Ellie Parvin is obsessed with the way people communicate and the various factors and environments that can alter the perception of information and meanings delivered and received between those communicating. Her passion for communication has lead her to launch EllieParvin.com, which helps small businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs and individuals learn how practicing and cultivating communication skills and techniques can improve their lives and bottom lines.
Ellie had her first experience with customer service when she worked in her mother’s psychology practice. She says that customer service became personal for her from that young age.
“Something that starts very early on, it kind of becomes your signature on how you are with every job, or everything you do after that”
Ellie Parvin believes that customer service has changed globally over the past couple of decades, as companies are moving towards being more service-oriented.
“Customer service, at its core, is truly building and maintaining relationships through the way businesses and their staff communicate”
As much as customer service is about the customers, Ellie shares that it’s as much about the employees who work for a company. She says that employers need to look at the people they are hiring have heart, critical thinking abilities and want to implement the company mission.
It’s important that employees are nice to others, quick, thorough and they follow through on what they say they are going to do.
“They just need to care about people”
Ellie Parvin adds that it’s critical a company empowers their employees to make decisions and not have to go through multiple levels of management when dealing with a potential conflict.
In the case of an issue or conflict with a customer, employees should tell the person what they are going to do, research a solution and tell them that they’ll get back to them within 24 hours. At the very least, employees should contact the customer to provide a status update on the situation.
“Really it is about doing what you say you’re going to do”
She also believes companies should have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on their website, and visual resources such as YouTube videos can also be helpful in assisting customers.
Social media has significantly changed the face of customer service, as research shows that about 85% of customers have contacted a company via social media about their products or services.
“When customers actually feel (like) part of the business and connect with the people there, they feel like they’re invested”
While it’s important to have a social media presence, Ellie feels that companies should only focus on one to three platforms. For her, it’s Instagram and Facebook.
“As a small business owner, it’s vital for me to communicate with the people who are my customers”
The book that has had the most impact to Ellie is “Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles.
Ellie Parvin feels that the customer isn’t always right. Words are powerful, and she has chosen to create her own “platinum rule” that says, “The customer is the customer.”
“It has nothing to do with whether they’re right or wrong. They’re the customer and our job is to service the customer.”
To stay motivated, Ellie has created a morning ritual and set of habits that gets her day off on the right foot. This includes stretching, yoga and listening to podcasts.
She’s always been a proponent of learning by teaching.
“It’s always a wonderful feeling when you feel that connection with someone”
If a team isn’t motivated, she advises employers to be patient and focus on a small group of customers to service.
“You want to give your energy to your best customers, which will attract more of them”
The one thing she’s most excited about is continuing to do the work to grow and learn. To do so, she’s started Chalene Johnson’s “Marketing Impact Academy 2.0.” Ellie will be launching the book she wrote in the near future.
The one quote that Ellie lives by is “Customer service is building and maintaining relationships.”
Website (visit for a free PDF & list of Ellie’s Power Words!)