secret shop | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22


The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22


The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22


If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22


As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22


We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22


I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21


The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21


Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21


Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21


Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to Read more

Great Customer Service is Up to Great People

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

There’s a lot at play in the customer’s experience – it’s the phone system they wade through, the website that gives them directions, the signage that helps them navigate the store front, the process for returning an item. But what’s most at play in customer experiences it the interaction, the 2-way dialogue between employee and customer.

In the Southern Business Journal article It’s the customer! Learn to see service from patrons’ vantage point, the author quotes a sales manager at the “Wright Do-It Center” that says one of the keys to “great customer service for her store is hiring the right staff members — finding friendly, outgoing and positive people. New employees go through extensive customer service training, she says, and management tries to look for opportunities to reinforce what staff has learned.”

In other words, the best CRM system, the best phone system, the best website, and the best process need the best of employees to make it all work. They discuss the use of “secret shoppers” to assess performance and identify improvement opportunities. They address surveys to research customer preferences. But whatever needs to be changed or improved in the customer experience, it comes down to people designing the change. People implementing the change. People delivering the higher level of service.

No matter what your organization does to improve customer service, remember that it all starts with people. Try to hire, train, motivate, and otherwise enable employees to become great at customer service.

Identify the criteria you use to hire people, how you evaluate them, how you hold them accountable and motivate them to grow, how you tap their knowledge to understand the voice of the customer, and how you use their talents to constantly improve customer experience.

Don’t get so caught up in investing in the latest technological advance or marketing scheme that you lose sight of the key to it all.

To keep and grow with your customer base, keep and grow your best talent first.

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/

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







Secret Shopping to Uncover…Great Customer Service?

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

We’ve done enough secret shopping for our clients to know that employees are not happy to learn that they might be shopped. It’s tough to get evaluated, and it’s especially tough when the evaluator is some mystery person. But in the article Secret shoppers reveal best in customer service, a mystery shopping engagement in California results in…awards!

The secret shoppers identified eight residents who provided exceptional service, and the eight individuals were rewarded with certificates and prizes.

This is the part that many organizations forget when they do research – whether that research is a customer satisfaction survey or a mystery shopping engagement. The goal is not just to see what you can do better, but it’s also to celebrate success. We often talk about redirecting people when they do poorly and reinforcing what they do right. It’s not about punishment; it’s about improvement. And one of the best ways to improve is to highlight (and then replicate) success!

We have a hospital client which we meet with quarterly to review patient satisfaction survey results and create Action Plans for the upcoming quarter. Well over 60% of the Action Items listed deal with sharing positive results with staff, recognizing customer service stars, and celebrating success.

So when your organization does research, remember that’s it’s not about the “gotcha” moments. It’s about finding opportunities to improve and opportunities to reward and recognize.

Get shopped to highlight great customer service.

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/

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







With Customer Issues and Complaints, It’s All About Speed

Posted on in Business Advice Please leave a comment

Fast…Do it fast…Make them feel like you’re moving at light speed…Make them feel like there’s continuous action…

When you’re dealing with a complaint or a customer issue, a key to retaining (and even increasing business with) that customer is speed.

Studies have shown that if you resolve an issue of a customer, they will tell 5 people about the great work you do. If you resolve issues quickly, you have an 82% chance of repurchase v. only 54% chance of repurchase if you resolve it slowly. So speed aids retention to the tune of 28%!! Speed.

It takes a lot for some customers to complain; so if they care enough to complain, convey you care, too, by acting to resolve that issue fast.

Tell them you want to help them. Tell them what you’re doing to address the need. Give them status updates along the way. Ensure your organization has communication and service delivery processes in place which are speed-oriented and geared toward service recovery situations.

Evaluate how you handle these situations. Look internally, and test externally with mystery shopping, but assess, and improve.

When it comes to Service Recovery, find a need for speed.

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

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