service recovery | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 8

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

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

Speed the Transformation of Your Customer’s Experience

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

I’m constantly flummoxed by executives who feel that the only good idea is a new idea, the only means to success is through their own innate creativity. A COO once told me that trying to create simplicity in operations for staff (so they could more consistently deliver a great experience to their customers) wasn’t challenging enough.

The best executives need to realize that there’s a multitude of great examples of customer service cultures and wonderful customer experiences in other businesses, other industries. And there’s no shame in learning from others to speed the transformation of an organization.

In the article City School District taking lesson from Wegmans, the Rochester School District announced that it was going to train staff on many of the same customer service principles and techniques that Wegmans Grocery Stores (with a reputation for great customer service) utilize. This includes quick issue resolution and fostering a WWWD (“What would Wegmans do?”) mindset.

The point is not to say that we all need to look to our local grocer for customer service tips. Rather, in Education or other industries (local government, healthcare, etc.) that are not always known for a great customer experience, sometimes it’s better not to look at industry peers. It’s best to look to those who have the reputation for being the best in a particular aspect of business. Think Zappos for culture, Chick-fil-A for consistent customer service in a transactional environment, or Amazon for personalization in a high tech/high volume world.

Speed the transformation of your customer’s experience by benchmarking with best-in-class performers OUTSIDE your industry.

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In Service Recovery, Say It Like You Mean It – 12/10/13 TOW

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


Wanda was incensed. She was talking to the customer service representative about one of her client’s mortgages, and she was venting. “I waited on hold for 37 minutes, and then when the representative picked up the phone, he tried to help, but he couldn’t. After 11 minutes, he transferred me to another service center, where I was on hold 10 minutes as well. I left a message, and nobody has called me back!”

Notice that she’s giving specific times, explaining the process she’s been through, and ends with a negative (and a hefty inflection).

Next, Wanda was silent for about 15 seconds, and then she said “My client just wants to pay off the mortgage. The gentleman I spoke with from your company tried that, and it didn’t work.” [paused] “You say you want to help, but if you did you would be listening – like I mentioned, he already tried that, and…” [paused] “Please don’t interrupt. Listen, my client just wants to pay off his loan. Just look up his account number, please, like the other gentleman did, and I’ll explain this again.”

Notice that she’s using professional terminology (“gentleman…client…please”), but she’s upset after each pause. In each pause, the customer service representative is trying to direct Wanda or trying to run through a script, and Wanda isn’t happy. Wanda seems professional and somewhat patient, but she’s VERY frustrated, and this current representative isn’t conveying he cares. He isn’t conveying that he’s listening. He isn’t conveying that he SINCERELY wants to help.

In Service Recovery situations such as this (especially on the phone), the customer not only needs to sense action is occurring, but they need to feel like you’re listening – they need to hear that in your voice and by what you communicate back to them. Restating and confirming their issue before suggesting a next step, having empathy, being patient enough to let them finish while conveying a little urgency FOR them through your voice (with some pace and fluctuation), and even stating that you want to help (by emphasizing the word “want”) – these are ways to show you care in Service Recovery.

These conversations are tough, but to the customer they’re often tougher because they feel they have no control over the resolution. Therefore, we need to deal with their emotion with sincerity coming through in our voice.

In Service Recovery, Say It Like You Mean It.


Customer Retention for Marketers

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

Many marketing articles, blogs, apps, other tech-related devices talk “customer retention” but are really talking their true love – “marketing.” They talk about how “marketing drives higher retention” and how relationship development is really “drip marketing.”

I’m not going to debate retention v. marketing because many people think only about sales and marketing, they don’t think in terms of customer service and developing relationships for the long-term.

So for any marketers out there, here’s some customer retention advice on mindset, strategies, key questions from the marketing perspective:

  • When considering retention, think of your customer as an individual person – not a group. Communicate with them as an individual, not as a market segment. If you’ve ever had a company for whom you’ve been a long-term customer market to you like you’re a prospect, that company abdicated their relationship with you for the ease of pushing products.
  • When developing strategies, focus on the concept of what you need to do to still have this customer in 1-2 years. In other words, what would you need to do – and when would you stage those actions – over the next 1-2 years? Companies who think short-term, often come across as doing things in their best interest, not in terms of what’s best for the customer.
  • When communicating with them, first know how they want you to communicate with them (not how you want to communicate with them). I’ve oftentimes received multiple sales telephone calls and just let the machine pickup, never to return their call. However, if they would have e-mailed me in a personal way, I’ll always respond, even if not interested at that time.
  • Communicate with them in their preferred frequency of communication. Some people will opt-out of e-mail campaigns coming at them 3-5 times per week (especially since they’re typically just sell-related), but they won’t opt-out if it’s once every 1-2 weeks and/or if there’s a mix of sales and more educational communications.
  • View a customer as a supplier of information to you – the information you need to retain and sell them. Don’t think “push” first; think “pull” first – spend more of your research strategy in getting to know them, asking questions and pulling information from them (especially at the start of the relationship) than pushing offers to them.
  • Base your decisions on their personal retention drivers; base your strategies on them as individuals. If you know why one customer will stay with you, address it. We conducted research for a client that noted that first-time customers who are likely to renew annual contracts are actually interested in upsell opportunities, but a high percentage of first-time customers are not likely to renew. You can’t do much with that general information, but since we knew which customers had which inclinations, we could recommend to whom to market and to whom to take a service recovery/retention approach.

If you’re a marketer, customer retention is for you – just know through what lens to look to create your marketing strategies.

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