You can solve a lot of problems just by listening to your customers.
A few years ago, I followed up with Sue Thompson, the Associate Director of Transportation and Parking at Oregon Health and Science University. Her team had just attended my Delivering Next Level Service course, and I wanted to see how things were going.
Thompson is very diligent about following up with her team after training to support the concepts they learned. However, she told me that her hectic schedule made it difficult to touch base with each employee as often as she’d like to.
This conversation spurred the creation of my Customer Service Tip of the Week email. Each weekly email contains a single customer service tip that’s based on my training class.
Why We Need Reminders
Most of us had a combination locker in high school.
Back then, you could open the locker in a matter of seconds. You knew the combination so well it was practically burned into your muscle memory.
It would likely be a different story if you stood in front of that locker today. Most of us wouldn’t be able to open our old locker even if the combination was exactly the same.
That’s because we store most information on a use it or lose it basis. Frequent use and repetition makes that knowledge easily accessible. Infrequent use causes the information to slip farther and farther back in our memories.
Customer service reminders can help keep fundamental concepts top of mind.
How to Use the Weekly Tips
Sue Thompson has all of her employees subscribe to the free weekly tips. This supplements the frequent one-on-one and team check-ins that she and her leadership team do with the department.
I wanted to find out how other people use the tips, so I reached out to a few other subscribers. Here are a few examples:
Gina, a Customer Care Director, uses the tips to generate discussion topics for her daily team huddle meetings. She often forwards the tips to her team when sharing reminders about a particular topic.
Mark Berlin, Guest Services Director at the USS Midway Museum, connects the tips to specific customer service challenges. This reminds employees about ways they can use them to resolve problems.
Lupe Zepeda, Customer Service Manager at CSA Travel Protection, uses the tips for ideas that can improve customer satisfaction. For example, her team stocked up on branded note cards after reading this tip on the power of handwritten notes.
Jeremy Watkin, Director of Customer Service at Phone.com, forwards tips to his team when they address a specific issue or concept he wants to reinforce.
Watkin told me he finds the reminders are personally helpful too:
With tips such as this, I find that even if I’ve heard them a thousand times, they help tune my mind and remind me of the behaviors necessary to deliver awesome service to our customers at Phone.com.