Update your Customer

service cultureWhen things go wrong with technology – tell your customers! I recently had an experience with an on-line printing system that was not working for me. After many attempts and several calls to service representatives, I was told that the reason why my print job didn’t work was because the system had been down! If someone had mentioned that to me hours before, it would have saved me a lot of time!

Think about your process when things break down. What communication methods are you using so your representatives receive the correct information so that they can better inform their customer? How can you use multiple ways to get the word out to your customers? What proactive ways can you receive positive and negative feedback from your customers?

If you would like help designing an effective process to notify your customers when your system breaks, I’m here to help. Email me or give me a call to start updating your customers today.

 

Back to the Basics in Service – Communication

Another “basic” of customer service is communication.  We can have the smile, we can make sure we follow through and deliver to our customer, but if we don’t provide communication to the customer – we still are not keeping our organization “healthy” as it relates to service. Recently, my husband and I had some work done on our house.  The workers were professional, friendly, and they did their job with the utmost care and quality.  The problem was that anytime we had a question or concern, it took 2-3 calls or emails (and many days in between) to get a response. 

Think about your team. What are your communication standards for your service professionals?  How long does it take for people to get back to your customers?  Does your team anticipate the most frequently asked questions and provide those answers proactively?  How thorough are you training your team members to communicate the correct facts and information for your customers?

And don’t forget communication within your organization.  Are your separate departments talking with each other?

Good communication is the lifeblood of good service. So get back to basics with your service – teach your team to smile, follow through on their promises, and communicate and you’ll have a healthy service culture!

What Stories Teach Us

“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth, and I’ll believe.  But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”  -Indian Proverb from Marlo Thomas & Friends, The Right Words at the Right Time

 From the time we were small; stories capture our imagination and hearts and can ignite us to action.  As a professional speaker, I know first hand the incredible power of story telling and have been enthralled by speakers through the years who were able to – through their choice of words and delivery style, catapult me on a roller coaster ride of emotions, imaginations, and engagement. 

But I have come to believe that story telling is not just reserved for those of us in the communication industry (speakers, writers, entertainers, or authors).   The ability to tell a story can help anyone gain more persuasive power, be a more influential person, and gain credibility for your idea.  The next 5 BLOG postings will help unveil the mystery of stories, how reading and telling stories can expand your mind to new ways of thinking and seeing the world, and how stories can make you a better influencer no matter what your job or life role.

Offer Benefits to be involved – Part 1

A crucial step in creating a culture of contribution is to ensure people are seeing the benefits of their involvement.  Whether you run a work team in an organization or are a leader of a community or professional organization, we all have a “radio frequency”  dialed in at “WIIFM” (What’s in it for me) – and one of your roles is to communicate the benefits of their involvement, through words and actions. Here’s an idea: 

 Communicate (in creative ways) how involvement is an expectation (in the work setting), and the means by which people can get the best value of their membership (in a volunteer organization).

 How do you accomplish this? 

  • Orient new employees that their participation in weekly staff meetings is part of their job expectation (and make sure they know some ways that you expect them to participate)
  • Orient new volunteers and members and train them on the benefits of involvement
  • Make it easy for new volunteers and members to get involved
  • Allow opportunities for each person to facilitate one of your staff meetings
  • Tie your evaluation system to people’s involvement
  • “Educate” your team members on the productive ways to get involved. (For example, I’ve heard several managers say  “If you are going to complain about something, make sure you come up with 1-2 ideas on how to fix the problem.”).