thanks | 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

Thanks for Reading – 8/1/23

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

My company, Customer Service Solutions, Inc., just celebrated our 25th Anniversary!  We love the work we do for our clients, and we definitely love our clients.  We’ve developed many friendships over the years, and we’ve tried to provide consistently high quality and personal support for whatever may be their particular goals or needs or issues.

For about 24 of those 25 years, we’ve written these tips of the week.  So, thank you for being a Tip fan, and Thank You for Reading!

CSS conducts a lot of research for our clients, and among all the different types of research we provide, we’ve conducted well over 1,000 surveys.

Sometimes these are web-based surveys where – in lieu of or in addition to completing the survey – the customer or account holder will e-mail us directly, since we’re the survey administrator.

If they have a question or a need or an issue to be addressed, we always reply.  It’s amazing how many times that survey respondent replies to our reply by saying: Thanks for reading! By saying: I can’t believe somebody actually responded. By saying: Thanks for taking my issue seriously.

It’s interesting that the customer is showing appreciation just for somebody reading their message.  Just for getting a response.  Just for feeling like they are being heard.

It’s amazing how simply responding – simply allowing people to feel heard – has a tremendous impact on how the customer feels.  And as Maya Angelou once said:  People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

And it makes me feel great that you all have read all these tips, and hopefully they’ve helped you a little bit over the years.

Thanks for Reading!

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You Mostly Get What You Give – 11/23/21

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It is Thanksgiving week in the United States, so let’s talk “Thanks.

There’s a saying that You Get What You Give.  And while the goal of giving thanks should not be “To receive things,” getting something positive in return is often a nice byproduct of being appreciative of others.

It’s amazing that when I thank someone for some action they’ve taken, even if it is just “doing their job,” how many times they will pause and smile…or say Thanks…or say It’s my pleasure.  Sometimes they’ll expand and say why they enjoy doing what they’re doing.  And it makes me feel good when they stop for a moment and feel appreciation, and I can see they’re pleased to hear the thanks.

In this current world of ZOOM meetings, there are times when the meeting facilitator is seeking affirmation that people understood what she said or agree with the point…but there’s dead silence.  So, if I feel their uneasiness, I will give them the thumbs up.  I’ll make sure I verbalize that their plan sounds good.  I used to silently agree without stating it, but I’ve found that there are few mind readers in the world.  If I agree, I need to verbalize that support and appreciation.  They, in turn, get the affirmation they deserve.

There have been many instances with CSS, since we are a management consulting firm, where we were brought in by a client or business partner for a project.  I try to be as appreciative as I can for them trusting me and our organization to serve them or service their client on their behalf.  Likewise, when CSS brings in mystery shoppers, research partners, or subcontractors to do some work on behalf of CSS, I’m appreciative of those folks.  I know they’ve got lives and jobs and other responsibilities and priorities, so for them to carve out some time to do work for my clients – even if CSS is paying them – their effort and interest is much appreciated.

Through all this giving of thanks and appreciation, I’ve noticed that the tone of conversations becomes much more positive.  The dialogue is much more pleasant.  The relationships seem to grow more naturally and easily, and the collaboration seems to flow more smoothly.

So, you don’t always Get What You Give, but if giving includes a lot of thanks and appreciation for others, you have a great chance to get more positive and productive days.

Give to give, and watch what you’ll receive.

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And YOU get a Thanks, and YOU get a Thanks… – 6/15/21

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

Yes, Oprah Winfrey gets her first shout-out in a CSS Customer Service Tip of the Week!  She’s famous for many things – one of which was giving out presents to everybody in her audiences.  She would happily proclaim:  And YOU get a gift, and YOU get a gift, and YOU get a gift!

And as generous as that was, in the back of our minds we all know that she’s SO wealthy, that she can afford to give all those people gifts.  Well, even if we all are not rich, we can still afford to give our customers the gift…of thanks.

I’m sure that we’ve all been brought up in homes where we were told that – in business – when the transaction ends, somebody should say “thank you” and somebody should say “you’re welcome.”  But oftentimes in our personal lives, we give them our money, they give us the merchandise, and there is dead silence.  But we want to hear a thank you.  So we, the customer, say “thank you!”  It’s like saying “thank you for taking my hard-earned money.”  Or “thank you for the privilege of buying this combo meal; I really appreciate it!”

It shouldn’t be that way.  Employees should initiate the thanks.  Employees should convey the appreciation because the customer has an option; the customer could take their business elsewhere.  So, the employee should be the one closing positively and showing appreciation.

As you’re completing your transaction, and as that conversation on the phone or face-to-face is about to end, get in the habit of initiating the thanks, of initiating the appreciation.  And even if the customer says thanks before you get the opportunity, say thanks to them back. Say “I really appreciate your coming in” or “I really appreciate your bringing this to our attention.”

Realize that the customer has an opinion, and that opinion matters – that decides if they want to stay with you or want to go elsewhere.  Make sure that their last memory of their experience with you is your statement of appreciation.

Thank the customer first.

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