Humans are extremely social, we communicate. Always.
Let’s also state that we are potentially smarter, intelligent and empowered these days.
We are more technologically capable and we, more than ever, have almost instant access to really expert, useful and valuable information.
We do care about getting all kinds of information fast, at any time and from any place, but what about getting the information that is not digitally stored and connected to the internet? What about this the precious information that is hidden when we communicate directly between humans?
Do we really care about what others have or intend to communicate?
1. Why do people call or email a support specialist?
Customers mainly call their providers because “they have a pain”.
They need help.
In these situations customers feel vulnerable or hurt, they need to be taken care of, they want to feel understood. They ask for specialists’ empathy, and this empathy is actually what can help companies to sell.
As specialists we should solve or mitigate this pain or show the customer the path to do it. We must fully comprehend what’s his problem and let them know that, if it’s in our hands, we will do all we can to help them. And this is what we always try to accomplish at CAPSiDE.
I’m pretty sure that our clients have lots of better things to do in their lives instead of spending time and money with a phone call. I don’t think they just want to annoy the professional on the other side of the phone line.
2. Humans are always emotional
We, the humans, build relationships based on interaction.
We build relationships between us and more humans, we organize in groups, we make prejudices, we envy others’ lifes, we desire what others already have (or apparently have), we want to own things, we love other humans, we get afraid of things, we feel confident or nervous, we rely on others or we distrust them, etc.
In short, we perceive, we digest really fast; and once we have processed all the inputs and information that impacts us: then we feel.
- First impressions are like fingerprints most of the times.
- Communication vertebrates relationships at all levels and circles.
And that’s why all good professionals should have a kind of degree or basic knowledge in psychology (or NLP) apart from engineering, finance or economics. Let’s substitute the concept “professionals” for “everyone who is in contact with customers, teammates or other companies, from tech support to CEOs”.
3. Communication? Not that simple.
Let’s focus in sounds now, specifically in voices. Other ones’ voices and words. Settle down some key concepts:
- Hear: Perceive with the ear the sound made by someone or something.
- Listen: Give one’s attention to a sound.
- Understand: Perceive the intended meaning of words.
- Comprehend: To understand something completely. It also carries the connotation of a deep and profound type of understanding.
It’s important to separate these 4 verbs, these 4 stages of the internal process that we follow unconsciously when receiving sound stimulus. We must have a clear channel to be able to hear the voice of the clients, pay attention to their words and their meaning. Afterwards (and here it comes the hardest part sometimes) we must process this information trying to understand them and, moreover, comprehend them in order to help them properly. It’s also important to know from where are they calling, their role in the company they work, the capability of doing the tests that you may need to help them, their situation in the company, the pressure that they are under during that day, etc. everything has to do with everything.
In the end of the day, misunderstandings translate to losing money in our companies, that’s a fact. They will lead us to unsatisfied customers and angry engineers. Let’s try to comprehend each other.
If a client contacts you to report a problem, the problem exists. Though maybe the problem is not where he thinks or it’s not a problem at all. Clients contact you because you are their provider, in which they are investing time and money: they bet for you and they are trusting you!
The wrong perception of how important is one problem for a client can make his pain become an illness for both parts.
If customers don’t know how to explain their problems or pains, help them. If you clear things up: for sure it’s a win-win. If the communication ground base is not comfortable to enable the information to be understood, change it.
Keep calm and transmit calm. Your goal is to comprehend why is he or she calling you, so you can guide him/her towards a solution. Usually it takes time and efforts for both parts.
I think this points can be applied in nearly all “real life situations” where human contact (both enterprise and personal levels) makes a difference, customers communications with tech support, pre-sales meetings, companies’ team meetings, new potential customers and even in public speaking keynotes.
At CAPSiDE we do our best to improve on this matter apart from excelling on technical knowledge… and our growth for sure supports this 🙂
We’re not lost, we just don’t know where we are.