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Have you ever asked a customer service question and received an answer that wasn’t even close to what you were asking about? Maybe it was somewhat related, but it felt like the rep wasn’t really paying attention to what you wanted.
Just Answer Customer Service Questions
I recently was in a chat session with a service provider. I had a simple question. I wanted to know the IPv6 address of my server. As you can see from the screen capture, his answer indicated that he either wasn’t paying attention or that he was making assumptions about what I really wanted. He gave me an IPv4 address and some DNS record information, neither of which I asked about.
He wasted 15 minutes of my time (and his, too), by making assumptions about what I wanted and not answering my question.
When customers ask a question, answer the question they ask. It’s really simple. It’s true that sometimes customers need something different from what they want. After you answer their question, you can certainly probe for more information to be sure you’re providing the information they really need, but start by answering the question they asked.
Put yourself in your customer’s position. If you ask a customer service question, wouldn’t you appreciate a straight answer? When your customers ask a question, answer it. Then, if you think it’s necessary, you can probe for more information to ensure the customer is getting not only the information they want but also the information they need. Start, however, by answering the question they asked. Wouldn’t you want that if you were the customer?
Here’s a link to a Harvard Business Review article about answering customer questions. It’s oriented toward salespeople, but it applies to anyone who deals with customers.
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