With customer satisfaction scores unacceptably low, our client asked us to provide a communication programme that would prepare their Customer Service Engineers (CSEs) to handle customer calls competently and calmly. Technical support for a major international IT company demands an advanced level of customer service expertise, the ability to adapt to different cultures and have the communication skills to explain — by telephone — how to resolve complex technological issues.
We designed a tailored customer communication workshop. Research within the client organisation ensured that we used precise examples and language from their organisation; it was important for CSEs to believe that we understood their world and could help them learn valuable skills. The workshop combined tailored input and practice sessions that placed the content firmly within the participants’ work context. We followed the programme with coaching for line managers to ensure that they were equipped to embed the tools, techniques and skills covered across their teams.
The overall measure of customer satisfaction has increased by over 15%. The score related specifically to the way CSEs communicate with customers has increased by over 45%, and is still increasing at the time of writing. Customers registering a satisfaction score of 100% have increased in number significantly. Calls escalated to managers have reduced because CSEs are handling customer interactions competently and confidently.
The Client’s View
Despite there being some initial scepticism amongst the team about the value of a non-technical programme, following the workshops the CSEs said:
“The training was very effective and productive. It has enabled us to bring things into our control when dealing with difficult customers. The customers’ experience has definitely changed… at the same time we’re in control and driving the case.”
“The impact on the customers is positive. Satisfaction scores are going up. We’re listening and being more proactive. You don’t hear any more ‘What did you say…?’ The actual problem may not have changed. The experience of how we handle it has.”