Learn how to diagnose the issue a customer is experiencing by using customer service best practices. In this video, we look at probing questions.
- Now that we've discussed closed-ended questions, let's move to the polar opposite, open-ended questions. Now, open-ended questions are designed to allow the customer to elaborate on the details of their problem. Unlike closed questions, open questions are designed to gather more information from the customer. These questions are especially helpful with customers who may not know or may be confused on the type of information that we're really looking for. Open questions usually start with words like how, when, can you tell me, describe to me, or even show me.
These words provide guidance as to the type of information you would like the customer to expand on. Open questions also help build rapport with the customer by creating a conversation with them. The key is to actually listen to the responses. Let's look at some examples. - How may I assist you today? What is the issue you're experiencing? Can you describe the issue you're experiencing? - When investigating and diagnosing an issue, be careful of using the word why in your open-ended questions.
I've heard technicians in the past ask a customer, "Why did you do that?" Now, there might be times when that's appropriate to use, but it can sometimes lead to a customer feeling accused or even blamed. So, unless you really need to know, try to avoid asking why. What are some examples of open-ended questions that you use in your organization? Take a minute to think about them and write down at least three. Again, it's often helpful to think about a common issue or request that you receive.
Now that we've discussed open-ended questions, in the next movie we'll take a look at a different type of question, the probing question.
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