Five Questions That Are Killing Your Company’s Customer Service Reputation

Nearly every support representative that talks to your customers will fail five basic call service questions, leading to a poor rapport with customers.

The resulting perceived failure in service will then snowball into a situation where a customer completely loses faith in your product and leaves. techpiled

Customers can’t tell one support agent from another; so building rapport to separate your products’ quality of support agents will be the key to separating your business from the stereotypes created by other companies and industries. Your agents need to sound like they are knowledgeable and confident.

Over my 15 years of working in Knowledge Management, I have been part of dozens of consulting teams during the new client discovery phase.

The discovery phase is a part of learning about the clients needs. Whenever we were hired to consult a tech company’s tech support organization, we would research the state of their tech support team’s customer service by blind-calling their support numbers and asking general questions about the company and its product. What we found in almost every case, and especially in support organizations, regardless of the company’s reputation, was that their tech support team almost always failed to answer those questions about the company and the product. realisticmag

Here are the five questions that agents failed to correctly address:

5. What is the product’s name?
Crazy, right? Customers call in to ask about one of your products, and your agent can’t remember the name of the product. Now you might have lots of products, but you provided the agent weeks of training, and they are siting in front of a computer with access to your company product website and the Enterprise software your company just spent months researching. And the agent tells the customer that they can’t remember the name of “this one thing we offer.”

4. What does this company do?
“Well, we make software; if you like I can get you over to sales.” This is the answer we received from support time and time again. If you drill down a support agent, you’re very likely to discover that they’re not even sure what the company does. For more Info please visit these sites:-

3. Will you look up my account?
We actually observed support agents who told the customer they do not have an account and thus cannot be helped further. On countless occasions the call would be escalated to a higher tier or to a supervisor just to bring up the account.

2. Can you tell me about the product?
An inability to explain the products is embarrassingly common and sometimes occurs even within higher tiers of support. Representatives often have basic knowledge regarding how the product works or what it does, but have never used it beyond their training to trouble shoot or configure it. They have never seen the product in use and no one ever clearly stated to them what the product does; which often leads to agents becoming defensive when asked, which escalates or leads to desperate attempts to transfer the call to sales.

1. Can you find someone that can help me?
This is the most common failure found in first tier support. Agents never know who can help. They don’t know what the organizational structure of their company is. They have no idea what their available escalation paths are, and usually have been instructed to never escalate a call to a supervisor. At best, this situation is dealt with by arranging a call-back, leaving an angry customer waiting for a first step to be taken toward problem resolution.

Sound like a nightmare?

It is.

These five issues appeared with the most renowned and successful customers service organizations in their respected industry. Even worse, in the teams that had reached out to us for consulting, all five failures listed were present in about 80% of our discovery calls.
How can this problem be fixed?

Identify you have this issue.


  • You might think that your award-winning support and high CSTATS mean that you’re immune; but you’re not.
  • Be a smart leader and remember that the messenger with those great statistics and piles of customer praise is a messenger who is afraid of being shot; bringing you good stats is their job. Take ownership and do this for yourself, this way no one has to get hurt.

Get yourself calibrated and call test your support.

  • Make at least five calls to your support team at different hours and ask these questions:
  1. What is the name of the product?
  2. What does the product do?
  3. Can you explain the product?


Write down the answers that should be given in all of these scenarios. Create a good one to three sentence description that explains your product and then follow that with an explanation of what it does. The explanation should not exceed six sentences; anything longer than that is an opportunity to take the customer to the sales team.

Teach them about their competitors.


  • By empowering the team with the knowledge of your competitors’ products, you will create a feeling of competitive rivalry. That rivalry will be a driving force for your team to outperform your competitors.

Clarify what their transfer and escalation paths are.

  • Make sure representatives know which teams take on what tasks and how they can be contacted.
  • Map out their surrounding organizations and teams.
  • Build a phone tree with extensions and short explanations of what the supporting teams do.
  • Teach them the transfer processes for each of the teams they might need to contact.
  • Write down the processes and the phone on index cards and tape them to their monitors or, if you’re really spiffy, put them on the landing page of the knowledge base.


There is no need for retraining. But, as a leader you need to be the one to prepare and deliver the message to your team.

Your support and customer service teams should be an expert on all the basic knowledge of your products and your operations. If agents can’t explain a product in six sentences without a bunch of jargon and stumbling, then they’re going to have problems with building rapport and trust with your customers..

No matter how successful your company is, bite the bullet; make the calls and discover what your customer service people are saying about your product. After all, they’re the ones your customers are listening to and will judge your company by.


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