words | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 3

“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

Customer Service Lessons from the E.R. – 11/7/23

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

Every industry is interesting in its own way, and healthcare is definitely no exception.  We’ve done many different types of studies and projects in the emergency rooms at hospitals, and it’s interesting to look back at some of the results of focus groups we conducted with the E.R. patients.

We asked about their experience, everything from the admission through triage, care they received all the way through the discharge and billing.  For this Tip of the Week, so that it applies to everyone reading, let’s focus on some of the ways that patients evaluated employees:

Talk On My Level: When the staff and physicians would speak with the patients “on their level” and were not condescending, that was greatly appreciated.  Patients liked when a nurse talked with a child in terms they could understand and in an appropriate manner, or they spoke more slowly and clearly with a senior.

Don’t Judge Me: Patients were concerned about being judged by the staff – where patients were unsure if they truly needed emergency care or they didn’t want to be perceived as being there unnecessarily.  When staff conveyed that patients were there for a reason (they made a good decision to go to the E.R.), that was positive.  With one participant, a physician directly doubted/argued the need for the patient to be in the E.R., and this left a highly negative impression.

Convey You Care: Staff and physicians were generally perceived positively if they conveyed they cared about the patient.  The way patients felt that the personnel cared was when service was quick, personnel asked questions, patients weren’t rushed, and the staff and physicians showed empathy.

Think about these takeaways when considering how your customers view you. Do you speak in a way appropriate for that particular customer, making communications clear but not condescending?  Do you avoid judging the other person and arguing about their request?  Do you try to provide service quickly, ask questions, avoid rushing the other person, and convey a little empathy?

If so, they’ll likely appreciate you more.  They’ll feel respected, and are much more likely to respect you, in turn.

Talk on the customer’s level, avoid judging, and convey you care.

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I Did This…For You – 10/31/23

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

Michelle needed to run by the grocery store during her lunch break, and because it’s October in the USA, that means it’s Halloween month!  Fittingly, the grocery store had every shape and size of a pumpkin you can imagine; there was even this small basket of mini pumpkins.

They were very cute – with a wide body and a long stem on top.  Michelle immediately thought of a co-worker who was having a bad day; the co-worker’s morning presentation didn’t go well, and he had a lot of work to get cleaned up by day’s end.  Michelle picked up one of the small pumpkins, put it in her shopping basket, and bought it for her co-worker.

When she got back to the office, Michelle walked up to her co-worker’s desk and set the pumpkin down.  Michelle said:  I got this mini pumpkin for you.

Her co-worker looked down at the pumpkin, then up to Michelle, smiled, and said thanks.

Now, I’m sure many of you do things for co-workers and customers every single day.  It’s a task, it’s an action, you’re giving them information or handing over some product.  You’re having a conversation with the other person.

And believe it or not, the simple phrase for you makes a big difference to them:

  • I tracked down a status update for you.
  • I verified that the transaction went through for you.
  • I pulled this quick summary together for you.
  • I’m going to submit this request now for you.
  • I initiated the return for you.
  • I booked the conference room for you.
  • I followed up on that item for you.
  • I got this mini pumpkin for you.

 
With most of us, having somebody do something for us is a wonderful thing, but we might not fully realize or appreciate what they did unless there was some verbal reinforcement of the action.  And when that verbal reinforcement includes for you, it makes us feel special, it makes us feel like we got a little gift.

When you do something for others, weave in the phrase “For You.”

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Share the Why to Value the Customer – 7/25/23

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

We encourage our clients to explain “The Why behind the What” to the customer.  Usually we suggest that staff explain Why so that the customer understands the reason for a change or can buy-in to a particular solution.

However, explaining the Why is also effective when you’re doing some very routine things for the customer.  When you explain Why you’re doing the task, the customer understands the benefit to them.  It makes them feel valued.  It often makes them feel important.

I’ll walk you through this document, so you’re clear on the main takeaways and are comfortable with the next steps.

To keep you informed, I’ll send you an e-mail on Friday with an update.

To protect the carpet and floors in your home, I’ll be wearing covers on my shoes.

I’ll share a copy of the contract using an encrypted document to protect your privacy.

I’m providing you this 1-page map of the event site so you can quickly get to the activities of most interest.

I’ll give you my cell phone number so you can easily get in touch with me if you have any questions or if other needs arise.

If you just take the action noted in the 6 statements above, then:  You share a document, you send them an e-mail, you wear shoe covers, you send the contract, you give them a 1-pager, you give them a phone number.

However, if you explain Why and focus on the benefit to the customer, then: They feel comfortable with next steps, they’re kept informed, their carpet and floors are protected, you’ve protected their privacy, they save time getting to the activities of most interest to them, and they can easily get in touch with you as needs arise.

Even when you’re doing the routine, try to describe it to the customer.  State what you’re doing, but also share Why to help them feel important and valued, to ensure they understand the benefits of what you do for them.

Share the WHY to Value the Customer.

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