Learn how language impact the customer and proper language to use.
- Many technicians work across multiple channels of support including the phone, deskside support, walk-up bar, chat, and email. When I asked technicians which channel they prefer the most, I overwhelmingly hear desk-side and/or walk-up bar, face-to-face support. Why is that? Because it's easier to work with customers face-to-face when we can see their body language and hear their tone in words. We know that tone, words, and body language are three essential elements of communication.
What happens when you lose the ability to use any of these three elements with a customer? Well, it makes technical support much more difficult. Let's start with telephone support as an example. You have at least two of the key components, words and tone, but no body language. So we have to take our approach and adjust it to focus on words and tone. Let's look at the key components to choosing the right language and tone for effectively building phone support. They are positive tone, listening and following the customer, positive word choices, empathy, and the customer perspective.
Having a positive tone could be one of the simplest ways to start a contact out on a positive note. Being upbeat, friendly, and positive, willing to help, are the characteristics of tone that customers want to hear. No one wants to be made to feel like they're bothering you, or that they just aren't important. Try to start the contact out with a smile. In one service desk I worked at, we had mirrors on the desk of our technicians that said, "What you see is what they hear." Even though the customer can't see you, the mirrors were a reminder that the person's tone and voice will often convey that smile.
These mirrors were also helpful to see when your manager was walking up behind you. Studies have shown that smiling will improve your mood, so it's really a win-win. Let's look at a couple of examples. In this first one, we're going to see how a typical greeting goes without the positive tone. - Thank you for contacting the technical support center. This is Anise. May I have your first name please? - In this next example, let's see how the conversation goes with a positive tone. - Hi, thank you for contacting the technical support center.
This is Anise, may I have your first name please? - Wow, we can hear the difference in tone even though the words were exactly the same. They also followed our greeting and validation process. Listening, which we discussed in an earlier movie, is the second vital component of building rapport. We are listening to collect vital data, such as their name and the issue they're hoping to resolve, but we're also listening for other information that will shape our responses.
If a customer is frustrated and giving short answers, first, don't take it personally. They're not frustrated with you. They're frustrated with the issue. Second, keep a positive tone and follow their lead. Keep the answers short. If they don't want to chit-chat, don't force them. Just focus on the task at hand. If a customer is more engaging and open to conversation, again, follow their lead. Let's take a look at an example.
- Thank you for calling tech support. This is Anise. Can I please have your name and employee ID? - Bryan, 9876. - Thanks, Bryan. How can I help you today? - I can't log in. - Did the issue just start? - [Bryan] Yes. - Got it. Can you tell me how you're trying to log in? - Well, I'm connecting through VPN, but it doesn't seem to want to connect. - Thanks very much for the information. I'll be happy to help you with that. Let me take a look at your connection. - Following the lead also includes matching the customer's language.
If a customer is using specific words, it's because that's what they know and understand. Changing words can confuse them. However, if they are using terms that are wrong and cause confusion, we may have an opportunity to educate the customer. A soft tone and a positive attitude is required while educating a customer so it doesn't come off sounding condescending or derogatory. - Well, my TV's broken. - Okay, are you talking about the computer screen? - Yes, the TV.
- Okay, the TV. That's also what we refer to as the monitor. - Well, the monitor isn't working for some reason. - In the next movie, we'll look at building rapport over the phone by using positive word choices, empathy, and the customer perspective.
First, Fancy provides guidance on how to use the right types of questions to gather information about an issue. Then, she explains how to professionally handle common customer service tasks, like escalating and transferring calls. Then, she shows how to hone interactions with customers by refining communications—acknowledging how tone and word choice can diffuse tension. She wraps up by covering common customer behavior scenarios in which the tools, techniques, and strategies from the course can be applied.
- Greeting and validating contacts
- Asking investigative and diagnostic questions
- Confirming and validating responses
- Reaching resolution and closure
- Using mute or hold on a call
- Escalating or transferring a call
- Building rapport over the phone, in writing, and face-to-face
- Refining word choice, style, and tone
- Managing conflict effectively
- Recovering unsatisfied customers
- Redirecting customers
- Identifying customer behavior