university | 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

Student Success – Align to Achieve

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

It’s a core management belief – if you want to change the behaviors of employees, you need to reward and recognize those desired behaviors, because some people are motivated by the carrot, by the incentive.

Benedictine University is applying that philosophy to its customers – namely, its students. In the article Benedictine University Announces Student Success Award, one the approaches that Benedictine is taking to improve Student Success is highlighted. The University has enacted a program for “students in good standing (a GPA of 3.0 or higher) who are on track to complete their online degree within a designated period of time.” Essentially, if they meet the criteria, the University may offer awards that defray from $1,000-$10,000 of their remaining tuition.

If you read many of the studies and best practices about Student Success, particularly in community colleges, the vast majority are internally focused on programmatic, orientation-based, or advising-related initiatives. But if we view Student Success as a partnership between the college and the student, community colleges also need to look about how they can affect student behaviors, how they can motivate the students to Succeed, how they can align student “incentives” with organizational goals.

When you’re planning your Student Success strategy, ask yourself “How can I motivate the students to succeed?”

Learn about our CSS Education services at: http://cssamerica.com/cssed.htm

Interested in improving your educational organization’s customer/student satisfaction? See our other blog posts at: http://serviceadvice.cssamerica.com/category/education/


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 http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

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Who is Your Retention Director?

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Lamar University was just nominated for an award by the State of Texas. In the article titled “Mentoring program selected as finalist for Texas Higher Education Award” (http://www.lamar.edu/newsevents/news/207_8985.htm), Lamar’s African-American Male Professional Connections Mentoring Program is in the running for the prestigious award.

There are two especially interesting points in the article. First, the person interviewed from Lamar references how the sense of community on-campus (while the individual is a student) helps to lead to long-term involvement of alums post-graduation. So that sense of community is a huge driver of retention.

Second – and equally as compelling – is a point only referenced once in the article but which is key to any successful retention program. The individual from Lamar who was interviewed is the “Interim Associate Provost for Student Retention.” That’s right, his title puts him in charge of retention.

Think about all the initiatives that organizations have underway to improve the customer experience, or to retain students, to renew season ticket holders, or to enhance customer service. The ultimate goal of each is client retention and growth. But who is truly accountable in your organization for client retention and growth? Is it a committee, a team, a group…anybody?

By having someone with the title, an accountability structure is put in place, priorities are set, resources are dedicated, time is allotted. In other words, this University must be serious.

Make sure your organization is serious about retention. Make sure you have a designated team or person who is your Mr. or Ms. Retention.

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

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