words | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 2

“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

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24

When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

Care Enough to Give Them a Heads Up - 1/30/24

Nothing bad at all might happen.  Every day in the office could seem like every other day.  Sights and sounds and smells might continue to be the same.  But we have a lot of construction going on around our offices, and the building manager knows the type of work Read more

Be Better than AI Customer Service - 1/23/24

There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers. The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds. There are clear Read more

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

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 Read more

Sharpen Your Service Delivery - 1/9/24

You work so hard at being responsive and providing high quality information.  You work hard at fixing problems.  But is your delivery…dull? I’m not saying that it has to be exciting, but let’s think of the word “exciting.”  It means that something’s interesting, has energy, is positive.  Just by its Read more

Make Empathy Your Superpower - 1/2/24

I was facilitating a Service Excellence Training class for a Higher Ed client in the Northeast several years back.  As I was walking through the portions of our technique for defusing the angry customer, I talked about empathy.  I talked about accepting responsibility. Immediately, one of the hands in the Read more

Holiday Poem 2023 - 12/26/23

The days are getting longer, The skies are getting brighter. Festivities behind us, And festivities before us.   There’s ups and downs and change coming, And we can’t predict when or where. There’s challenges and joys and opportunities around, Of which you may or may not be aware.   But one thing we know as we look at each Read more

Refresh, Rejuvenate, Refocus - 12/19/23

It’s that time of year.  We’re going 100 miles an hour, and holiday time is upon us.  We not only have all the work to do, but we somehow have less time to do it.  We somehow have other things that are of competing interest, and even though those Read more

Use Silence Wisely – 11/28/23

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

Silence is golden…until it isn’t.

Silence is an excellent tool to use when talking to the customer.  Silence can convey that you’re listening, that you are patient, that you are being kind and are deferring to the other person.  Being silent can convey that you’re intentional about what you say, pausing before speaking.

And the benefits of silence are not just about the effect it can have on the customer, silence can also benefit you.  By being silent, you’re allowing yourself time to understand the other person.  You’re allowing yourself time to formulate a response.  You are oftentimes able to relax yourself by breathing rather than speaking, by thinking rather than feeling like you have to immediately react to the other person’s statement.

But there are times when even silence can be overdone.  Particularly when you’re dealing with somebody who has an issue, silence can mean – to them – that there is a bigger issue than even they had anticipated.  Silence can mean – to them – that you’re not understanding their situation.  Silence can mean – to them – that you’re having trouble finding their order, coming up with their account, accessing their appointment information.  And silence can mean – to them – that you just don’t care that much, that you aren’t very interested in engaging with this person.

So, even though we’re not communicating verbally with someone when we’re silent, we are definitely communicating with them.  If we use silence intentionally, we’re silent to convey a certain message, or to be more thoughtful, or to ensure we’re just listening as sincerely and as productively as possible.

But think about, as well, these examples for when silence is overdone. There are times when that customer needs that dialogue, needs you to convey that understanding, needs you to convey the steps you’re going through on their behalf.

Ensure you understand the situation before you determine whether and how to use silence.  Then, use silence wisely.

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Be Grateful for the Good – 11/21/23

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

There are several different ways you could define gratitude, but I like the simple definition:  Being grateful for the good.  There’s a lot to be upset about, a lot to be frustrated with, there’s a lot to lament about in our customer service roles.  But even in these challenges, we can also find some good.

So, in this time of the Thanksgiving Holiday in the USA, here are some things for which we can all give thanks, and we can feel and convey gratitude…

I’m thankful for the customer who’s patient with a long wait on the phone or in a line.  I’m thankful for the person with the good attitude despite the complaint that they’re sharing with me.  

I’m thankful for the co-worker who lets me vent when things go wrong.  I appreciate co-workers who educate me on a job so that I can do it better, even though it’s not their job to be my informal trainer.

I appreciate the bosses who give team members support without micromanaging, and those individuals who are great models to follow.

I enjoy laughing with co-workers and customers; sometimes it’s about co-workers and customers, but it’s always in good fun.

I’m grateful that I have the technology to make my job more efficient.  I have gratitude for the kindness of others who think about little things I’ve said in the past and remember them, whether they’re my individual likes or my personal concerns.

I appreciate that people in customer service usually think first about what’s best for others before thinking about what’s easiest for themselves.  And I appreciate you all for subscribing to these tips and reading them every week.

As I noted earlier, gratitude is, in part, something you feel, often due to the kindness of others.  But gratitude is also something you can convey.  So, to those you are grateful for, tell them of your appreciation for their kindness.

Let’s all be grateful for the good.

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Sport Some Customer Perks – 11/14/23

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

Of all the industries we work with, the one that talks most about providing perks and benefits to its customers is pro sports.  We’ve worked with NASCAR, MLS, the NBA, and a little bit with the NFL and the NHL.

And most of the teams or organizations will provide their season ticket holders, their account holders with perks. They’re doing this to help the fans feel special but also to engender some loyalty.  Loyalty leads to retention and growth, and, therefore, the strategy is to provide perks to help drive long-term revenue.

If your organization is in healthcare or local government, if you’re in finance, education, manufacturing, retail, or some other key industry, there are still lessons to be learned from these sports perks.  Here are some examples.

Sports clubs offer dedicated client service representatives to their account holders. Your organization could have a dedicated account rep for your customers, as well.  Why tell the customer to call the toll-free number when they could call Janie instead?

Teams provide online account management for dedicated fans. Your organization could have a web portal (or sections of your website) dedicated only to your key customers.  Premium access for your premium people!

Clubs have phone numbers for certain categories of account holders, prioritizing those calls.  Could your company fast-track some process for your key clients?

Sports organizations allow free access to forward tickets to families and friends.  You could provide free access to online webinars or other resources that may be valuable to your customers.

The clubs will offer single game tickets to season ticket holders before releasing them to the general public.  When your organization launches a new service at your facility, you could provide an open house or first access to your longer-term clients.

Clubs offer complimentary tickets for some away games. Your organization could partner with local businesses to provide complimentary products to the customers.

Teams provide invitations to exclusive events.  You could set aside a certain number of seats to grand openings or holiday events just for some key customers.

Perks and benefits can be useful tools in building loyalty and relationships.  Use these examples from sports, and determine how to best apply them to your business to deepen relationships, retention, and revenue.

Sport Some Customer Perks.

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