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Chicomm Blog

"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply," wrote Stephen R. Covey, author of the best-selling guide The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. They're words to live by – and work by, if you're working or supervising in a customer service role.

Rather than just telling your customers what you offer and how you think it will help them, being willing and able to ask them what they need, listening to the answer and discussing how you can work together to meet those needs will set you apart from competitors, particularly those who talk more than they listen.

Listening carefully will give you insight into how customers are using your product or service and help you anticipate their needs in the future. And excellent customer service skills are all about not just meeting, but anticipating the customer's needs.

Tags: Customer Service

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Nordstrom, the Seattle-based retailer with legendary customer service, is known for the effectiveness of its Employee Handbook and its “One Rule”: “Use good judgment in all situations.”Excellent-Customer-Service.png

Nordstrom knows that hiring the right employees is the first step. Once that's in place, the company needs to give those employees the autonomy to create exceptional customer experiences in their own way. You can instill that sense of autonomy in employees by letting them know that you’re confident they’ll treat customers the way that they would want to be treated.

And it’s good to keep in mind that even the best customer service practitioners need resources for developing their customer service skills. If you’re looking for good customer service training ideas, have your staff pair off and role-play challenging customer service situations. Assign the one in the staff role to use just one rule in determining how to respond: use good judgment.

Tags: Customer Service

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As you’re honing the great customer service skills that will make you and your business stand out, one to keep near the top of your list is also one of the easiest to practice: Be responsive. Customers who have become accustomed to the immediacy of the internet have little patience for companies or representatives who don’t respond quickly. Being responsive and accessible is key when you want to be known for excellent customer service.

Facebook is even awarding a "responsiveness badge" to businesses that have a response rate of 90% and a response time of 15 minutes over a seven-day period. To ensure that you and your team build responsiveness into your customer service strategy, make it a rule to respond to customers within a preset amount of time, say, no more than 2-4 hours.

Tags: Customer Service

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While the healthcare industry refers to the people it serves as patients, the customer service mentality is key. When people feel they've gotten excellent customer service in healthcare systems, that often means they got excellent medical care.

At Chicago-based Presence Health system, Corporate Security Director Nick Kowal says the top customer service skills that set their health system apart are  addressing patient complaints quickly and being sensitive to their needs, from the time they’re admitted to after they return home.

Great customer service - in healthcare and in every industry - isn’t just about how you and your staff behave when things are going smoothly, it’s also about how you face challenges and complaints. Employees should acknowledge complaints immediately, keep customers frequently updated about the status of the issue and, perhaps most importantly, be empowered to resolve situations.

Tags: Healthcare, Customer Service

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It's a question pondered by job seekers, trainees, and seasoned businesspeople alike—not to mention customers themselves: "What does customer service mean to you?"

what-does-customer-service-mean-to-you.jpgAt Chicago Communications, we're in a good position to define great customer service skills, because our clients work in some of the most high-pressure customer service situations: they're first responders, educators, manufacturers, hotel and hospital workers, and more.

For many of them, providing good customer service means making a critical difference when it matters most, whether they're saving a life, teaching a child to read, building a product that consumers can depend on, or providing a weary traveler with comfortable accommodations.

Tags: Chicago Communications, National Customer Service Week, Customer Service

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If you're looking for customer service training ideas, consider having your team watch, discuss, and write about "The Diamond Story" video, described below. It's a sure-fire way to build your team's customer service skills. But beware—it's a tear jerker, so have tissues handy in the training room.

While hurriedly trying on clothes at her local Nordstrom store in North Carolina, long-time customer Lisa McIntire Shaw lost the diamond from her wedding ring and didn’t realize it was gone until she got home. 

She rushed back to the store to look for it. When Nordstrom loss prevention manager Eric Wilson spotted her looking for the ring – on her hands and knees in a dress, no less – he took up the search himself. When he couldn’t find it, he enlisted the help of two building services staffers to sift through packed vacuum cleaner bags until they unearthed the "diamond in the rough."

Tags: Customer Service

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Have you ever gone to use something at home only to find out it doesn’t work?  And then, when you mention to your family members that it isn’t working they look at you very matter-of-factly and tell you it’s been broken for a while?  Ugh! The frustration!

I had this exact scenario happen to me last year following a very large snowfall we had in Chicago. My husband and son were out of town so I went out to start the snow blower only to find that after several attempts it clearly was not going to start.   When I called my husband and son to ask them what I might be doing wrong while trying to start the snow blower, they of course very matter-of-factly told me it was broken.   As you might imagine, my response to this was not a pleasant one.   I hung up with them and ended up having to shovel the driveway by hand, and just for the record I have a very long driveway covered with about eight inches of very wet snow.   When they finally returned home from their trip I told them that if they just would have told me it was broken I could have fixed it, but if I don’t know it’s broken, I can’t fix it.  

Tags: Chicago Communications, Pointers from the Principals, Customer Service

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Over the past decade, Chicago Communications has taken pride in the fact that we continue to succeed in our mission of being a trusted sales and service provider of innovative communication and information solutions. Ultimately, our goal is to help companies and organizations achieve their mission and improve their operational performance.  

Tags: Chicago Communications, Customer Service

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ChiComm Celebrates Customer Service Week

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Thursday, October 2, 2014

Update: Learn about our activities for Customer Service Week 2017 here. 

These past few weeks, we have been busily planning and preparing for Customer Service Week, celebrated October 6th – 10th this year. What is Customer Service Week, you ask? In 1992, U.S. Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week a nationally recognized event, to be celebrated annually during the first full week in October. It was designed to be an event devoted to recognizing the importance of customer service, and to honoring the people who serve and support customers with the highest degree of care and professionalism.

Tags: Chicago Communications, National Customer Service Week, Customer Service

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Those charged with maintaining or upgrading the communications system of a busy hotel have their work cut out for them. They're charged with both keeping up with increasing guest expectations when it comes to wireless, and making sure critical staff communications run smoothly. Depending on the size, prior communication equipment, and budget you have to work with, some options may be aesthetically more appealing than others. For example, in a smaller hotel, the upfront cost of using cellular devices can be more appealing than putting down a lot of money for two way radios and other communication devices. Or if you’re in need of a quick fix, ordering communication equipment (two way radios and cellular devices alike) from a website may seem to be the answer.

Tags: Two Way Radios, MOTOTRBO, Hospitality, Customer Service, Digital Two-Way Radios

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