responsiveness | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

How to Fix Other People’s Problems - 1/31/23


I was helping a friend navigate some healthcare processes recently, so I conducted a 3-way call with my friend and the physician practice to try to get things cleared up.  The employee I spoke with on the phone - let’s call her Katie. There had been poor communication between different Read more

What to do When You’re in the Middle - 1/24/23


Bob and Sarah are arguing, and you’re in the middle.  Bob’s an employee, and Sarah is a customer, and they have a difference of opinion.  Somehow you’re involved even though you didn’t have anything to do with the interaction in question, the complaint being addressed.  You find yourself being Read more

Is the Customer Issue an Organizational Issue? - 1/17/23


Customer retention is vital.  Most of next year’s customers are going to be those who are this year’s customers. So, the more you lose today, the fewer you will have tomorrow.  Organizations conduct research, data mine, or bring in consultants to help identify those customers who may be most Read more

Decide Who’s Driving the Bus - 1/10/23


I once heard a speech titled: Who’s driving the bus? I knew the speaker beforehand, so that made his talk extra special.  It was funny and relatable and held many words of wisdom.  The crux of the speech was that every one of us has our own facets, our own Read more

Create a Personal Vision for the Year - 1/3/23


This time of year is all about the New Year’s resolution.  We’re going to exercise or eat differently!  Then…2 months later, who knows what’ll be happening, but at least you set a goal.  For many of us, that’s progress. For businesses, that New Year’s resolution often has to deal with Read more

Avoid Making a Bad Situation Worse - 12/27/22


Twitter.  When you hear that word, does your temperature rise?  Do you roll your eyes?  Do you ask: What is Twitter? From a customer service perspective, Twitter has evolved into a virtual place for consumers to complain about businesses.  For those businesses savvy enough to understand the importance of communicating Read more

2022 Holiday Poem - 12/20/22


The year is winding down. The work is still up front. We’re making that transition to close out the 12th month. We’re trying to find a balance between personal life and work. Trying to be kind to people even if they’re acting like a jerk. It’s taking all of our patience and our Read more

Open Minds and Ornery Customers - 12/13/22


We all have to deal with some crazy customers, at times.  They might be loud or sad.  Flighty or mad.  They may have unrealistic expectations or think it’s OK to skip past people in line because their need must be more important than the others.  Some are rude, some Read more

Apply These Values for Great Customer Service - 12/6/22


One of the industries where we do a lot of our work is local government.  These CSS clients are not necessarily selling a product or having the number of competitors that a lot of our private industry clients and our sports clients face.  But they need to deliver a Read more

Redefine “Access” to Treat Customers Special - 11/29/22


One of our clients puts on major events throughout the country.  When we conduct post-event surveys, many of the attendees rave about the access they had to certain entertainers, locations in the venue, parking lots, or even information.  Others decry the fact that they lacked that access. This does pose Read more

Van Gogh the Vision – 11/16/21

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

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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Make it a “Good Busy” – 9/28/21

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When I’m speaking with colleagues or clients, I’ll often ask how their day is going. The response I get almost once a week is something like:  I’m incredibly busy!

When I get that response, sometimes I’ll ask whether it is a “good busy” or whether they are “fighting fires.”

I’ll ask that question to gauge how they’re feeling.  Being “good busy” with important work helps you feel positive and fulfilled.  Spending days just fighting fires – urgent tasks that pop up unexpectedly or at the last minute – can result in anxiety, stress, and poor quality work.  That can trickle into customer engagement where we’re too busy to be responsive to customers, are short in speaking with them, or make mistakes in service actions.

While fighting fires is something that we could deal with because other people fill our inbox at the last minute, some of the activities that are urgent and require us to drop everything else or cause us to work into the late hours every evening are things we can control.

If we find ourselves constantly working on the urgent to meet a deadline at the last second, if we find ourselves constantly stressing about not having enough hours in the day, if we find ourselves feeling unsettled with all the plates that are spinning around us at the same time, realize that this situation is something we can take more control over in the future.

Particularly where you have deadlines, document the key steps that need to be addressed and how much time others will need to do their part through the process.  Put those timelines on your daily To Do List.  Reflect back on how much time it takes to do these tasks so that you’re allocating enough time today on something that needs to be completed three days from now.  You have enough understanding of how many activities you can do in one day, so, where you have control over those activities and when they’re done, you can massage your schedule for the week so that the workload is a little more evened out.

We’re all going to be busy at times if not almost all times, but the type of busy we’re dealing with is often affected by how well we’re planning to meet the deadlines.

Make it a Good Busy.

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