Customer Service Strategies That Aid Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Customer Service Strategies That Aid Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Customer Service Strategies That Aid Customer Satisfaction and Retention

It seems like many organizations are spending a lot of time, effort and money try to impress or “wow” customers, rather than focusing on solid strategies for simply giving them what they want and expect. Unfortunately, a lot of people I know tell me that they are not impressed with all the razzle-dazzle of the latest technology and scripted responses used by customer service representatives. Instead, they just want service providers who are knowledgeable, empowered to act, can communicate effectively and make appropriate decisions in a service situation, especially if service has already broken down.

The following strategies can help accomplish customer satisfaction and potentially lead to more loyal customers.

Create an effective communication environment. One trend that seems to be gaining ground with a lot of companies is that they are actively trying to improve the systems that collect information from customers and communicate with them. Not only must service representatives communicate; they must also actively listen to what the customer is saying and address concerns, needs, and expectations promptly and professionally. Part of this communication is the integration of online and mobile technology processes that give customers a variety of options to access information and service twenty-four hours a day, all year long (24/7/365). All of this is in response to the recognition that there has to be a better response to life balance issues of customers who are demanding that someone be “on-call” to address their needs when they want service.

Provide enhanced service training. Concerned organizations are also working harder to train their employees to really listen to customers and effectively analyze what they are saying. Whether customers communicate in person, over the telephone or via one of the numerous technology channels, successful organizations are striving to better understand and address customer needs in a timely and professional manner.

Using technology that makes sense. In past decades, the use of computers has been integrated into nearly every aspect of business and service delivery. More recently, mobile technology and person data delivery systems have created a more tech-savvy customer base which assumes that service mechanisms, to which they have access and use daily, will be integrated into the service solution equation. Intuitive approaches, apps, and other technology-based mechanisms are being designed and used by many of the top-rated organizations in the 21st Century.

The key to effectively creating and supporting a truly service-oriented customer-centric environment in today’s world is to step back and analyze what the actual needs of customers are and then set out to find ways to address them. This gets back to the first point…actively listening to your customers.

For additional information, ideas, strategies on how to build stronger relationships with customers in order to help achieve customer satisfaction and build customer relationships, get a copy of Customer Service Skills for Success.


Customer Service Breakdowns Are Everywhere

Customer Service Breakdowns Are Everywhere

It seems that there are no shortages of service breakdowns in today’s world. You would think that in the down economy where so many people are unemployed or hurting financially, that service providers would think before doing or saying something that could have a negative impact on them. But then you would be wrong in many instances based on my recent experiences. On two separate back-to-back business trips where I went to facilitate training workshops in several different geographic areas, I encountered at least a half dozen service providers in situations that I term “being stupid in a no-stupid zone.”

Customer Service Skills BlogBy that I mean that had they just taken a second to think before acting (or failing to act) related to serving their customers, they would not have needed to try to provide a service recovery strategy that might salvage their mistake. What was happening in each of my encounters is really not as important as the fact that on any given day in virtually any type of organization, there is a service provider who is improperly trained, has a poor service attitude or is inhibited from providing good service because they do not have adequate supervisory or organizational support. The result is that customers are disappointed and go away and ultimately negative word-of-mouth publicity follows an organization suffers.

If you are a service provider, I suggest using the acronym “STAR” to remind yourself of a way to provide positive customer service so that you do not fall into the dreaded “stupid zone.” Simply stated, that means:

(1) Stop to listen to what your customer is saying or asking;

(2)Think about what your customer said they need or want and the best way to address their issue or request;

(3) Analyze options for providing stellar customer service in that particular situation rather than taking a cookie-cutter approach to providing the same treatment to all customers; and

(4) Reflect on how you handled the situation after the customer has left in order to determine if you did the best possible job or how you might handle it differently in the future if a similar situation arises.

Customer service is not difficult if you approach it with a positive mental outlook and a plan to handle the unexpected.

Welcome to the Robert W. Lucas Enterprises, Inc., Customer Service Blog

Please feel free to comment on entries and Like Me at www.facebook/robertwlucasenterprises. I hope you find value in my future articles, comments, and observations related to customer service. Visit my other blogs on Creative Training at and Non-Fiction Writing at

Common Sense Customer Service Is Not So Common Anymore

Common Sense Customer Service Is Not So Common Anymore

You may have experienced what my family and I did, related to one of those “dah” moments when we visited the Applebee’s restaurant in Maitland, Florida this weekend. We were celebrating my mother’s 96th birthday and she wanted to go there for their ribs. We ordered a spinach and avocado appetizer and found a hair in it. Our server said, “Wow, that’s not good. It’s a good thing you found it before eating any of it.” She quickly replaced the dish and things were going okay until we got our entrees. I ordered a baked potato and instead received mashed potatoes. When I pointed out the error, the order delivery person stated, “Oh, I saw that sitting there in the kitchen. I’ll go get it” ( I love this team approaches service where no one person assumes total responsibility for service and instead it is shared by half the staff!). Shortly thereafter, Steve (the manager) came by asking how things were going. When I said, that thus far things were a bit challenging in getting what we wanted and that I was disappointed because we were celebrating my mom’s birthday. When I shared with him about the hair and baked potato, he commented, “I heard about the hair, but they remade the appetizer, didn’t they? And, I see you got your baked potato. Please let me know if there is anything else that we need to correct.” He then left. Notice that nowhere in his comments did the words, “I am sorry” or “I apologize” come out of his mouth. No wonder that neither the server nor the food delivery person used those words either. Obviously, service recovery training is not something organizations want to waste time or money on these days.

Unfortunately, I see such scenarios often with service providers in different industries and organizations. What happened to basic service 101 where staff and management are trained to take ownership of service breakdowns, apologize, go out of their ways to resolve the issue and ensure that the customer is satisfied and/or compensated for their inconvenience before the service experience is over. Obviously, return business must not be an issue to many of these purported service professionals. I guess many of them have not suffered the ill effects of the current economy and do not worry about that issue.

There was one positive aspect of our dining experience. After I had received the check and paid for the meal, Steve came back with a $5.00 coupon and stated, I was going to buy your mother a dessert for her birthday but since you already paid, you can use this on future business. Of course, he is making an assumption that such an opportunity will occur in the future.

I’d be curious to hear if about similar service breakdowns and how they were handled.

Customer Services Skills Blog by Robert W. Lucas

Welcome to the Robert W. Lucas Enterprises, Inc., Customer Service Blog

Please feel free to comment on entries and Like Me at www.facebook/robertwlucasenterprises. I hope you find value in my future articles, comments, and observations related to customer service. Visit my other blogs on Creative Training at and Non-Fiction Writing at


Superior Customer Service at Fields Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram

Superior Customer Service at Fields Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram

Superior Customer Service at Fields Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram

When was the last time you actually “enjoyed” a car buying experience? The answer for me is never in the past 40 years,,, until I recently visited the Fields Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership in Sanford, Florida to purchase a car for my wife.

As a customer service consultant and author, I was blown away with the personalities, knowledge, and candor of our sales representative (Ryan Eiland), Ty Brown (Sales Rep)  and New Car Manager, Brian Williams. In an industry with an often dubious reputation, these guys and everyone else we encountered at the dealership were a breath of fresh air and epitomize what I believe stellar global customer service should be. In fact, we were so impressed with their willingness to go the extra mile for a customer and take the time to provide that personal touch related to demonstrating that they really do care about whether the customer is satisfied, that we went back two days later and bought a second car for me!

I only wish that more organizations could “get it” like these folks obviously do when it comes to recognizing that the customer is the most important person they will meet on any given day in their workplace. By simply taking the time to make things right and help customers feel welcomed, appreciated and valued, they could raise their sales volume exponentially. Having a customer-centric approach to doing business, as Fields does, is what separated the successful from the non-successful organizations in a competitive automotive marketplace.

I’d be curious to hear from anyone else about similar organizations and service experiences.

For ideas and strategies on how you can deliver higher quality service check out these books: Customer Service Skills for Success, How to Be a Successful Call Center Representative and Please Every Customer: Delivering Stellar Customer Service Across Cultures.

Customer Service Skills for Success

Customer Service Skills for Success – Tips for Delivering Excellent Customer Service

In one of my books, Customer Service: Skills for Success, I feature how-to strategies on topics for customer service representatives that can assist in moving from good customer service to excellent customer service delivery. By applying strategies found in the text, customer service professionals can enhance their knowledge and skills and make them more successful in delivering service to all types of customers.

Customer Service: Skills for Success - Tips for Delivering Excellent Customer Service

In the chapters of Customer Service: Skills for Success I cover the concepts and skills needed for success in the service profession. Strategies provided to readers include listening techniques, verbal and nonverbal communication, using technology to deliver service, addressing the needs of internal and external customers in any business environment, how to build customer loyalty and what to do when service breaks down and they need to recover. I also share experience and tips on how to use positive global service strategies for dealing with diverse customers.

Here are three tips for ensuring better service delivery to your customers:

  1. If you seek trust; communicate it through your words and nonverbal cues.
  2. If your supervisor empowers you to make decisions, that means he/she trusts your ability to handle various issues. Do not take this trust lightly. Before taking action, stop,Customer Service: Skills for Success weigh alternatives, and then resolve the situation to the best of your ability in order to send a message of competency and professionalism.
  3. Unhappy people are still either customers or potential internal or external customers when they contact you at work. Your goal should be to try to serve them effectively them so that they return for future products or services. If you fail at this goal, you and your organization or department will potentially suffer financial and prestige loss.

I am always interested in hearing what is working and what is not in organizations related to customer service. If you have ideas, suggestions, tips or cutting edge practices in the professional that you would like to share with others, please comment.

For ideas and information on how to improve your own customer service skills, get a copy of Customer Service Skills for Success by Robert W. Lucas.

About Robert W. Lucas

Bob Lucas has been a trainer, presenter, customer service expert, and adult educator for over four decades. He has written hundreds of articles on training, writing, self-publishing, and workplace learning skills and issues. He is also an award-winning author who has written thirty-seven books on topics such as, writing, relationships, customer service, brain-based learning, and creative training strategies, interpersonal communication, diversity, and supervisory skills. Additionally, he has contributed articles, chapters, and activities to eighteen compilation books. Bob retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after twenty-two years of active and reserve service.

Thanks for visiting our website!  If you need or want a copy of this content - please contact the author to request purchasing it. Thank you!