university of Tennessee | 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

Why Train to Retain in BRE…

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

The University of Tennessee has created a course called “Business Retention and Expansion in Tennessee.” While that’s not the most creative course name (kind of like my company, Customer Service Solutions, Inc. isn’t the most creative name…), it clearly indicates what this course addresses – retention and growth of your existing businesses. The course touts statistics such as “79 percent of all new jobs in the state in 2009 resulted from the expansion of existing business and industry.” That stat could apply to most any business – most of your revenue comes from existing clients.

So economic development organizations should have strategies, research, and training to be intentional about that business retention and job growth. Unfortunately, many communities make assumptions about retention such as:

· “We have no control over whether businesses stay or leave, whether they expand here or elsewhere.”

· “Nobody would leave our community.”

· “If there was an issue, the business leader would call me.”

· “I know everybody and everything going on in the community; so I’ll know if there’s something that’s an issue to a local business.”

These are all assumptions – assumptions that can get a community in trouble. And these assumptions apply to anybody who is managing accounts just like BRE representatives manage relationships with multiple local employers.

You have to believe you can make an impact. You have to understand that businesses might leave. You have to be proactive and not assume that businesses are going to contact you in time to help them. And you cannot assume you know all that’s going on in your local businesses.

Local economic development agencies need training and guidance in how to build relationships with local employers, how to proactively reach out to them, how to respond when needs and issues arise, and how to grow their jobs base.

Don’t make assumptions about retention and growth. Get the training, research, and strategy development you need to succeed.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/