skills | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“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

To Improve, Understand Why You Do What You Do – 10/19/21

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

In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says that habits form at the intersection of desire, skills, and knowledge.  Desire is the WANT TO do something.  Skills is the HOW TO do something.  Knowledge is a combination of the WHAT TO do and WHY TO do it.

Many of those who are best at serving others, who are best at customer service, have the desire to help others.  They have the desire to meet a need, to resolve an issue, or to just engage people and do something for others.

In our professional lives, we hope to build our skill set, we go through training, watch webinars, read, and learn from co-workers and mentors to build our skill set.

To build our knowledge, we learn policies and procedures and people and places and products and services.

Understanding the Why

But the one area of this habit-forming approach that is often neglected – or at least not considered enough – is the “why to.”

And yet, the why to is often the most important thing.  It notes the purpose of what we’re doing.  It notes the potential benefit of our actions and our attitudes.  It suggests the key reason for the habit we have or the habits we’re hoping to form.

So, think about the habits you have formed or want to form.  Maybe it’s a habit of how you greet somebody or how and when you respond to messages.  Maybe it’s a habit of how you plan or how you organize.  Maybe it’s the mindset you take when you’re dealing with an angry customer.  Maybe it’s a habit of who you share information with or who you don’t share information with in certain circumstances.

Now take a step back, and ask yourself the why question.  Why do you greet people like you do?  Why do you respond to messages the way you do and in the timeframe you do?  Why do you plan or organize the way you do?  What do you have a certain mindset when dealing with certain people?  Why do you share information with some people but not other people?

If you want to change a habit, want to form a new habit, really want to improve the things you routinely do, the actions you routinely take, the attitudes you routinely have, then start with asking yourself why you’re doing those things today.  By understanding yourself a little bit better and the reasons behind the habits, it’s easier to see whether and why you should change those behaviors.

To improve, understand why you do what you do.

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The Most Important (BLAND) Customer Service Skill – 10/17/17

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People great at customer service are often responsive and efficient. Not the sexiest words to use, but I’m going to use an EVEN MORE BLAND (How’s that for hype!) word to describe much of what drives responsiveness and efficiency – Organization. Continuously work on your personal organizational skills:

  • Save the Trees! Rely less on paper – instead, have soft copies of more/all information – using e-mail, PDFs, One Note, and other tools that can be more easily organized together.
  • Add “Virtual” Structure: Organize your files by client or topics or project or initiative. Use subfolders to best refine that structure. Don’t be one of those folks with one e-mail folder – the 30,000 e-mail Inbox!
  • Plan Your Work: Plan your weeks at the end of the prior week or first thing that new week. Ensure you have the time to do what you need to do each day to reduce the chance you get behind.
  • Work Your Plan: Plan your days at the end of the prior day or first thing that day. Work your top priorities first, and if you did a weekly plan, you won’t have to think about tomorrow until tomorrow.
  • Feng Shui Anyone? Make sure your work area is arranged to make it easy to find information, to share information, to quickly get what you need for a client response or a meeting.
  • Out with the Old: Purge or archive old files – whether it’s hardcopy or e-mail, the longer you keep old information near the new, the longer it will take you to find what’s truly relevant.
  • Quickly In (and out) with the New: When assigned a new quick task or asked for a response, consider doing it right then instead of putting it on a list to do later. This keeps your backlog down and increases your responsiveness.

 

If you want to be great at customer service, find ways to be more efficient, more responsive, more effective, and even save yourself some time.

Get organized to get better at customer service.

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Get Better to Get a Raise – 10/10/17

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I was giving a speech recently about organizational culture, and the focus of the talk was the approach to culture by best-in-class organizations.

One organization I highlighted bases employee raises – in part – on how much staff have improved their own skills and capabilities. In one sense, that’s an odd thing to consider. Isn’t it the organization’s responsibility to develop staff? Shouldn’t staff just do their job? Isn’t performance more important than skills and capabilities?

Those are all logical questions, but let’s instead focus on the following questions. What if your organization rewarded you for developing your skills and capabilities? What if your organization realized that the way to improve organizational performance is to improve individual and team performance? What if the organization believed employee development to be a shared responsibility between the company and the individual?

If that was the case, it leads to questions you can ask yourself. How are you improving skills and capabilities?

What are you reading? Who are you asking for feedback about your own skills, capabilities, and performance?

What are you doing to learn more about technology? About communications? About engaging your customers?

And about what are you being inquisitive that could improve your skills?

Ask and answer these questions for yourself.

Tomorrow, your customers will be different, your technology will be different, your leadership will be different. Maybe even your company will be different. Find ways to get better today to prepare for your tomorrow.

Make your own case for getting a raise. Build your skills and capabilities.

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