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TCMG 272 Ch 2

Communication
a process that involves both listening and responding
primarily one way
communication on support websites and blogs
customer service ethic
an organization wide commitment; shared by everyone from top management to first line operational staff that client relationships and client satisfaction are the most important aspect of a business
totally satisfied customers
six times more likely to purchase additional products from the company during the next 18 months than customers who were just “satisfied”
just satisfied customers
not that loyal in their future product choices
customers who had a poor service experience
80% would consider no longer doing business with a company
excellent service
Can be more important to clients than product features, price, convenience, or other aspect of a business transaction
things dissatisfied clients are more likely to generate
lengthy support incidents
repeated callbacks or help desk contacts
complaints and ill will that re often communicated to potential clients, which can translate into poor business image and lost sales
incidents that need to be rerouted to a higher level support agent or a manager
product returns and requests of a refund
Characteristics of a support organization that is devoted to a customer service ethic
provide clients with the info, service or solutions they need
explain to a client what the staff member can do for him or her if the client’s problem cannot be resolved immediately
treat clients and potential clients with respect and courtesy
communicate to clients how long they are likely to be on hold, how long before a return call or email or how long it may take to provide info to solve a problem
return phone calls or emails when promised
essential communication skills
listening and reading, understanding and responding
six different types/purposes of listening
discriminative: learn about the user
comprehensive: understand the users message
critical: analyze and evaluate the user’s message
therapeutic: Identify opportunities to provide positive support to the user
appreciative: find enjoyment
relational: develop rapport with the user
empathy
is an understanding of and identification with another person’s situation, thoughts, and feelings
greeting
all support communications begin with this; it can affect the course of the entire interaction with the user; its the ice breaker; sets tone for the remainder of the incident
script
used to help handle routine aspects of an incident; it is a prepared sequence of statements and questions that covers several important parts of an incident; useful if an incident deteriorates into an argument or other inappropriate communication
FAQs
frequently asked questions
nonverbal behaviors
such as facial expression, body language, and the tone and style used in the communication process
posture
facial expression
eye contact
gestures
distance
voice quality
personal communication style
the result of decisions an individual makes about how he or she wants to communication; can be polished with some practice in effective communication
incident management strategy
a collection of tools techniques and activities that successful support agents use to move through an incident effectively and efficiently, from the initial greeting to the end of the incident it has four goals
-provide the user with the information he/she needs
-manage stress levels for both the user and the support agent
-ensure that the incident progresses from start to finish in an effective and efficient way
Make the user more self reliant
resources to build on and incorporate in your personal strategy
– organizational policies on incident management and expectations
-incident management strategies covered in support agent training programs
-observation and imitation of respected and experienced support agents
-your personal communication experience and style
-feedback from users, coworkers, and supervisors on your incident-management strengths and areas for improvement
incident management guidelines
ask goal directed diagnostic questions
be honest
say “I don’t know” when you don’t
apologize when appropriate
say thank you
use incident management, not user management techniques
teach self-reliance
self-reliance
a secondary long term goal; to create this support agents can explain a solution so the user understands the reasons they encountered a problem and how to fix it or when agents refer to relevant documentation where a user can locate additional info about a problem or question (provides a contradiction; help desk wants you to contact them again but also wants you to not need future contacts)
things clients evaluate
the telephone menu that connects a caller to an agent
the length of time it takes for an agent to answer the call
initial greeting
support websites
a website devoted to providing clients with product info, software downloads, support staff contacts, and a sales channel. they are a cost effective method to communicate with users, but should be designed to be client friendly/has also increased dramatically over the last decade; are cost effective and popular with users and support agents
Web 2.0
the development of technologies and web applications that emphasize the social networking aspects of collaboration and communication among communities of users
facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google +
Wikipedia
may include user forum a blog and a chat service
user forum
a website feature that allows for online discussions among members of a user community
thread
a commentary on a single topic, with comments posted in date order; organized under forums
blog
a website feature where an individual posts messages or short articles often inviting interested members of a user community to comment on them
powerful website development tools
adobe dreamweaver, avenquest WebEasy, and NetObjects Fusion Essentials
four general criteria that apply to written communication with users, including support website design
content: provide accurate and up to date product support and contact info
organization: the design is critical
format: information should be presented in small chunks/ have navigation aids/ menu bars
mechanics: basic mechanics of writing is important
difficult client
requires special handling strategies because the user is angry, uncommunicative, rude or abusive, or exhibits a variety of other challenging attitudes or behaviors
characteristics of difficult client communication
users who complain: talk about organization’s products or services instead of describing the problem (try using empathy before going for problem-solving)
power users; think they have more tech knowledge (use pronouns such as we)
incidents that get off track (try to refocus the process)
users who are upset or angry (let them vent, say little, then ask a polite question that refocuses them)
users who are abusive (talk until you turn them into an angry user and then a satisfied one)(invite them to use more appropriate and professional language)
users who are reluctant to respond (use simple language and try different questions)
users who won’t stop responding (use behavior that signals the incident is over)
power users
those who are technically very knowledgeable or at least think they are, or who believe they warrant special attention or treatment because they have personal connections with significant people in an organization
conflict
a disagreement that can occur when end users and support staff disagree about problem solving steps, product and service evaluations, or needs assessment project recommendations
Dealing with conflict
first strategy: recognize that some conflict is inevitable and not necessarily unhealthy if handled effectively
second strategy: recognize and avoid behaviors that do not result in resolving a conflict
mediator
facilitator in a conflict situation; usually someone with expertise in training activities and negotiating, have ability to see both sides, remain neutral; should guide a resolution process toward those things that are within a team’s or workers ability to change
myers-Brigs type Indicator (MBTI)
a personality analysis tool commonly used in business and industry: helps workers understand how users and coworkers view the work world and behave differently in it; the answers to a series of questions about work styles and preferences determine where a worker fits on four basic personality dimensions
1. introvert (I) or Extrovert (E)
2. Sensing (S) versus Intuition (N)
3. Thinking (T) versus Feeling (F)
4. Judging (J) versus Perceiving (P)
two most common personality types among IT workers
ISTJ and ESTJ
True
True or False? Communication skills are often more difficult for a new help desk agent to learn than technical skills or business skills.
personal communication style
A(n) _____ is a choice each support agent makes about how professional or casual, respectful or condescending, formal or informal, or terse or verbose they will be in their interactions with users
greeting
A users’ first impression of a support agent usually comes from the:
therapeutic
Which listening type focuses on opportunities to empathize with the user and provide positive support
discriminative
which listening type focuses on learning about the knowledge level and emotional state of the user?
talk to fill awkward silences
Which of these is not a strategy for effective listening
eye contact, gestures, distance, voice quality
Nonverbal communication behaviors include posture, facial expression, ________ and ________
true
Ture or False? Nonverbal behaviors are often more important than the meaning of words in a communication
false
True or False? Empath means a user support agent takes ownership and responsibility for a user’s problem
we
A support agent should make liberal use of the word
the support agent’s own words
one measure of whether a support agent understands a user’s problem is whether they can express the problem in
true
True or False? Of the three essential communication skills, listening (or reading) comes before understanding and responding
false
True or False? Scripts designed to guide a user support agent through an incident should be memorized or read verbatim to a user to avoid mistakes
greet a caller, transfer a call, terminate a call
A support worker who uses a telephone extensively is likely to need to know how to put a call on hold and _____
true
True or False? One of the goals of incident management is to help users be more self reliant
agree to any demand a client makes
Which of the following is not a primary strategy for a support organization that aims for customer service excellence
never admit that you are not sure
Which of these is not a recommended incident management strategy for support agents
false
True or False? A successful support worker is one who has learned from experience how to manipulate a user’s behavior to make the user more productive
false
Ture or False? A customer-service ethic is an organization wide commitment to the concept that the client is always right
organization, format
A support website implementer uses four criteria to evaluate a client friendly site: Content, ____, ____, and mechanics
thread
A(n) _______ is a way to organize the commentary on a single topic in a discussion forum from oldest to newest, in an easy to follow format
mediator, facilitator
A(n) ______ is a neutral participant in a conflict resolution situation who helps participants by training, negotiating, and listening

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