trust | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22


The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22


The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22


If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22


As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22


We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22


I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21


The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21


Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21


Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21


Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to Read more

A Story of Willie and Aubrey – 2/8/22

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

The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to the shop.  Aubrey was greeted immediately by Willie, the shop owner.  Her first words were “Hi, I’m Aubrey Matthews.”  That’s all she had to say.

Willie was immediately excited, as he recognized the name and instantly knew that this was a long-distance customer.  They had never met, but Willie was so excited to meet Aubrey face-to-face and to talk.  They chatted and walked around the store together.  Though Willie had never met Aubrey and never heard her voice, he instantly knew who she was – a treasured customer.

Willie cared enough to know Aubrey’s name, her preferences, her “story.”  It made a huge impression on Aubrey, and Aubrey bought several items that day as well.

Now, what’s the lesson?

When you interact with a customer, don’t just think about their order or issue – think about THEM.  Who is the person you’re speaking with – what’s their story?

When you complete a call or transaction, document some of the personal side of the customer (Were they rushed, emotional, have some upcoming event?  What did you learn about them personally?).

When you then initiate a contact with a customer, don’t just consider the issue or service you’re going to discuss, consider the characteristics of the customer you’ll be talking with, as well.  Don’t view it as “Company” and “Prospect.”  View it as Willie and Aubrey.

Engage the customer as a unique individual.

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It Matters Who You Know – 2/1/22

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The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it.

The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help.

The husband discovers a problem in the home that needs a repair.  The wife says: Don’t worry about it. I know exactly who to call.

The issues don’t appear to be burdens for these customers.  The reason why they’re not viewed as major concerns is that the customer knows someone.  The person they know may not be their best friend or their buddy or close relative.  But the point is, there has been enough rapport established and trust built up that when an issue occurs, anxiety doesn’t have to arise.

The companies who employ these trusted staff have their standardized processes.  They have their best practices.  They have their training.  But they realize that when issues arise or decisions are made, a customer knowing someone in a company or having that personal rapport means more than having a simple online process to submit an issue ticket.  Knowing somebody means more than having a memorable toll-free number.  Going beyond the technical aspects of service to personalize service means more than being able to text an issue to a help desk.

Businesses often believe it shouldn’t matter who the customer knows in the company. Processes and systems should be so standardized that anybody can help to the same level.  There’s a lot of truth in that concept.

But if we view service experiences from the customer’s perspective, we realize that having that name or that phone number or that e-mail address of that actual specific person creates trust and comfort.  And where trust and comfort exist, customer retention and growth can thrive.

Foster the personal customer connection.

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The Customer Service Wreck that Wasn’t – 12/16/14 TOW

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The car was at the dealership, sitting in the parking lot waiting to have the front-end aligned. Nobody was in the car, so the car was minding its own business, drinking in the midday sun. Then an 18-wheeler came by and side-swiped it, making one long dentscrape (my new word) down the entire passenger side of the car.

Now I could regale you with everything that went wrong from that point forward at the dealership (since the dentscrape happened to MY car). Instead, I’ll tell you a quick and positive story about something interesting that the body shop does for customers. FYI – This GOOD body shop is NOT the dealer’s body shop.

There were several selling points about the good body shop, including great reviews online, multiple before/after picture examples, convenience, and great interactions with the staff when trying to understand the repair and insurance processes. The one selling point I’d like to focus on is this – they take pictures.

Every evening they take pictures of the car and post them to the web to a URL only given to that particular car owner. Therefore, every night I can check on my baby (er…car) and see the progress made. This may sound like a little thing, but look at what it does:

  • First, it’s a touch point, so the company is in contact with the customer daily – keeping the relationship warm and the dialogue ongoing.
  • Second, the touch point is initiated by the customer (clicking on the URL with curiosity about their car), so there’s little labor involved in the touch.
  • Third, the openness of sharing photos builds trust in the process.
  • Fourth, there’s a comfort that’s imparted to the customer since there’s little fear of the unknown (the progress is made known through the pictures).
  • Fifth, the customer becomes confident because improvements are viewed, and the end point (the new-looking body of the car) becomes more clear over time.

Assuming you don’t work in a body shop, here are the lessons learned. Make it easy for the customer to know what’s going on with the project, service, issue, or product. Offer a “self-service” option to getting updates. Be open with progress and the process in order to build trust and comfort, and give them communications that paint a picture of success.

Show them the pictures that paint the story of success.

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