When I assess a department or call center, I ask the employees to take a short personality test which focuses on the concept of team. You are either a coach, a cheerleader, team player or score keeper. It has been my experience that most great customer service departments have a lot of team player, people pleasing personalities. This personality likes to make people happy and we like happy customers. Customer Service Departments by nature are people pleasers, too. A general manager needs a special project done and asks the customer service manager to take it on. She smiles
One of my very first jobs after high school was as a dance and acrobatics instructor for a well-known local performing group. I had dabbled in gymnastics as a kid, but had never taken a dance class or had any formal training in either area. I responded to an ad I had seen in the local paper and thought it would be a fun job. I felt I had good qualifications; I could do a back flip, I liked dancing and I was a fast learner. I had no idea what to expect in the interview, but I was looking forward to showing off. The interview was like none other. The interviewer was a plump, middle-aged
I remember the first time an e-mail blew up in my face. I wrote two sentences that included factual information and the other person assumed I was accusing her of not doing her job. She wrote back a snippy response and before I knew it, war had been declared. After we met face to face and talked about it, she confessed she was having a bad day and took dramatic license by adding in sarcasm as she read my words. I had an apology to make, too. I didn’t realize how important it was to her that I began with a personalized comment such as, “Good morning, Lisa!”
A few years ago I had made an appointment with my doctor and I specifically asked for the last appointment of the day. After I checked in, a woman in faded pink scrubs beckoned me to follow her to the exam room. She forced a smile as she told me someone would be with me soon. I knew that “soon” usually meant 30 minutes, so I sat in a chair and began to read. I could hear the nurses talking in the hallway and doors opening and closing. It seemed as if I wasn’t the only one with a late afternoon appointment. Thirty minutes turned into 45 and I noticed that things had become awfully
Picture the scene: You have a spring in your step as you follow the secretary into the conference room for your 9:00 meeting. You know this is going to be a perfect way to end the week. Today you will walk out with a signed contract worth millions. You are confident that after a few minutes of conversation you will have them eating out of your hands and that they will not only sign the contract, but be grateful that your company is willing to provide them with such an amazing service. Your eyes scan the conference room
Customer Service and Operations are the two departments that are the life blood of your district. As a service based business, everything revolves around completing the service safely, on time and in a way that makes the customer feel satisfied. If a driver doesn’t show up for work, you have a crisis that needs to have immediate attention. If you have a CSR at lunch, one off sick and only one person to answer customer calls, you have a crisis. Behind every 5 minute hold time is a situation that could have been prevented if there was a crisis management plan in place. Do you have
When you are a new customer, you often times receive better service than if you have been a loyal, long-time customer. We are thrilled when a new sales opportunity comes our way, but we yawn when the same old face shows up at our establishment month after month. New customers are exciting! A customer that calls in each week is dull and uninteresting. Sometimes the customer service you experience changes the moment you drive the car off the lot. Or, there may be small changes over time. The company stops offering free coffee or now charges for something that was free a few months
I found myself chuckling when my sister confessed to me that after a long, hot day she filled her dog’s pool with cold water and laid in it with a cool drink! She said it was amazing. Unfortunately, she discovered a slow leak which meant she had to jump up and replenish water, every time she began to relax. After a while, the task of filling the pool created so much work that it took away from the original goal of cool enjoyment. The slow leak caused her to give up and throw the pool in the trash.
Often times, our sales efforts mirror that leaky pool. Great ad campaigns bring prospects
I recently took a stress test. Not the kind your doctor gives you, but a written test that identifies stress factors in one’s life. A few days later, I was handed an information packet as I was walking into the store that gave me a check list of stressors and stress busters. That was followed by receiving information on the body’s response to stress which included:
Increased heart rate; heart palpitations
Breathing rate increases
Fatigue and dizziness
If I didn’t consider the possibility that I could be stressed before this chain of events, now I felt the cosmos were telling
It’s the little things that make a difference in customer service. Customers want you to know:
1) We want to understand what you are saying so please speak up, slow down and enunciate your words.
2) The way you sound when you answer tells us how good or how bad the conversation will be.
3) We do not want you to call us sugar, dude or an abbreviation of our name.
4) Putting us on hold for long periods of time, putting us on hold more than once and transferring us back and forth will bring out the worst in us.
5) Do not begin your questions