Retention

In training, we try to encourage the CSRs to think like an investigator. That means that they are actively listening to what a customer says and considering those details to contain clues on what is really going on behind the scenes. Those clues indicate what questions should be asked next to really understand the situation. Without probing further a CSR is sure to handle the customer call ineffectively and you may end up with a written letter of cancellation in tomorrow’s mail. In a recent secret shopper campaign, we called offices around the country and asked how much notice was

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Taking Short Cuts

Often it’s the little things that make the biggest difference not only to our customers, but in our working relationships with others. It can be all too easy to give ourselves permission to take short cuts. Maybe your short cut has to do with making blind transfers, not doing proper documentation in notes or only doing your best if you think it is a secret shopper call. Every time you take a short cut it chips away at your integrity and has the potential to cause pain for someone else. Transferring Calls: You may not have a script for

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Preparing Customer Service for New Business

I recently spent 3 days in a customer service department that was gearing up for a huge new residential municipal contract. Management was smart to realize that there would be a big increase in calls from customers with questions about their service. They did a great job of hiring seasoned customer service people who understood the basics of customer service, but they didn’t think through the training process. They did not have the equipment or materials ready, and they didn’t consider the amount of hands-on coaching that would be needed to have everyone ready to handle this new contract

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5 Ways for Customer Service to Contribute to Profitability

At a recent training session I encouraged the CSRs and managers to take a 360 degree look at customer conversations. That meant looking at a situation from customer, operations, sales and management points of view to find solutions that make the customer happy, but also contribute to profitability. In franchised markets, while you have limited ways to generate new revenue, you have several ways to be more profitable. In competitive markets, don’t assume new business will make up for costly practices. Credits for Missed Pick upsWhen your customer wants a credit for

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Refresh and Recharge Your Customer Service Team

Spring makes me look at things in a new way. Nature comes alive with color and people seem to smile more. We shed winter cloths and vow to lose excess winter weight. When we can see change taking place before our eyes, we are inspired to change. Your office needs to spring forth with newness, too. Customer Service can’t afford to be in a rut. Here are some easy ways to refresh and recharge your team. Pay it forward Customer service representatives can often feel like they are in the complaint department as they handle service issues, price increases

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Sales Focused Bill Collections

Barry had been diligently chipping away at his list of suspended customer accounts. Management wanted him to keep his over 60-day numbers below 3% and month after month he hovered right at 2.9%. He was proud of that. He had figured out that if he collected on just 7 accounts a day he would meet his numbers. The last batch of robo calls generated a lot of calls from customers wanting to pay their bills so he was well ahead of his goal already and it was only noon. He decided to let his calls for the day go to voicemail because, quite honestly, he didn’t feel like

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Great Patient Service

I have noticed that some medical practices and hospitals have invested a lot of time, money and effort in creating newspaper ads, billboard signs and commercials that show the happy faces of care givers who can’t wait for the patients to come in. I often wonder why the patient’s reality with medical customer service includes cranky receptionists, patronizing billing and insurance clerks, and those who can’t wait for their shift to be over. Maybe you and your staff need a reality check. Do Your Ads and Reality Match? Ask yourself the following questions: 1) Does

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360 Degree View of Residential Trash Service

I admit I have a narrow view of things sometimes. I look at my computer screen and not the mess on my desk. I look at my “to do list” for the day and assign extra work to my managers without looking at theirs. And, I don’t look at anything over my head. In the day to day hustle and bustle within your office, you will find most people are using a narrow lens as they complete their duties, too. Customer service looks at things through the lens of customer satisfaction and call volume. The sales department looks at things through the lens of wins and losses

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Customer Service Management Lessons

“Wax on- wax off!” Admit it. The original Karate Kid movie is great. In it good triumphs over evil and the mean people get their just deserts. I somehow feel more motivated to fight the good fight myself after watching a rerun. I have secretly wished that I had a Mr. Miyagi in my life; someone who could impart wisdom for all of life’s trials and keep me accountable to doing the right thing.

The goal of customer service training and management is not to script every scenario, but to give your customer service representatives the training, knowledge and experiences necessary to respond

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Customer Service that is Ready, Willing and Able

I once asked a manager why he was so calm with so many problems that needed fixing. He told me that he had served in the military. What he had to deal with then was a matter of life or death. Now, he didn’t have that kind of pressure. His challenges were frustrating for sure, but solvable. I really admired his strength, but I also wondered if he had spent time in his customer service department recently. To the CSRs it was a war zone full of combative customers, high call volumes and ever-changing rules. The department needed a morale boost and a strategy to go from being reactionary

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