add value in every interaction, reframe, you have the power, rewrite the story
First, I am going to talk about the role we play in our interactions with our clients and how crucial it is to the success of the organization as a whole.Secondly, we will review what is considered to be excellent customer service skills and why they are important.Lastly, I will teach you how you can maximize the effectiveness of your communication skills to handle every situation.
The IT Help Center is the initial point of contact for our clients. Typically, you will be the first person that the clients sees or hears when they have a request or are reporting an incident.When clients think of IS&T, they mainly think of their previous interactions with us. Hence, we truly influence how people think of us and the entire organization.That 30 second phone call or 30 second face to face interaction may seem trivial but it has a big impact on how clients think of us.
Our value is based upon our technical know-how and it is our job to use this knowledge to help students and staff with their computer questions and issues. Our technical knowledge is useless if we are not able to know communicate and translate it properly to the client. Learning to bridge this gap is key to providing an exceptional experience for each client.
In any interaction, you must first determine the client’s communication style. If you understand how the client communicates, you will be able to better translate what their needs are. You will also be able to match their communication style so that they will understand what you are trying to convey.
In the next slide we will talk about active listening more in depth.
A client will know if you are listening to them or not. Active listening is a more interactive process than just sitting back and staring blankly at the client. When you are actively listening you will be able to know when to let the client talk and when to respond.
Mastering your verbal skills is very important when interacting with clients. The most important aspect is your tone of voice. Words convey only 15% of your message, the other 85% is conveyed through your tone.
In the next few slides we will discuss the following items. If you understand these concepts you will be able to tackle any client interaction.
If you understand where the client is coming from, you will be able to help them more efficiently.
If you are confident then the client will pick up on that right away. Demonstrating confidence will help you avoid a client becoming frustrated.Speak with conviction even if you do not know the answer. Assure the client you are capable of finding the answer no matter what.Let the client know you will help them from start to finish, this increase customer satisfication.
Also, never take it personally. More than likely the client is not mad at you. The best you can do is to stay calm and help them.
No matter how frustrated the client is, if you follow these techniques, you will be able to diffuse the situation. These are very basic skills that really have a big impact. Just think about how you would want to be treated when you need something fixed.
Client ServicesFall 2012Phil Berenz & Linda JerrettIT Help Center
Overview Definition Our Role Customer Service Skills Communication Skills Conclusion
What is Customer Service? The ability to provide a service or product in the way that it has been promised. An organizations ability to supply their clients wants and needs. The process of taking care of our clients in a positive manner. The commitment to providing value added services to external and internal clients, including attitude, knowledge, technical support and quality of service in a timely manner. The definitions above taken from CustomerServiceManager.com
Our Role You represent group, the IT Help Center and IS&T First person client sees or talks to on the phone We influence how people think about us Clients remember their interaction with you when they think about our group. Small interactions have a big impact! 30 seconds might not seem like it could make a difference but it can & does There is an opportunity in every moment. Your Goal: Customer ChampionCustomer Champion: A person who actively promotes the image and services of the department, and supports the needs of the customer.
Communication Skills Our technical knowledge is useless if we are not able to communicate and translate it properly to the client. Different people require us to use different communication skills. A difficult person can make you temporarily lose the skills you have. Solid communication skills are vital in every interaction.
Client’s Communication Style Every client has a different style of communication Understanding a client’s style is important Increases comprehension Improves level of client satisfaction The Goal: Match client’s communication style Determine client’s level of technical proficiency Matching client’s vocal elements & vocabulary This does not mean yell if they yell Use same technical terminology as client
Excellent Client Service Skills Activelylistening to the client Understanding the client’s needs Remaining flexible to meet expectations Proactively keeping customers informed Going above and beyond (110%)Ican’t stress enough how much we value when our staff and students go above and beyond basic expectations.
Active Listening A more interactive process than passive listening. Be ready to listen (avoid any distractions) Do not interrupt Pause before replying Don’t be distracted by what you’re going to say when they finish talking. Focus on client and acknowledge their issue Paraphrase what they said for clarification
Verbal Skills Tone of Voice Words convey only 15% of your message Enthusiastic, Excited, Willing Smile & remain positive Example “Sure, I’m happy to help.” Sound confident Be clear with what you say Be kind & polite
Maximizing EffectivenessIn the next few slides we’ll talk about how theseelements of maximizing the effectiveness of yourcommunication skills will allow you to be able tohandle every situation Understanding the client’s needs Difference between empathy and sympathy Display confidence Techniques to eliminate or reduce conflict Strategies to manage challenging circumstances with clients
Understanding Client’s Needs 25% consists of Understand the providing the service customer’s need or support Allow client to completely explain Needs a projector incident Has a virus Empathize with the client about the 75% of client inconvenience satisfaction consists Let client know you of meeting the have dealt with this in client’s the past or can call staff psychological needs Tell client how you are going to resolve the Needs everything to incident work and just go right
Sympathy vs. EmpathyEmpathy (n.): Identifying with and understandinganother person’s situation, feelings, and motivesSympathy (n.): A feeling or expression of pity orsorrow True empathy acknowledges the emotions the client is feeling Feeling sorry for them will not help you understand what they need Empathy builds rapport, instills confidence Example: “I understand you are frustrated”
Demonstrating Confidence Why is confidence important? Establishes credibility Enhances the reputation of the organization Increases customer satisfaction How to be confident: Speak with conviction Smile Maintain positive tone of voice Take ownership of the request & let the client know you will help from start to finish
Handling Conflict As you interact with your clients, you must separate their behavior from who they are as people. Don’t take it personally. If they get upset, remember that the client is most likely mad at the situation, not mad at you. If you do this, you will see that your task in every case is the same: Stay calm, meet the client’s expectations and deliver excellent customer service
Handling Conflict – Part 2Techniques to reduce or eliminate conflict: Think about how you like to be treated Choose your words & tone carefully Listen to the client’s concerns Let the client vent Empathize with the client Remain confident Remember, you choose how you respond to a client’s emotions or reactions
Challenging Circumstances You may come across a challenging circumstance Examples: Irate client, Inconvenienced client, Emotional client, Abusive client In any case, if you utilize excellent client service skills you will succeed. If you become overwhelmed, please ask for help. Don’t wait until its too late. We do not expect you to handle an abusive client on your own.
Manage Client Interactions Keep accusatory tones out of your voice. Say “Please” and “Thank you” Don’t assume they speak the same language you do (be it technical or English) Tryto think of what the most you can do to help is, not the least you must do.
Recap-Virtues of Customer Service Empathy Humility Put yourself in their Arrogance has no position if you place in customer needed help. service Admitting you’re wrong Remaining Calm Saying “I don’t Don’t make the user know” more anxious than Calling in the help of they already are a staff person Listening Patience Allow the user to Slow down, take vent and explain your time their issue
ConclusionUsing these techniques you should be able to do thefollowing: Satisfy clients by using active listening skills and effective communication strategies Defuse challenging client behavior Be a customer champion Be proud of yourself and the work you are doing Be a valuable member of the IT Help Center team