trust | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

When You Know More Than They Do - 7/19/22


It was 95 degrees outside.  That’s not too bad when you’re inside and enjoying the air conditioning; but when Rachel’s A/C went out, in came Rachel’s worry.  Luckily, she knew the company to call, and a technician from Acme HVAC (fake name, real company) came out the next morning. Rachel 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.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page


It Matters Who You Know – 2/1/22

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

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.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page


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

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


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.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page