The Customer Service Check Box

Customer Service Check Box

The process seemed like every other company. Place the order. Wait for the package to arrive. Check to make sure that everything is in the package upon arrival.

But this company is different.

At the top of the packing sheet is this small little check box.

“Problem with your order? Let us know! You can blame:”

What a simple way to send a message to your customers.

“We may not get everything right, but let us know if we don’t. And by the way, we are also letting you know that there are actual people behind this order. People who are responsible for getting it right.”

But this check box is not just for the customer, it is for those 6 people who work there. They take pride in their work, enough to say “I am putting my name on this and call me out if it is wrong.”

What simple check box, process, or idea could send the same message to your customers?

By the way, when the order arrived it was not exactly what I ordered. You see this company always adds a little extra bonus gift with your order. So I got what I ordered and a nice surprise as well.

Think about the message that sends.


The Pitch versus The Partnership


(Image Courtesy of usdailyreview)

There are a lot of ways you can sell yourself, your company, your product, or your organization.

How you sell says a lot about you, your company, your product, and your organization.

Most selling can fall into two distinct categories.

The Pitch and The Partnership.

The Pitch describes how you are going to solve the problem, provide the solution, or deliver the product.

The Partnership describes how together you will solve, build, develop, and create.

The Pitch describes all your accomplishments.

The Partnership describes how you have helped others accomplish their goals.

The Pitch pushes forward when there is resistance.

The Partnership listens when there is hesitation.

The Pitch downplays prior service issues.

The Partnership owns prior service issues.

The Pitch wants to close this deal.

The Partnership wants to make sure this deal is one of many.

The Pitch is proud.

The Partnership is grateful.

The Pitch can give you short-term success.

The Partnership can give you success over your lifetime.

When it comes down to The Pitch versus The Partnership, which will you choose?

Service Shifts

Customers are all around us.

They are both internal and external, and have needs, questions, and requests.

Sometimes we become hardened towards them.

But not always.

Sometimes we simply fall into a routine.

They have a need, we meet it.

They have a question, we answer it.

They have a request, we follow-up on it.

Routines are not bad, they are routine.

Some routines need to be disrupted by Service Shifts.

Service Shifts are when you realize that you can provide more, and meet a need that is greater than you originally expected.

Service Shifts make you pause and ask yourself a few questions.

“Is there a greater need beyond this specific request?”

“Who else needs to know this answer I am about to send this customer, client, or team member?”

“Does this really answer their specific question, or do they need a little background?”

“What else should I be providing?”

Service Shifts happen when you discover greater needs and provide deeper solutions.

Service Shifts happen when you inform others so everyone involved understands the situation.

Service Shifts happen when you create value by building relationships above routines.

Service Shifts happen when you create trust as customers see you and your operation as a partner.

How will your Service Shifts make a difference?




Why Customer Service Training?

Customer service training can be an interesting adventure. Some people are excited. Other people are bored, or have a negative reaction. Some of the reactions depend on how the training was announced or conveyed.

My favorite reactions came after the training was announced via email.

Mandatory Customer Service Training: No Excuses 

Below is a clip of some recent reactions.

What would the reactions be in your organization? Have you created a culture of customer service or do you train as punishment when things are not going well?

Why Customer Service Training?

Because just like any other skill, you need practice to improve.



Thanks for the Delay


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A solitary airport employee stood behind the small podium looking back and forth between the screen, and their own hands. As I approached, their gaze looked down towards the floor. Any attempt at eye contact seemed impossible.

A few minutes earlier, as most of us prepared to board the flight, the announcement was made. Due to delays for an inbound flight, our flight was going to postpone boarding and wait 30 minutes.

Sighs, frustrated words, angry looks, and tension filled the boarding area. Some of which was directed at this solitary employee.

I waited.

Another employee joined that employee and some softer words were exchanged. Finally, they both looked up at me.

“Can we help you?”

“Yes, I just wanted to say Thanks for the Delay.”

They paused.

“Please let me explain. The last time I flew with you, my plane was a late. Storms caused us a delay, and you held my connecting flight, just like you are doing right now. So, Thanks for the Delay. I know what it feels like to think that you will be stranded, and you took care of me.”

Smiles. Relief. More Smiles.

“Well, you are welcome. Funny, someone who came up here was explaining that someone else’s delay was not their problem at all.”

I smiled, waved, and went for a walk to get a smoothie (before the delay, there was no time to get one). As I was leaving I overheard them speaking to each other.

“You know, we may just have to remember that.”

I hope they do. More so, I hope we remember that sometimes planes wait for us. Sometimes you are the customer getting help. Other times, you may have a slight inconvenience when they are providing the same level of service to someone else.

At the end, due to a combination of winds and a flight crew that pushed a little harder on the gas, the flight arrived only 15 minutes later than originally expected.

15 minutes was all it cost so that a handful of people were not stranded in a strange city overnight. Seems like a pretty good trade.

Thanks for the Delay.


Making the Customer Do the Work: Another Flawed Strategy

Customer Service

(Image Courtesy of touch

During a conversation about the salad post, someone shared yet another flawed strategy in customer service.

The details.

Repair person comes to the house.

Repair person doesn’t have the right part.

Person at business office didn’t order the right part or write order correctly.

Person at business office says it will be a week or so to order the right part.

Repair person leaves.

Customer wasted their time for the appointment.

Customer must now wait for an undetermined amount of time.

Customer must now call again once the part has arrived to make another appointment.

The Strategy.

I am busy.

I made an error.

I said I would order the right part this time.

I have to go.

I am busy.

I have other large repairs to do.

I will get back to you when I can.

I will wait for you to call before I come back.

I am busy.

The Flaw.

You made the mistake.

But you insist on making the customer do the work.

You have to order the new part.

But you do not find the exact date it will arrive.

You are busy and have other customers to see.

But you make the customer in front of you feel less important.

You need to reschedule.

But you do not set a date on the spot, and expect the customer to call you again once the part arrives.

The Solution.

When you make a mistake: acknowledge your mistake.

When you make a mistake: make the correction easy, painless, and seemless.

When you make a mistake: do not make the customer do the work.