survey | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 9

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


Delivering great customer service isn’t just about responding and reacting.  It’s also about being proactive.  Developing relationships involves reaching out first, not just extending our hand when somebody reaches out to us. But it’s all too clear that those of us who are in service roles prefer those roles to Read more

Be Kind to Yourself When the Customer Isn’t - 9/13/22


I was having a debrief call with one of my clients recently, and this was regarding a survey of employees who work events.  One of the survey questions asked employees for advice on how to improve the customer experience.  When the employees shared their input on the guest experience, Read more

Being the Emphatic Employee - 9/6/22


Empathy is the key quality of somebody who’s great at customer service.  We talk about it often - what it is, how to convey it, what it looks like, and how it makes the customer feel. But along with knowing how to be empathetic, we also need to know how Read more

The Good, the Really Good, and the Ugly of Customer Service - 8/30/22


Here are three helpful customer service stories.  They may not be from your specific industry, but it’s always good to learn from others. The Good… Paula submitted a ticket to the I.T. vendor.  Below the signature line in the reply she received was the following:  Please share your comments or needs Read more

A Great 2-Minute E-mail - 8/23/22


I know.  You probably get e-mails all the time from customers griping about some aspect of your organization or their experience.  You’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told by staff Read more

When They Want to Talk to Your Boss - 8/16/22


“I want to talk to your supervisor.” That’s their opening salvo.  Before you can hardly finish your greeting, the customer is asking for your boss.  This is done by a customer who has tried to get an issue resolved, and it hasn’t worked, so they want to go to somebody Read more

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

From Lament to Leading the Way – 3 Steps to BRE-Building

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

I was having a conversation with an economic development professional (a Business Retention & Expansion manager), and he was sharing his organization’s approach to retaining and growing with existing local companies. It started positively, and then the more he talked, the more he described his issues:

  • He wanted to a “real” and robust BRE program.
  • The current program was too limited to conducting site visits once/year with key businesses.
  • He wanted “to have a continual dialogue with companies.”
  • He needed to more quickly use the results of the interviews in issue-resolution for the client and community.
  • There’s no system to their relationship-building with companies. It was too much of a task-focused endeavor.

Much of what the BRE professional was lamenting is common in the industry. Too much work, and too little time. So the focus is on hitting a targeted number of site visits, helping when issues arise in a manner that’s not efficient or systematic enough, having large lag time between gathering information and acting on well thought out strategies, and getting activities done more than relationships developed.

This is common…but it doesn’t mean it’s the step to greatness.

To take that next step, even if staffing resources don’t increase, several other aspects of the program should change:

  • BRE programs need to have a mix of research activities; overreliance on site visits (the most labor-intensive data collection method) reduces capacity for issue-resolution, planning, and real relationship development. Phone/web-based surveys, and BRE News Research are efficient ways of complementing site visits.
  • Creating 12-month Touch Point Plans helps organizations build client knowledge and relationships, often without having to take a step onsite. These need to be developed/executed to make relationship-building happen on an ongoing basis.
  • Developing resource databases and detailed search capabilities such as exist in some BRE applications expedites identification of people/grants/processes/services that can be used to impact business needs and issues. These databases can also expedite the sharing of resources with the business itself.

If you’re lamenting the difficulties in moving your BRE program to greatness, take these 3 great steps.

See more BRE blog posts at: http://brebuzz.com/bre-blog-posts/


9 Quick Ideas for Customer Service Week – There’s Still Time!

Posted on in Business Advice Please leave a comment

The World loves a landmark, an event, a holiday season, a moment in time. Greeting card companies especially love these milestones, because they’re usually a good reason to buy a card for someone.

Well this week is no different. In the business world, this is known as Customer Service Week. It’s a time to celebrate and recognize all stakeholders as well as refocus on the importance of customer service. So with the week halfway gone, these are 9 Quick Ideas you can still take and run with for this week and beyond:

  1. Have every employee write one handwritten Thank You letter or card for a key customer – appreciating their business.
  2. Have every supervisor/manager commit to writing one Thank You e-mail, letter, or card to an employee every other week – that’s 26 per year – noting appreciation for something specific the employee has done well.
  3. Identify 1 improvement your organization can implement over the next 30 days in how you reward staff for high levels of customer service – align rewards with desired behaviors.
  4. Convene a team of employees to identify the key issues or customer-related complaints they deal with on an ongoing basis. Commit to permanently eliminating the root cause of one of those over the next 30-60 days – benefits customers and staff as well.
  5. Identify 3 core customer service metrics to gauge monthly that everyone in the organization can understand and focus on as measures of performance.
  6. Create a Customer Service Book Club, and meet 1-2 times a month to discuss. We have an “unbiased” recommendation here to get started – Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?
  7. Do a short survey via e-mail, using a web-based tool, or even via the phone with customers asking 2-3 key questions. For example:
    • What do we do best?
    • What are the main reasons you’re our customer?
    • How can we improve our service to you?
  8. Do a short survey with staff asking 2-3 key questions. For example:
    • What do you like best about the culture and work environment at our business?
    • What are the main reasons you work here?
    • How can we make this a better place to work?
  9. Have the CEO or some other executive host an informal party for staff, conveying his/her appreciation for what they do.

Find some way to appreciate your staff and customers.

Like these ideas? Then check out our Customer Service Tips of the Week.


Gauge Customer Satisfaction at Every Encounter – 10/8/13 TOW

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

You may already feel you’re on “Metric Overload” (measuring customer satisfaction on surveys, getting mystery shopped, knowing your NPS, getting your CX ratings, and ensuring the ECS is A-OK).

Now – based on the title of this Tip – I’m going to tell you that you have to measure MORE?! Not exactly. What I’m suggesting is more do-able than daunting.

I want you to GAUGE customer satisfaction at every encounter. Measurement is done for many reasons, but the initial reason is always to gauge satisfaction. It’s easier to gauge (or get a feel for, an understanding of) satisfaction if you measure satisfaction.

But measurement for the sake of measurement is a waste of time and money. However, having every employee GAUGE customer satisfaction – literally at every customer encounter – is almost always beneficial.

So what do we mean by “gauge.” Hold the magnifying glass up to the customer’s body language; tune in more clearly to their tone-of-voice. What do those non-verbal communication methods tell you about what’s going on inside them, about what they’re feeling?

Literally ask “How was your experience today?’’ or “Did you get your needs met?” or “Is there anything more we can do?” or “Was there anything we could do differently/better next time?”

After many consulting engagements, I ask the client “Was this what you were hoping to receive when we started this process?” or “Do you feel like we achieved the goals you had envisioned when we began this project?”

By gauging the customer’s satisfaction during that encounter, you create – for yourself – an opportunity to learn what you’re doing well and to get positive feedback. You create – for the customer – an environment where they’re more comfortable sharing feedback, particularly constructive (negative) feedback.

At every customer encounter, you’re gauging customer satisfaction by literally looking, listening, and asking questions. You want to KNOW whether they’re satisfied before the conversation ends (and obviously address it if they’re not).

Gauge the customer’s satisfaction to better yourself and your organization.