Ask Questions Without Annoying Your Customers

While asking questions is often useful, it’s easy for customers to become annoyed if they think they are being asked questions that they have answered already, they are being asked too many questions, or they are being asked questions that they feel are personal or inappropriate.

Your tone of voice — and the way you ask the questions — can go a long way toward eliminating the chance of annoyance says service trainer Nancy Friedman.

“For instance, if you are repeating a question that the IVR already asked, you could say, ‘I know you just entered your ID number via our phone system, but for security reasons, I have to ask you to give me that number again.’ In other words, give the customer a reason for your having to ask again,” says Friedman.

If you have to ask a question or two that might be deemed personal or inappropriate, explain your reasons, and how it will help you resolve the customer’s issue. For example, before asking personal questions, you might say, “The next three questions are more personal. Let me tell you why I need this information.”

And finally, don’t grill the customer. If you have to ask several questions in a row, try not to make it sound like an interrogation. Slow down, and break things up with some casual conversation or an update on your status, such as, “just three more questions and we’re done.”

It’s also helpful to alert callers to what’s coming. For example, “Now I’d like to ask three quick identifying questions. What is …”

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