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When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

When You Know More Than They Do - 7/19/22


It was 95 degrees outside.  That’s not too bad when you’re inside and enjoying the air conditioning; but when Rachel’s A/C went out, in came Rachel’s worry.  Luckily, she knew the company to call, and a technician from Acme HVAC (fake name, real company) came out the next morning. Rachel Read more

Investigate for FACTS - 7/12/22


Sometimes the issues that we deal with don’t have an immediate resolution.  There’s unknown information and conflicting stories.  Many individuals are involved, or possibly whoever is involved is not available.  You have to investigate. For situations where you have to be clear on what occurred, make sure you’re gathering all Read more

Become a Great Teacher - 7/5/22


Are you one of those people who really liked school?  School is always made more enjoyable by great teachers and professors. Do you love sports?  Many coaches in football and basketball, in hockey and baseball view themselves as teachers…teaching the game they love to their team. True leadership is about growing Read more

Don’t Assume Their Motivation - 6/28/22


The company was instituting new human resources policies aimed at holding employees accountable for being late to work.  Employee lateness had been rising, and management wanted to make sure they reinforced the need for people to be on time. At a meeting to roll out the new policies, a leader Read more

It’s Not Always About the Outcome - 6/21/22


We want the satisfied customer.  We want the issue resolved.  We want to be able to fix the error or save the client.  We want to feel good coming out of a conversation, or feel like we have accomplished something special.  We want the “win win.” But all those great Read more

Ask: What is your goal? - 6/14/22


Through these Tips, we’ve shared our technique about how to meet the customer’s need right the first time.  It’s a conversation – a give and take with the customer where you hone in on what their true need or concern is, seeking more clarity to more quickly get to Read more

Make it Sincerely Yours - 6/7/22


I’d like to hear more.  I’m sorry about the situation.  Resolving your issue is important to me.  We appreciate your business.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention. These phrases are generally well-received depending on the situation.  But we want to make sure when we’re speaking to others that Read more

Hospitals Must Care About More Than Clinical Outcomes

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

You go to a hospital with a broken bone, and you expect them to heal it. You go to the E.R. with pain, and you expect the pain to be relieved. You get admitted with an infection, and you expect them to provide a cure.

These are all clinical outcomes. They are all the reasons why patients go to hospitals. They are the ultimate product of the hospital.

But they are not all that matter to the customer. In a way, they are the most basic expectation of the patient. Why would a patient go to a hospital with a broken bone, pain, or an infection if they DIDN’T expect to get this issue remedied?

In the article “Quality hospital care doesn’t ensure patient satisfaction” (on www.fierehealthcare.com), the point it made that what drives patient satisfaction often has little to do with the quality of the care itself. Florida ranks 8th nationally in quality of care, but it ranks 49th in patient satisfaction according to the study quoted in the article. "This conclusion underscores the need for hospitals to engage in regular patient satisfaction surveys rather than assume patients are satisfied with their medical care simply because the hospital meets a particular standard of clinical quality," the study’s authors wrote.

Think about your hospital, your organization, your business – even if you don’t work in healthcare. Just because the patient got the medication at your clinic doesn’t mean they’d like to return to your location. Just because the fan liked the team’s performance on the basketball court doesn’t mean they’re a raving fan of your organization. Just because the student liked the course he took doesn’t mean he loves your community college.

Think beyond the product when you’re thinking about how to drive higher levels of customer satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat business. Survey and engage in improvement efforts which address service processes and staff as well.

Go beyond the product.

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

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/


Give Away the House – Now THAT’S Fan Relations!

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

In the article titled “Penguins offer freebie game with job-hunting twist,” the Associated Press describes a pre-season program where attendees to an exhibition game of the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins will attend free (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j6iKWLJLaijtjwodlAwtulAtXjzgD9IAENCG1). That’s right, 18,000 fans and $0 in ticket revenue.

About 8,000 of the tickets will be given out so fans can attend an “in-game” job fair. The other 10,000 tickets will be donated to local children’s charities and youth hockey leagues.

While I’m not suggesting great Fan Relations requires you to give away the house for free, there are positive lessons to be learned even if you can’t forego the lost ticket revenue.

First, not everything has to be an immediate benefit to your organization; understand that nurturing the customers of tomorrow is important to any organization’s long-term strategy. It’s about the long-term relationship, not the one-time transaction.

Second, if you invite the child, the parent will come (or at least show an interest and appreciation as well).

Third, know your customers and their situations. With the economy like it is today, what will attract more people who are not normally hockey fans – a Sidney Crosby bobblehead or a job interview?

Fourth, find ways to make the community as a whole a fan of yours. Find a niche where you can give back; give back for the good of the community today; it will bear fruit for you down the road.

Learn from the 2010 ESPN #1 rated Fan Relations organization (the Penguins)…even if you don’t have 18,000 free products or services to give away.

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

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/


Take a Measure from Government

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

When we work with our government clients, whether it’s an economic development division trying to retain local businesses, a property assessment division trying to efficiently serve its customer base, a City/County manager’s office trying to best manage such a large organization, we’ve found a consistent need – measurement.

When government is trying to measure over such a broad organization, they typically create an organization-wide balanced scorecard system. This metrics system will have the typical measures of Revenue, Cost, Quality, and Customer Service. But it will also have some more outcomes-oriented customer measures such as the percentage of residents on welfare and more capacity-oriented customer measures such as the percentage of residents living within “X” miles of a public park.

Let’s translate those last two measures to a typical business. Outcomes. An outcome is some end-benefit from what your service or product provides. It’s not the product itself. For a hospital, it’s the quality of life after discharge, not just how good the care was in the hospital. For a fine restaurant, it’s the enjoyment of the evening, not just the quality of the food. For an automobile dealership, it’s the feeling when driving or knowing you own a particular brand, not just the gas mileage. These outcomes often relate to the feelings your customers have as a result of their engagement with your company. They should be measured to make sure your services had a positive ongoing impact.

The other example metric dealt with Access. How close you live to a park can determine your ease of access and likelihood to use it. Similarly, what percentage of the population lives near a grocery store, what percentage of season ticket holders receive a sports team’s newsletter, and what percentage of long-term customers have online access all help to determine the customer’s access to the company. A greater access leads to a greater chance to develop relationships and retain the customer.

Learn from these atypical measures from government to know how well you impact your customers and to ensure you have adequate access to them.

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

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/