An Amazing Approach to Customer Service
Customer service gets easier, faster, and yields genuine satisfaction!
By David B. Freeman
David Freeman, V.P. Customer Services for a Dallas computer company wants to improve the way customer service is handled today!
Machines cannot take the place of a good customer service representative. It is getting hard to find one these days and they are worth their weight in gold!
Is it funny or real?
A common joke among computer vendors is that there should be a personality test required of all customers before they would be allowed to purchase one of that particular company's computers.
Though meant to be a joke, the basis of such thought is something that is commonly recognized among computer vendors. Some people get along well with computers, while computer ownership is to others a perpetual nightmare. But check this out!
Same computer system, same application, radically different results.
The difference is usually in the personalities involved, and how they approach the challenge of implementing a computer into their business and personal lives.
Customer service people have to deal with the personalities of computer owners and operators almost as much, if not more than they have to deal with the problems with the computers themselves.
Confusion or Cooperation
Too often the communication between the computer owner and the customer service representative is confusing nature rather than being truly helpful and done in a spirit of cooperation.
The same could be said about almost any environment in which a technical or mechanical product malfunctions and service must be rendered to an unhappy or disappointed customer.
Getting 'past' the customer's irritation in order to turn his/her attention directly toward solving the problem is where knowledge of Natural Styles can be a tremendous asset to the customer service representative.
Think about it. The situation is a classic one which should allow Natural Styles to be easily recognized. The customer is confronted with a problem or challenge, as is the customer service representative.
Research proves that the Natural Style surfaces when people are stressed -- or very comfortable. Since customer service always begins with stress, it makes sense to train a person who represents your company in a quick and simple way to go from stress to comfort.
Do the Customer a Favor
With the Natural Styles of both being strongly manifested, the ability to work through those styles will result in the customer service representative being able to take command of the situation and get his/her job done.
Because the initial confrontation may take place on the telephone, the CSR can ask simple questions that in 30 seconds will help him/her to discover the style with which he/she is dealing.
NOTE: These examples are phone help for computer owners who are experiencing difficulties making the network or personal PC operate.
Example: An unhappy customer on the phone was sure we were wrong because downloading our e-book had left him with several blank pages. He spent over 2 minutes telling me how he had downloaded several times with the same results. In his opinion we were at fault and he wanted his money back. I let him vent while I worked toward finding the real problem. When his tirade began to wind down I began asking specific questions to get at the real problem. Since I had learned about Singles I knew to let him talk until he had finished rather than try to find the problem prematurely. Because I was patient, he is now one of my company’s biggest advocates. He has sent at least 3 very big new customers our way.
1. A 'Single' will not deviate easily from the problem at hand. The problem with the product is likely to be the most important thing on the Single's mind, probably because it is keeping him/her from some other task that they feel is important.
For this reason, the Single will be the most likely to press the CSR into making commitments as to exactly how and when the product will be repaired or working. The Single will not accept vague or put off answers.
Example: I heard a rambling description which couldn’t explain the problem accurately enough for me to help. I knew this was a Multiple after listening about fifteen seconds. We needed to go from the general problem to the specific. By finding out what this customer wanted to do overall, I was quickly able to focus her on the steps to take to get there. We resolved her problem in only one call and 10 minutes. Had I not known her style, it might have taken several calls and an hour or more to satisfy her.
2. The 'Multiple' will be the one most likely to turn the situation into something positive. This is also the style that may not define the problem clearly, so it is important to pay attention to getting to the 'real' problem before you take the next step.
Next try suggesting that they can be involved in something else while you concentrate on repairing the problem.
A Multiple is not likely to be concerned with the details of how you will solve the problem; he or she just wants to be assured that you will take care of it. Once this assurance is received this style is likely to be off taking care of other facets of business while you work on the problem.
Example: I knew he was NonVisual when he couldn’t tell me exactly what was wrong. He used words that sounded right to him but made no ‘computer’ sense to me. Since NonVisuals often know they are unhappy but not why, I had a customer who needed me to work as a partner rather than demanding to know his problem specifically. By being a friend, we resolved his problem in less than 3 minutes!
3. A 'NonVisual' may be puzzled about what is going on with the product, unless it is something he/she clearly understands. If you explain just a little bit about a possible solution, this style may become so preoccupied with the problem that it may help you try to solve it. This may or may not be desirable.
You can give the NonVisual a description of the problem and what must be done to resolve it - a drawing. Then you will be allowed to proceed with your job unencumbered.
Example: When a voice on the phone said her boss would be furious if she did not finish this job and rambled about the problem, I knew the caller must be an Integrated. As a result I worked knowing that ‘people’ were more important to her than the problem. It was amazing even to me, how quickly we resolved her software that was crashing her computer.
4. An 'Integrated' will probably help you try to solve the problem, or at least try to make you as comfortable as possible while you attempt to solve it. This type of style will apologize for having to involve you in his/her problem. Generally, these customers are considered a pleasure to work with by Customer Service Representatives.
Example: As soon as I heard, “It could be this … or it could be that …” I knew it was a Dual calling. He had carefully analyzed his problem and had he known more about his computer would probably solved it himself. I was a sounding board and let him work with just a few suggestions on my part. I really appreciate using ICTech to help me resolve difficulties twice as fast as I did before.
5. A 'Dual' will always analyze. He or she may be the easiest to work with on the problem since this style loves to look at challenges and find solutions.
Once you get one half of the Dual’s 2 Natural Styles working with you, you must get the other style to also agree with your approach to solving the problem. Otherwise a Dual will keep calling with a different story.
Knowing how to recognize the Natural Styles of your customers will give you a decided advantage when it comes to working with them to solve service-related problems.
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