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The Art Of Asking Questions

The Art of Asking Questions

The basics of good communication and the art of asking questions include the mutual understanding that talking alone is not communicating.  Service leaders have learned that good communication happens when someone speaks and another person hears, qualifies, and then understands what was spoken.

Never underestimate the power of qualification, especially when it comes to capturing details.  Paying attention to the other person’s verbal and non-verbal subtleties requires that a business professional take the time to note the particulars in writing.

Writing down key facts about a customer’s name, location, order quantity, shipping details, due date, or part number are all essential pieces of information not left to memory.  A service professional should always have something to write with and something to write on.

At a minimum, four key questions must be answered during every customer service encounter.  Service leaders recall these four questions by remembering four simple “W” words: WHO, WHEN, WHY and WHAT.

The Art of Asking Questions

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A service professional should always have something to write with and something to write on.

Here is a 4 Step Strategy:

WHO – The person, his or her title, company, department and location.

WHEN – Initial contact date and time, due date, shipping date, and follow up date.

WHY – Why did he or she call us?  That is, the purpose for the customer’s call.

WHAT – What do they want from us?  What is their expectation?

The person with best notes always wins.

Capturing details using this approach will enable a business professional to be more effective.  Getting the information right the first time reduces the need for follow up, rework, returns, and strained business relationships.

The person with best notes always wins. The discipline of concentrating on and qualifying and capturing essential details will pay off with success in business.  World-class organizations have learned to be courageous listeners.  This means they dare to ask questions when they are uncertain of their facts or believe they have incomplete information.  It’s as simple as that.

Writing notes helps us to save the information for future reference or to share it with others.

The art of asking questions and taking notes leads to better service and this means more repeat customers – year after year.

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Steve Coscia

The road from professional musician to thirty-year customer service veteran to best-selling author and speaker is not a typical career path, but Steve Coscia may have started a new trend.

Coscia is one of the most widely published and quoted authorities in the customer service industry. He has published more than 200 articles, four books and a series of training DVDs. His college curriculum is taught at institutions of higher learning throughout the United States and Canada.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Great message! We try to collect as much information as possible with every client contact. Often all it takes is listening to them and debriefing your thoughts on paper as soon as possible after your conversation.
    Thanks for sharing! David Allen

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