Simon Says: the Verbose Caller

By Elaine Senecal/Illustrated by Chris Lewis

Simon Says - October 2003

Do you know this caller? This is the caller that doesn’t take a breath between words, the verbose caller!

Verbose — talkative, wordy, longwinded, rambling rose.

For industry professionals, it is essential to instruct your representatives how to handle the verbose caller. It may seem a small thing, until you consider how important excellent customer service skills are to your company’s reputation, or how your company is paid for that call. Either way it can be costly. That’s why it is so important to set clear guidelines for your agents.

Think about these elements when setting those guidelines:

– Is this call billed per minute or per call?

o The answer could determine the rest of the story.

– Keep in mind that the caller knows what they want to say before they call.

o Many times, these callers have practiced what they want to say several times and have even told their friends.

– Until the caller has his or her say, the caller will not feel well served.

o The agent should reply with an occasional “I see” or “I understand” to convey empathy, which is what these callers require.

– Agents who cut these callers off, even with the correct answer, make verbose callers feel as though the agent is not interested in their problems.

o Verbose callers will start at the beginning again, prolonging the call even further.

– Each caller’s situation or issue is unique to that individual.

o Listening actively will resolve the call sooner and keep the caller pleased.

So how do your agents to handle a Rambling Rose?

[From Connection MagazineOctober 2003]