Join Fancy Mills for an in-depth discussion in this video Customer behavior profiles: Impassioned, part of IT Service Desk: Customer Service Fundamentals.
- What is amazing, is that no matter what type of service desk we work in, we will all handle similar types of customers. As a technician, it's important to understand basic customer profiles, and implement strategies that will help us better manage our customers. By understanding behavior, we can look for commonalities, and determine how to best handle the customer. The first profile we will review, is the impassioned customers. Impassioned customers are those that are at a heightened emotional state, literally crying and upset, or just really passionate and intense about what's currently happening in their situation.
Let's listen to an example. - My system just crashed while I was inputting the data into the database and now it's corrupt. The report is already late, my boss is all over me about it. This software never works! You guys push out these buggy updates all the time and this time, you're going to get me fired. - So as we can hear, this customer is impassioned, and need assistance. The challenge with impassioned customers, is that often the emotion takes over the situation, so it can make it difficult to troubleshoot.
Let's look at our strategies. Don't focus on the emotion of the customer. Stay focused on the solution. Use an empathy statement. Set expectations. Ask more closed-ended questions, especially in the beginning. Don't forget to use the redirect strategy. We can lower an emotional state by determining the source of the emotion. What it is, and acknowledge it. We can't ask, "Hey man, what's making you upset?" We've got to be a little bit smoother than that.
Let's listen to the entire interaction, for all the steps taken during the contact. They won't necessary happen in order, so be on the lookout for the steps and techniques she uses. - Okay, so I heard you have a report due. Is that correct? - Yes, like now. - Okay, I'm going to do my best to assist. When is it exactly due? - He said he wants it asap. He literally yelled at me now! - Well, let's get started. I'm going to ask you a couple questions and remote into your system, is that okay? - Look, yes, please hurry. My boss is yelling at me, we've got budget cuts, the project is understaffed, and now we're using your new software that our IT guys don't even know about.
As a vendor you guys seriously don't even know what's going on here. Seriously, it's such a mess! - Wow, Brian, it sounds like there's a lot going on there. I'm in your system now will you please click on Accept to let me remote into your system, so I can see exactly what's going on? - Yeah, it just keeps crashing because it's so buggy. I've even heard you guys say that. - Let's look at what you're using. So, I'm in your system, and can see the error, and what the issue is. Let me walk you through what happened and how I will fix it. - Okay, so it's not that big of a deal? - It's pretty minor. It can be fixed quickly.
- Great. Maybe I won't get fired after all. - So what did you hear in the call? I heard the technician utilize strategies throughout the call. Another thing she did was remain calm, positive, and didn't engage in the emotions. She validated them, but didn't allow herself to be led down the emotional path. Customers need us to remain calm and positive, and to guide them to resolution. If we can't do that, we're in trouble.
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