ritz-carlton | 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

Should Schools Clap for Parents?

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Imagine being a customer walking down an aisle in your home improvement store, and employees are lining the aisle…clapping for you! You know what I call that? Unrealistic.

Maybe you’re a customer walking down a hallway at a hotel, and employees are lining the hallway…clapping for you! You know what I call that? A reality.

That’s what happened to school employees at a Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, GA. According to the article Enota 1 of 4 honored by state for welcoming families, “A line of Ritz-Carlton employees stretched down the hotel hallway, and applause erupted as a group of public school educators walked by.” Apparently, the hotel occasionally uses the “wall of applause” to convey appreciation for its customers.

So if employees clapped for you, how would you feel (besides “awkward”)? Would you feel appreciated? Valued? Special?

The article notes that “With research showing a clear link between parent engagement and student success, education officials say it’s essential that parents are involved, and they must make sure families feel welcome at schools that can sometimes feel like fortresses.

Many schools are becoming even notorious for loading down parents with early school year paperwork, requests to follow teachers and the school on Twitter, Facebook, e-mail distribution lists, etc. Demands on parents are increasing, and much of this is for the better (to encourage more parental involvement, better communications, safety, etc.). But when you ask your “customer” to do more, at some point you need to show appreciation for that involvement, for that effort, for that reciprocal communication.

Think about what you ask of your customers, particularly if that customer has few alternatives for your services (K-12 schools and local government, for example).

Then identify ways to convey appreciation for involvement, thereby encouraging positive customer behaviors to continue.

Learn about our CSS Education services at: http://cssamerica.com/cssed.htm

Interested in improving your educational organization’s parent/community satisfaction? See our other blog posts at: http://serviceadvice.cssamerica.com/category/education/


Physician Clinics, Processes, and Patient Satisfaction…oh my!

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

A recent study noted in American Medical News evaluated multiple aspects of a patient’s experience in a physician’s practice and determined that the three most important aspects of the experience all related to the doctor. The doctor’s knowledge, time spent with the patient, and access to the patient’s medical records were of greatest importance to patients.

However, there are a few points that might not be so obvious. Six of the next seven most important attributes all dealt with process – ease of billing, efficient billing process, time spent in the waiting room, etc. We believe that the 3 drivers of customer satisfaction in any industry are Employee Attitudes/Skills/Knowledge, Service Processes, and the Product/Service itself. So this process impact is not surprising, but it’s important. Key Conclusion: Make it easy and efficient for the customer to do business with you.

But another point in the article is typically as important. Other studies have shown that 40% of customer dissatisfaction is because their expectations weren’t met. This article notes how many patients compare their experience at a clinic to their experience in other industries. So it’s time for physician clinics like most other businesses to look outside themselves to learn. If the Ritz-Carlton makes you feel special, what can a physician clinic learn from them? If a NASCAR pit crew can change four tires and fill a gas tank in 12 seconds, what can a physician clinic learn from them? If Amazon.com can enable a 1-click purchase, what can the clinic learn from them?

It’s not just for healthcare organizations like clinics; this “looking outside yourself” benchmarking approach should be undertaken by local governments, the business operations staff for sports teams, community colleges and other education industry organizations, and retailers alike.

Key Conclusion: Customers come in with expectations about your business based on experiences with other businesses. So look at other businesses to identify improvement opportunities in your own.

Make it easy for the customer to do business with you…and to enjoy the experience, too!

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/