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 opened our customers up, and they've given us some initial information, we may need to ask some follow-up questions to delve even further. These questions are defined as probing questions. They are similar to open-ended questions, and are designed to dig a little bit deeper after asking an open-ended question. Probing questions typically follow open questions, but could also follow a closed-ended question as well, especially if we need to gather more information. The key to asking appropriate probing questions is listening.
We want to listen for the clues and cues in what a customer has said, and also what they haven't said. These very responses help us to formulate further probing questions. These questions seek to gather more information and can begin with the word such as can, you mentioned, when, where, how much, and what. Words are not the only important component to probing. Our tone is extremely vital as well.
We want to have a soft, empathetic tone that shows interest in helping, not interrogating the customer to find out what they did wrong this time. In normal conversation, people use the word "you" often when questioning. This can come off as accusatory if we aren't cognizant of our tone throughout the interaction. As technicians, try to avoid the use of the word "you." When we do need to use it, soften the tone as much as we possibly can. Here are some examples of probing questions.
Let's think about how we can use these in our environment. Let me gather some additional information on this issue. You mentioned an error message on the screen, what is that error message? How many times has this happened? When is this needed? What is the due date? And how has this task been performed in the past? Now that we've reviewed closed, open, and probing questions, our last step will be to look at confirming questions.
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