words | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24

When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

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

Recognize the Situation, and Pivot – 1/16/24

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

The customer has a complaint, or they may have an important question about an order or their account.  You may be talking to them in an emergency room, in the lobby of the government building, on the phone, or in a video conversation.  And in many of these Moments of Truth, there is a high likelihood of the customer’s perceptions being affected based on how you handle the situation.

This is a Moment of Truth because of the topic, or the situation itself.  The Topic could be the complaint, the question about an order or an account, an encounter with a new customer, or engagement with somebody who’s upset.  The Situation could be a stressful emergency room visit, an encounter with a government agency, a wait time at the restaurant, or the arrival of the tech at the house 60 minutes after the scheduled time.

During these Moments of Truth, the employees have some control over the interaction. While it’s up to the customer to create their perception about the organization or the employee, this is where the employee needs to understand the critical nature of the topic, the critical nature of the situation.

Recognize the Critical Nature

The best employees in customer service recognize the critical nature of these situations and become agile. They have the ability to pivot – to flex their attitudes and actions in the moment.

The best can stop all other activities and focus on that individual.  They can downshift, pulling their emotions back to keep the situation calm.  They understand the frustration with wait times, and proactively communicate with the customer to decrease the perception of the wait and reduce the angst and anger.  Staff have empathy for the customer and convey understanding of the situation back to that customer.  The best staff have patience, speak with a specific intent for how to best communicate with that particular individual, and work through these situations with and for the customer.  They recognize and pivot.

Identify the critical Topics and Situations that you encounter.  Get in-tune with these situations, recognize when these critical moments are happening, and adjust your behaviors and words to deliver a great experience.

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It’s Not What You Did… – 12/12/23

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

The statistic we have quoted a lot relating to customer retention is that 68% of lost business is due to perceived indifference. That means that about 2 out of every 3 customers were lost because the customer perceived that that company was indifferent to them.

It’s kind of an odd way to look at things. This statistic does not suggest that the company specifically did something to lose the customer.  This statistic can be interpreted to convey that it was what the company did not do that lost the customer.

So, let’s think about this as it relates to our individual roles…

The reason for the customer loss may not be the billing error as much as it is the LONG process to get the error rectified.

The reason for the customer loss may not be the content of the e-mail in response to the customer complaint; instead, the reason may be the lack of empathy conveyed in the company response.

The reason the customer decided to start buying the product elsewhere may not have been the callback from the company after the customer left a voice message with a question; the reason could be the fact that the customer call was not returned for a week after the message was left.

The reason they didn’t renew their annual membership wasn’t that the membership was a bad value. It’s just that the only time the organization contacted the customer was when the company was trying to sell the customer something.

When you think about how to better the customer experience, instead of always focusing on how to improve what’s currently done, consider what aspects of the experience lack urgency on behalf of the customer, lack empathy, lack responsiveness, or lack an intent to develop a relationship.

To improve retention, don’t always focus on what the company did.  Sometimes focus on what the company did not do.

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Talk Up Your Teammate – 12/5/23

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

It happens all the time in business. The salesperson transitions the new customer to their service representative.  The nurse tells the patient about the doctor about to come into the room.  The gatekeeper tells the customer about the supervisor they’re about to transfer the customer to, in order to address an issue.

An employee is handing off the customer to a teammate.  At this point, the initial employee has a few options.  They can (1) Simply conduct the handoff, (2) Make the handoff with a little ambivalent or not-so-positive statement about their co-worker, or (3) Talk up their teammate in the handoff process.

We should strive to set our co-worker up for success.  We also want to deliver a great customer experience, one where we’re infusing positivity and building customer confidence.

So, let’s be intentional when we’re making that transition, discussing the co-worker about to enter the conversation, or transferring that call.  Let’s be intentional to infuse some positivity and confidence.

Our account holders love working with Jenny!  She’s very upbeat, is very responsive to requests or concerns, and she really enjoys getting to know our new customers.

Dr. Smith is excellent.  He asks about you, likes to listen and learn, and he’s cared for and helped patients in situations such as yours for over 20 years.

Julio’s definitely the best person to answer your question and help you resolve this issue.  I’ll let him know the details of the situation, and I’m sure he’ll ask you questions to confirm things.  He’s good at determining the cause of the issue, identifying a solution, and following through on his promise.

Part of delivering a great customer experience requires that we strive to be a great teammate.  And when we have to do those handoffs of the customer to a co-worker, be intentional about infusing some positivity and building customer confidence.

Talk Up Your Teammate.

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