Here are 3 customer service scenarios for a college IT department:
- A staff member calls in and says that they’re having trouble logging in. The employee responds: “I can reset your password for you.”
- A faculty member calls IT and says: “I need help showing a video during class next week; do you know Meredith?” The employee says “Oh, I know Meredith; let me get you in touch with Career Development where she works.”
- The employee asks the staff person from the other department “do you know what the status is on that work order?” The other individual responds “I’m trying to get to it as fast as I can; I’ll put a rush job on it for you.”
One reaction to these scenarios is that the person responding is being very proactive. They are jumping on the request and coming up with a quick solution or next step. Unfortunately, these are conversations where assumptions took place, and each assumption was wrong.
In the first case, the login difficulty had nothing to do with the password. In the second case, Meredith had worked with IT before and was suggesting that the faculty member contact IT for support. In the third example, they weren’t looking for a rush on the work order. They were seeking an update just to make sure it would be done when needed.
Many customer service people are so responsive and so willing to help that they can run to the next step to try to get the ball rolling and to resolve an issue. But if that’s done before clarifying and confirming what that real issue may be, they may be solving a problem that doesn’t exist. They may be taking action down one path without realizing they’re going in the wrong direction.
Be proactive. Be responsive. Take action on behalf of the customer. However, first make sure that you clearly understand what they’re seeking before you take that action.
Don’t assume the answer and waste your time and the customer’s time as well.