service recovery | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 3

“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

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

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

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 is not a heating, ventilation, nor air conditioning expert, but she likes to understand the problem before deciding how to get things fixed.

The visit went well, and later that day, Rachel responded to a follow-up e-mail from the home office of Acme HVAC with a positive reply.  She was very happy with the technician.  The tech was an expert in his work and excellent in his communications with Rachel, and there were 3 lessons learned for all of us when we’re in a situation like this – where you know lots more than the customer:

  • Pack Your Patience – Providing short answers to broad customer questions – so you can shorten the conversation – can lead to a customer’s lack of clarity or understanding. The customer doesn’t have your level of knowledge, so if they’re inquisitive, it’s because they want to talk, they want to learn, they want to make an informed decision.  Be patient from the start.
  • Explain in Bite-sized Chunks – Explaining something new to a customer verbally can be difficult for them to clearly comprehend, especially if you’re discussing a process. Most people cannot absorb and understand a series of steps or interrelated topics if you give them everything at once.  Give them Step 1, verify they understand, then go to Step 2.
  • Allow/Encourage Questions – Learning is made easier if the teacher is encouraging conversation. Ask if they have any questions.  Note how you’re happy to answer any questions.  Offer the types of questions that people in similar situations often ask.  Convey a willingness to help them learn.

 
When you know more than the customer, Pack Your Patience, Explain in Bite-sized Chunks, and Allow/encourage questions.

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Investigate for FACTS – 7/12/22

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

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 the pertinent information.  Here’s a quick acronym to help guide your research into the issue – Get the FACTS:

  • Financial Information – The emotions from the customers can often relate to their bottom line; what is coming out of their pocket or already has been taken out? Likewise, the company often uses financial criteria when deciding how to deal with situations.  Make sure you clearly understand what’s going on from a financial angle in the situation.
  • Actions Taken or Untaken – Determine what has been done, or potentially what should have been done but didn’t occur. Knowing what work has been accomplished or what forms were completed helps to understand the situation better.
  • Content of Communications – Understand what the customer communicated to the company, and likewise what employees in the company communicated back. This goes to completeness of information, clarity of communications – and it affects expectations from both parties.
  • Tone of Communications – When emotions are involved, it’s not just because it’s dealing with people’s pocketbooks or because of the particulars of the situation, it’s also because of HOW things are communicated. Try to uncover whether and how tone played a part in this situation.
  • Sequencing – Finally, if things don’t make sense when you’re digging for facts, it may be because there’s not clarity about what happened first, then second, then third. Knowing the timing of the process that has led you to this point will let you know where miscommunications or miscues occurred, where feelings were hurt, and where expectations were set and not met.

 
When you have to investigate an issue, first uncover the FACTS.

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Become a Great Teacher – 7/5/22

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

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 your people…teaching them…educating them…providing the wisdom of your experience so that they can improve, maybe even more quickly than you did in your professional life.

The common thread in these comments about teachers, coaches, and business leaders is their role as a teacher, an educator.

Every one of us, regardless of whether we’re in a leadership role in the organization or not, needs to view ourselves, in part, as a teacher.  We are educators of our customers.

For a new customer, if we want them to have the best experience possible, we need to view ourselves as an educator, teaching them how to best work with the organization, navigate our processes, get the information they need, and learn how to have the best experience possible.

When resolving an issue, we need to let the customer know their role in making the resolution happen.  We need them to be clear on what’s going to happen next, what to expect, what we’re going to do for them, and how they can avoid similar situations in the future.

And if we want to grow business with our customer, we need to educate them on other products and services, other ways that they can get value out of their experience with us.  We need to constantly build their awareness and knowledge of how they can grow their satisfaction in being a customer of ours, how they can deepen their relationship with our organization.  And we do so by helping them to understand the products and services and experiences that will bring the greatest value to them.

For the benefit of your customers, become a great educator.

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