Know Your Facts

In this module, we will examine how you can effectively communicate with customers in order to resolve an issue. The importance of knowing your facts is discussed, in relation to giving accurate and relevant information that can be supported by available documentation. 

After completing the module, you will be able to:

Establishing the Issue

Reasoning

It is important to understand a customer issue so that you can:

It is important to understand a customer issue so that you can:

  • Identify the problem
  • Apply the solution
  • Produce a satisfied customer

Definition

When speaking with a customer, paraphrasing is important as it allows you to:

  • Summarize the concern
  • Agree on the problem
  • Demonstrate understanding
  • Show initiative to resolve the issue
  • Give a timeframe in which the resolution will be performed

Activity

  • Summarise the issue
  • Try to divert from the issue
  • Agree on the issue
  • Provide a timeframe for resolution or follow-up on the issue
What options should be included in your conversation with a customer when helping to resolve their issue?

Recapping Important Points

Reasoning

Paraphrasing is used as a method by which you can engage with a customer until you both agree on the problem you need to solve.

Why use your own words?

It shows understanding and helps to get an agreement with the customer on what the problem is.

Definition

Paraphrasing is a restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words. A paraphrase typically explains or clarifies the text that is being paraphrased. For example, "The signal was red" might be paraphrased as "The train was not allowed to pass because the signal was red".

The following are paraphrasing best practices:

  • Include both content and emotions
  • Use your own words
  • Identify the most important details
  • Get the customer’s agreement/confirmation that you’ve stated the problem correctly
  • Recognizes feelings

Activity

In your own words, describe how you would speak to a customer who is experiencing an issue with an order they’ve placed, whilst keeping the paraphrasing best practices in mind.

Gaining Agreement

Reasoning

Why is it important to get the customers agreement before continuing?

It is important to gain agreement with a customer, as they will allow you take control of the call if they agree with what you are saying and proposing. You have treated them like a friend and are now ready to help them to solve the issue.

Definition

Agreement is shown from how the customer speaks towards you and from the answer they provide you with when you ask them if they have any other queries or issues.

A customer who is in agreement will be happy to end the call knowing that their issue is being resolved.

Activity

  • A customer who is in agreement with the resolution that you’ve outlined will tell you that they’re going to call back in a couple of hours to check on the status.
  • A customer who is in agreement with the resolution that you’ve outlined will be happy to wait for their issue to be resolved, safe in the knowledge that they do not need to do anything further.

Understanding Customer Emotions

Reasoning

It's important to try and understand a customers feelings and emotions, and to treat the customer as a friend who's problem you want to understand, before diving into the solution. This is called showing empathy.

If a customer is being handled with empathy, it allows you to apply a solution.

Definition

Empathy is the capacity to recognise emotions that are being experienced by another person. Recognising a customers thoughts and feelings is demonstrating empathy.

Activity

Make a list of the emotions that a customer might experience when they are having an issue. For each emotion listed, write one or two sentences about how you might help to show empathy towards the customer.

Getting Help

Reasoning

If you've reached a point in the conversation with the customer where you need to check the information that you are providing them with, it is important to use the resources that are available to you and to check your facts.

Definition

Getting help involves checking the available resources that allow you to check whether you are presenting the correct facts to the customer. A customer will be happy for you take a moment to get help and support in relation to their query once you handle the call in a professional and clear manner. 

Activity

  • Advise the customer that you would like to take a moment to check the solution to their issue.
  • Tell the customer that you will need to place them on hold for a short period of time.
  • Place the customer on hold before selecting the relevant resource.
  • Look up the relevant information.
  • Take the customer off the call hold and advise them of the information that you have found.
Describe how you would take time to check your facts whilst on a call with a customer by placing the below items in the correct order.

Course Summary

Summary

After completing this module, you should be able to:

  • Understand the customers’ problem from the very beginning of the contact.
  • Use your own words to recap the most important details.
  • Ensure that your customer agrees with your paraphrase.
  • Recognize their thoughts and feelings.
  • Know when it is appropriate to look for further help.