In just 60 seconds, Teri G. taught me something new about giving great technical support to a small business owner by using just one simple word. Days earlier and 600 miles from where Teri G works, Brent D. taught me something new and powerful by using the same word but in a different way.
I love to sit side by side with contact center agents any chance I get be it in sales or service. I enjoy hearing customers live on the floor and seeing agents artfully assist them. I enjoy the complex dance of the interests of client and agent. There’s so much communication psychology and emotions in play often enlightening because they are compressed into interactions that last mere minutes. Hence I enjoy most, stealing shamelessly from what works and what doesn’t.
The word Teri and Brent used is Perfect and let me tell you, Perfect works.
Teri’s Perfection; a harried small business owner calls Tech Support. He has a product problem impacting internal communications. This guy isn’t super comfortable with what he needs to do and has probably just a few minutes to try and fix this thing because all I can hear are door chimes and phones ringing like crazy in his shop. Teri knows this and she knows what to do.
Teri starts with a simple instruction. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then it occurs to me why the guy is so calm and almost chuckling along admitting his ignorance but hanging on her every word; She keeps saying “perfect” after each instruction is successfully done by the owner! From the start he wasn’t sure if he was going to do this right – but he sure does now because Teri tells him he’s doing great every step of the way. And in fact she used “You’re doing great!” and “Nice job” mixed in a bit with all those perfects.
Too often tech support agents articulate the steps to solve the problem in rote fashion because of course they do it all day. Too often tech support agents forget a reassurance to that customer that they are doing well along the way will ease that customer tension perfectly when they need it most.
Brent’s Perfection; a harried small business owner calls. He just needs to place a reorder for a product he’s been using for years. But Brent needs to do verify and validate information to ensure high quality as well as do some short discovery as any helpful sales agent would. But sometimes busy owners have little patience for all that. Brent knows this and says, “I want to make this order is perfect for you today so I’m going to ask a couple of questions and verify a few things.”
Who doesn’t want what they are calling for to not be perfect? Who wouldn’t answer a couple of questions and verify a few things to make sure what they get is perfect? Too often agents don’t justify their questions to customers. Too often agent questions aren’t positioned in such a way that they have the client’s interests in mind. Brent’s use of “to make sure this order is perfect” was simple and cleared the way for mutually beneficial discovery to happen. It was perfect.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.