training | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 10

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

Schools Should be in the Business of Providing Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

In a New York Times School Book article titled “Parents Deserve the Best Customer Service…,” a New York City Charter school principal – Jim Manly – tells parents “you deserve the best customer service on the planet.” (I should just say “Amen,” but that would be too short a post).

We’ve performed customer service training and even mystery shopping for K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities, and the reason is that some educational organizations do “get it.” They realize that – when parents base decisions on where to send their child, or what attitude they’ll have with an employee, or the opinion about the school that they’ll share with a friend – they base those decisions, attitudes, and opinions on the people they interact with, what’s it like to work with a school, and the quality of the education itself.

So the quality of the education is important, but the respect conveyed, responsiveness to needs and inquiries, timeliness of action, and ease of doing business with the school also matter to most parents. Therefore, schools, community colleges, and universities must have a competitive attitude of “I need to earn the parent’s trust” and “I need to earn the right to teach their child” and “I need to earn their respect by how I interact with them, work with them, and teach their children.

These tenets of great customer service apply to most any business. If more businesses felt like it was up to them to earn the trust, the business, and the respect of their customers, then we would all be providing truly GREAT customer service.

Use customer service to earn your customer’s respect and repeat business.

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website!

Don’t Let Local Politicians Drive Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

You know it must be bad when local politicians want to draft a resolution that requires that government employees deliver good customer service.

A Maine City Councilor is looking to improve customer service at City Hall by crafting a document that requires that customers “are treated with the utmost courtesy and that all such transactions are handled in a respectful and professional manner.” He’s heard of residents and local business owners not getting prompt, effective service in response to inquiries and in the permitting processes.

While most municipalities have local developers, design professionals, and those who work in the trades who have concerns with permitting and inspection processes, it’s a sad day when politicians feel the need to take up the mantle of customer service champion. Maybe this Councilor truly feels customer service is a major concern, or maybe he is pushing this for some other reason, but the point is that there are ways to improve customer service – and this isn’t at the top of the list.

We’ve worked with local government – in permitting/inspections areas, in particular – for years, and much of what they’ve done to continuously improve customer service focuses on 3 areas:

· Continually Engage the Customer – Have local committees made up of the building community that offer you input into your plans, share feedback on service, and provide support on your initiatives. Augment this with ongoing (at least bi-annual) surveys of the broader constituency.

· Ensure Staff Have the Skills and Mindset They Need – Develop customer service standards – a bare minimum expectation in terms of how staff will engage customers. Provide training on the skills, principles, and philosophies of great customer service. Most permitting/inspections staff are hired because of technical skills, so they need training to ensure they also have great communication and service skills.

· Have a Process Improvement Orientation – So much of what drives satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with permitting and inspection services relates to processes. How quickly can a permit be issued? How easy is it to submit plans for review? How often to inspectors show up at the scheduled time onsite? Ensure your processes and technology are standardized, efficient, and easy to navigate.

Take the need to improve out of the hands of the politicians. Talk to the customer. Train the staff. Continuously improve your processes and systems.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?”

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website!

You, Your Car, and Customer Retention

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

A recent J.D. Power study on retention among automobile manufacturers noted that Hyundai has the best customer retention – a 64% rate. The industry average was only 49%. So that means that only half of you (and me) buy the same brand of car that we’re replacing. Yikes! If that’s not a red flag to businesses, I don’t know one.

Take this perspective (more numbers…). Hyundai sold 645,691 vehicles in 2011. At a 64% retention rate, that’s equivalent to a 36% loss rate. So when those 2011 vehicles are turned in by owners for their next vehicle, 232,449 of them will not be a Hyundai.

If I wanted to create a revenue-generating job at Hyundai, it would be “Chief Retention Officer.” The CRO would be in charge of trying not to lose as many of those 232,449 customers as possible. If he saved just 1% of them, he’d generate over $30 million for Hyundai. Keep in mind that we’re talking about the BEST automotive manufacturing company there is at customer retention.

Now, look at your own company, your own business. Who is your CRO? Who has the authority to do the research and create the strategy to generate your additional revenue by reducing customer loss? Who has the capability to design the training and customer relationship development approach to increase loyalty?

Find a CRO so you can crow about your retention.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?”

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website!

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