Join Fancy Mills for an in-depth discussion in this video Refining our message, part of IT Service Desk: Customer Service Fundamentals.
- Now that we've discussed word choices, tone, and body language, let's look further at refining our message. First, a concept that is central to refining our message is learning how to avoid using what are called filler words in our conversations with customers. Filler words add no real value and may even confuse customers. We use them often to give us time to think about what we're saying or when we're nervous or unsure. We might also use them because we don't truly understand how they devalue and negatively impact the message.
In your next conversation, really listen for these words. They're everywhere. Our minds typically filter them out to some extent, but they are quite prevalent. Examples of filler words include the usual suspects like Uh, Um, Okay, Like, So, But, Really, Ya know, I mean. Although these words aren't inherently bad or negative, they can detract from the message.
We have to think about our message and what we'd really like to convey to our audience and work hard to limit the use of these filler words. Now there are additional filler words to avoid that don't bring value to our message and can confuse our customers as well. Some examples of these words include, Essentially, Basically, Regrettably, Unfortunately, Usually, Actually, and However.
It's not wrong to use these words, they just don't add value to our conversation. We can start to work on using more straightforward positive language by rewording or eliminating filler words and phrases altogether. For example, Essentially, that's all I can do becomes, Here's what I can do. Basically, your system is out of warranty becomes, Let's look for other options, as the system isn't covered by the warranty.
Regrettably, that's just the policy becomes, This is our current policy. Unfortunately, we don't support this version becomes, This version is unsupported. Usually, we aren't able to do this for customers becomes, We are unable to perform this function. I can check to see what we are able to do in this situation. I'd like to help you, however, I can't becomes, I'm unable to assist with this issue. Let's look to see if there are any other options.
In these examples, we removed our filler words and used simple and clear language. This allowed us to steer the conversation into a more positive direction. When negative language is used, it can sometimes create conflict. In our next movie, we'll discuss how to effectively manage conflict.
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