Online Newsletter for Call Center Personnel
Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D. Editor and Publisher
Volume I, Issue 9

Date: May 1, 2000 - A Few E-ssentials about E-commerce, Part III

Web callback, live text chat, media blending, and Voice Over Internet protocol (VOIP) are just a few of the options currently available to customers. Undoubtedly there will be more, and you'll need to master them.

First and foremost, that demands that CSRs become adept at communicating in text form as well as voice. For many of you, this presents difficulties. All one has to say is 'write' and you freeze, your eyes cross, and you turn pale. These are you who know spelling and grammar. Those of you who don't know spelling and grammar start to hyperventilate, cry, or run off over the horizon.

Many CSRs are poorly prepared to deliver text-based service because they are missing basic language skills. When speaking, our inflection, pauses, and pronunciation make up for grammatical mistakes, but e-mail, faxes, and text-based chat are much less forgiving. Being great on the phone doesn't necessarily translate to the written word.

CSRs continue to be crucial resources in both selling and servicing customers. As long as creating a solid base of loyal customers is still the name of the game, the ability of a company to provide live contact by phone, e-mail, or a medium yet to be created, the human connection will remain important.

In writing as in speaking on the phone, the first three sentences are just as important in an e-mail as they are on the telephone. Based on these, the customer forms an opinion--perhaps a judgment--about you, your company, maybe all companies in your industry. The person doing live text-chat better communicate appropriately. Not only are poor word usage and punctuation irritating, they can also alter the meaning of a sentence.

Excerpted from Wake Up Your Call Center: Humanizing Your Interaction Hub, 3rd edition, 2000 Purdue University Press, with permission.

Quote of the month:

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

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