Paolo Fabrizio
February 9, 2021

Great Customer Service Is About More Than Answering Questions

There's More To Customer Service Than Just Answering Questions

Stereotypes get stronger if they aren’t quickly disproven. When it comes to providing customer support, a frequent one is thinking that front-line agents should only respond. Actually, this is just a partial view of the role of customer service since they need to do more than answering. In fact, when handling conversation, especially over digital channels, they need to know what questions to ask the customer and when to do it. Let’s see how.

Three Signal To Take Into Account

Whenever customer support agents receive an incoming query, their first instinct is rushing to respond. This habit is pretty common and amplified, especially in organizations dealing with high volumes of conversations regardless of the channel (phone, email, social media, live chat, or messaging). However, chances are your agents may find themselves in trouble because they misunderstood customer’s query in terms of:

  • Content – what is he/she asking?
  • Mood – what is he/she feeling?
  • Intention – what does he/she really want to get?

So when (s*)it happens, the conversation ends up with frustration and friction on both sides – agent and customer.

What And When To Ask The Customer

In order to prevent such sticky situations, whenever you’re not 100% sure of one or more of the above three elements, immediately ask questions. Here are some helpful phrases you can let your agents use. Each is a great sentence starter, seeking to confirm that you understand them correctly:

  • “Can you confirm to me that you want…?”
  • “Let me ask you to prevent any misunderstanding…”
  • “So, you mean that…?”

Better to catch misunderstandings before proceeding, right? Such ‘life vest phrases’ will keep the conversation safe – provided you carefully handle the following interactions. As I’m sure you want to dive into the facets of the main operation of this topic, take advantage of these two related gems:

Does your customer service invite or push people? >>

How to get full cooperation from your customer >>

Over To You

Now you know why great customer service is way more than answering. Since every conversation is a business opportunity, taking care of each interaction in details makes the difference in terms of customer experience. So I’m closing up this article with this straight question: do you want to just provide good customer support or leverage superior experiences to smash competitors?

Have great conversations.

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Paolo Fabrizio

Digital Customer Service Consultant, Trainer, Author, Speaker. Paolo has been helping companies to harness digital customer service as a business driver. Founder of CustomerServiceCulture, author of books and speaker at conferences in Italy and abroad. Lecturer at the Bicocca University of Milan