Join Fancy Mills for an in-depth discussion in this video Customer behavior profiles: Chatty, part of IT Service Desk: Customer Service Fundamentals.
- Our next customer type is very common, the Chatty customer. This customer wants to talk, gossip, inform, ask, and provide lots of information and data. Much of the information provided may have nothing to do with the issue at hand. The goal is to handle the Chatty customer with professionalism and not get distracted. So let's look at an example. - [Caller] Yeah, I'm calling about an issue with my LMS. I mean, it says the page won't load. Can you help me? - Yes, I sure can. Let's see what the issue is.
- [Caller] Oh yeah, this new LMS is giving me fits. I mean, I loved the old one. I don't know why we changed it. Do you know? - From what I understand, this LMS has more features, so what screen are you trying to load? - [Caller] Oh, the screen. Oh, let me look. Sorry, I just walked out of my office. I'm calling you from my cellphone. I had to go talk to a co-worker outside, you know. He's going through a divorce, it's pretty nasty. You know, he's having issues with his LMS too. Okay, yeah, I'm back at my desk now. What did you want to know? - The screen or page you were trying to load. - Oh right. Yeah, yeah. It's the attendees screen.
You know, so I can see who's here and mark attendance, you know. They want me to do that, but what does it really matter when you've got guys like Kevin? I mean, he never shows up and even when he is here, he's got his shades on like we don't know he's been out all night. You know, I mean, he doesn't do anything. He sits there with his arms crossed. He's asleep most of the time. I know it. I talk to him afterwards. Do you know Kevin? - No, I don't know him. So the attendee page is what you're trying to load, correct? - Yeah, no, I got them on line now. You want me to ask them? Hey, you know Aaron's having the same issue as me. Can you call him next and fix him up too? - He'll need to call the service desk and someone can help him now.
That's the best way to handle it. - [Caller] Okay, Aaron. Yeah, you got to call. No, you. You got to call. (laughs) Oh crap, I got a meeting like in five minutes. Is there any way we can hurry this up? - Sure, happy to help. - This is a classic example of a Chatty customer. Lots of talking, some of the information has nothing to do with the issue. The customer's distracted during the contact and not focused on the issue. Let's look at our strategies. First, recognize that you've got a stage one chatter.
Often, they talk so fast you may have to ask them to repeat something or even slow down. Second, we need to keep listening. Often, we want to tune out because there's so much being said, but we need to stay focused. We might miss some very important clues. Next, ask closed-ended questions as much as possible. Simple, short closed-ended questions go a long way. Remember, there will be no shortage of data, so stay focused on what's important, information about the issue.
Also, use their name. This helps personalize the contact and gets their attention. Use it where you really need their attention or when you need to politely interrupt. Lastly, answer direct questions with a short, closed answer. Be polite, but don't give them too much information. If we do, they may ask even more unrelated questions and become distracted. Handling Chatty customers doesn't have to be painful or even dreaded.
By implementing some key strategies to help control, contain, and move the contact on, we can enjoy assisting our Chatty customers to resolution. In our next movie, we'll look at the opposite of Chatty customers, the Timid customers.
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