-mail messages.  They are responsive to your needs.  They tell you what to expect, and then they do what they say they are going to do.

Finally, to Van Gogh the Vision, look at organizations that have the reputation of being great at customer service – Disney, Chick-fil-A, and FedEx, for example.  What do they do?  They are consistently good.  They are accurate.  They are quick.  You can trust their timeliness.  They try to create an experience for the customer, not just a product.  They have key core mission and vision statements so that everybody knows why they exist and where they are going.  These are organizations that truly care about their customer, realizing if we convey that caring and meet their needs, then we will have the best chance possible of keeping that customer.

Van Gogh your Vision of Service Excellence.

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First E-mail Impression? I’ll Enjoy Working with You – 11/9/21

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When you provide consulting, research, and training services like we do, you meet a variety of people, and many of them are new individuals to work with even if they are in organizations you’ve worked with for years.

When I meet the new customer or they meet me for the first time, it’s easy to form a quick opinion about each other.  Much of the opinion is based on the first few interactions that we have, and often – in today’s world – those first few interactions are via e-mail.

And while my opinion may change down the road, usually the first impression tells much of the story.  So here are some aspects of my e-mail interactions with customers that suggest I’m going to enjoy working with them:

  • They respond to e-mails quickly, typically in less than a half-day.
  • They are specific in their e-mail without being too lengthy.
  • They tell me what they’ll do and by when.
  • Their messages present organized and clear thoughts.
  • There is an intent to answer my question or address the point I explained in my e-mail.
  • They use a personal greeting and a personal closing with contact information.
  • There’s enough informality to show part of their personality, and usually a little enthusiasm!

 
People like to like the people with whom they work.  That’s part of the reason I’m in this business – because most people who are serving others or trying to retain customers are genuinely nice people.

Even if it’s a simple e-mail response, communicate in a way that the other person can tell that they will enjoy working with you.

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