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Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

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

Don’t Let This Shot Affect Your Next Shot – 11/15/22

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

When I was a teenager, I used to play a lot of golf, and I was pretty good for my age.  I’d have a good attitude and enjoyed the game, but if I hit a bad shot, I’d get upset.  And more often than not, that one bad shot and the frustration that followed would be followed by another bad shot and more frustration.  It would snowball, and everything would go downhill.

One day, I was playing the third hole on my home course with my Dad.  I was hitting my second shot, and instead of the ball going straight to the green, it took a sharp left turn into a big pine tree.  The ball pinged from branch to branch until it dropped to the ground.  Highly upset at hitting such a horrible shot, I flung my club into that same tree.  But the club did not drop to the ground; it was stuck up in the tree.

How My Dad Responded

Now my Dad could have responded in a number of ways.  He could have yelled at me for throwing my club.  He could have told me to climb up the tree and get it.  He could have given me a stern lecture on my poor behavior. 

He did none of those.  Instead, he walked over to the tree, climbed up, and got my club.  He then handed it to me and walked away.

I don’t know if I had ever been so embarrassed in my life.

How I Responded

Needless to say, I stopped throwing clubs.  Today, I rarely play golf, and when I do, I don’t play or score nearly as good as when I was a teenager.  But I seem to take more joy in playing.  And when I hit a bad shot, I don’t let it affect me much at all.  More importantly, I don’t let it affect my next shot and eventually ruin my round.

In customer service, you have many opportunities to get frustrated.  And while the immediate reaction – the frustration – is understandable, don’t let that bad situation affect the attitude you take into the next situation, the next conversation, the next encounter.

Don’t let one frustration snowball and ruin your whole day.

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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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Reach Out to Customers the Right Way – 3/31/20

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

Depending on what industry that you work in, business is either booming, or it’s greatly slowed down.  I’m not sure if there’s much of a middle ground these days – where industries are working as normal.

If you’re in one of the industries where business has slowed, there may be an opportunity for you, and a need to address.  When customers are not coming to us as often – to take out a loan for a financial institution, to order products, to buy tickets to a sporting event, to submit plans for new construction – those are times where we lose touch points with our customers. Those are times when we lose contact. Those are times where there are gaps in the communication which can lead to relationships going stale.

Therefore, these are times when we need to ramp up our proactive communications with customers.

Three Types of Proactive Touches – Pick the Right Ones

Too often, businesses view proactive touch points with customers only as opportunities to market and sell. However, you may recall that we recommend three different types of touch points with customers.  One obviously is a proactive communication where you’re marketing and selling, but the first touch point is one where you are seeking information from your customers, asking questions, conducting short surveys, or inquiring about the customer.  The second is actually a proactive push of information, but it is not sales and marketing-oriented. Instead, you are sharing information of value. You’re trying to help the customer.  You are offering educational information to help them personally or professionally.

So, two of the three proactive touches have nothing to do with marketing and sales, and these softer touches are the ones to ramp up at times like these.

When the number of times that your customer reaches out to you goes down, ramp up the number of proactive touches to your customers.  But with empathy, remember that these touches are focused on learning about them and how they’re doing; these touches are about providing information valuable to them – to help them.

Keep your proactive communications with your customers going.

Don’t let relationships go stale.

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