Susan Hoekstra

Can Good Customer Service Reduce Lawsuits?

Studies have shown that a consistently good, branded customer service experience can improve sales and profitability. Did you know the same is true for customer service and a reduction in lawsuits? A study by Hickson and Levinson, published in 2002 in the...

Can You Call Back? Customer Service Tip

My windshield wipers were stuck in the up position. I tried to have it fixed at one of those no-appointment-needed auto repair places, but they weren't able to fix it. Of course, even though it took one minute to diagnose that fact,...

Rewarding Great Customer Service

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." - Chinese Proverb In order to resolve client issues, do your employees need to jump through hoops? Are your best client-focused employees also successful within the firm? Employee...

So What Are You Waiting For? Prioritizing Great Customer Service

My son is a junior in high school now. Getting him to this point has not been easy, because he's the type of person who, when given a homework assignment, determines whether or not it's worth his time. 'Why do I need...

Let’s go Team! Leverage Teamwork and Improve Customer Service

Very often managers who give negative feedback will sandwich it between positive news. An example of this tactic may sound something like the following: "You're always on time for work. You really handled...

The Importance of Keeping Clients

 It's five times cheaper to keep a client than to get a new one.  ~ U.S. Office of Consumer AffairsMany statistics and studies exist that prove great service pays for those businesses who place a priority on delivering great service.  Intuitively most people know...

Why Didn’t You Just Tell Me? Great Customer Service and Computer Passcodes

Have you noticed that computer passcodes are getting longer and more complex lately?  Capital- and lower-case letters, numbers, and even symbols are a frequent requirement now.  I understand that it's done in an effort to ensure privacy and protect individuals from identity theft, but honestly,...

Great Customer Service via Operational Excellence

This article is written by my friend and colleague Peter Sluka Very often when service issues exist, the cause of the problem is complicated.  The fact is, the cause may be due to the employees, training, measurements, lack of service standards, objectives, or many other factors.  If you have already embarked on...

Great Customer Service: Changing the Culture

"I don't know ..." was the response I received to my question about whether or not it was supposed to rain a few years ago.  My kids and I went to the roller coaster mecca of the United States:  Cedar Point, the tourist attraction in Sandusky Ohio.  If you're familiar with the...

How Much Do Your Clients Love You?

Today, in the United States, we celebrate the love we feel for someone special to whom we are loyal and advocate.  Likewise, in order to grow a business that is truly profitable, we need to create clients who are not only loyal, but advocate on our behalf.  Did...

How much is it worth? Great Customer Service

Have you ever had a really poor experience at a restaurant, store or business that made you stop going there?  Probably all of us have.  Furthermore, there are probably places you used to frequent often, where you've cut back.  I know for me personnally, after many years shopping...

Clients, Employees and Shareholders: How To Achieve a Culture of Excellent Service that Doesn’t...

"Sure we can give our clients everything they want, but then we will go out of business."  This is something I often hear when helping firms implement a culture of excellent service.  Sometimes, if I don't hear it, I can sense the concern.  Perhaps this may...

Are We There Yet? The Service Journey

If you go on a long trip with young children (and sometimes not so young!), they will inevitably ask when you're going to arrive at your destination.  Mine used to ask that age old question seemingly a thousand times, "Are we there yet?"When we are on a...

It Doesn’t Fit – Customer Service / Client Experience Contest

Today I was out for my walk.  It's actually starting to feel like spring, with temperatures in the 40s!  While walking, I was enjoying the beautiful weather.  I was also distracted, however, by the garbage in front of some neighbors' houses.  One neighbor has had an empty...

Yikes! We Bought The Best to Improve Our Clients’ Experience… We Didn’t Want THAT...

As you can imagine, with my customer service experience, I have worked with many call centers.  Many times front-line employees work there.  Once, while implementing a firm's service strategy, I had employees from the call center call me to complain they were told to take their break 30 minutes...

Please Check ‘Excellent’ for the Children: The Problem with Client Loyalty Surveys

I received an e-mail from Macy's this morning letting me know my December bill was now due.  Unfortunately, I hadn't used my Macy's card in a while and couldn't remember the information necessary to login.  Even more embarrassing, I entered my e-mail address incorrectly, so the site...

Take the Risk to Deliver Great Service

  I personally have been reminded recently that when it comes to human emotions, people may interpret the same event very differently.  Everyones' past and their personal experiences influence their viewpoint.  I recently hurt a very good friend because I was looking at the event exclusively from my...

2010 Employers’ Resolutions for Customer Service

It's hard to believe it is nearly 2010!  Happy New Year to you.  The beginning of the new year and new decade affords us a great time to reflect and make a fresh start.  This is true on an individual basis, but is also true when it comes to customer service for...

Celebrate The Service Journey!

I'm often too tough on myself.  I no sooner finish one project or chore than I immediately refocus my attention on the next task at hand.  There's always so much to be done!  However, what ends up happening when a break isn't taken and the milestones acknowledged and celebrated, is I tend...

Is the Bar You Set for Excellent Customer Service Too Low?

I recently was approached and agreed to judge a national customer service contest.  Contestants submit their entries and describe what they have done in order to improve their clients' experience.  I have probably evaluated 20 or so submissions to date.  What has struck me,...

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