Don’t panic…this isn’t an exercise in high school math but a review of a high impact tool for executing successful customer service encounters. At Carew International, we are known for our ability to distill complex selling skills into simple-yet-elegant formats, and reinforcing these processes with memorable visual icons or “process models.”
The process model shown here is the Customer Service Engagement Diamond. It is used in Carew’s Excellence in Customer Service (ECS) program to reinforce the three essential elements of every customer service encounter: Positive Contact at the top, Service Engagement step in the middle where the bulk of the communication occurs, and Positive Close at the bottom of the diamond.
The Customer Service Engagement Diamond
The first step, Positive Contact, consists of a brief, appropriate conversation with the customer to set the tone of the call. Every Positive Contact consists of three important elements: Attitude, Energy, and Appearance. Since most customer service work is done on the phone, it really puts the emphasis on attitude and energy. As a result, we train on the elements of tonality, diction, and inflection, to ensure that every customer service encounter sets the right “tone” from the very beginning.
The center step of the diamond,Service Engagement, consists of two critical elements: LAER and FABRC. The LAER Process is a powerful, universal communication tool that allows us to understand the service issue from the customer’s perspective. By leveraging the LAER (Listen, Acknowledge, Explore, Respond) model, the customer service professional can ensure a complete understanding of the true issues before offering solutions.
The second element of the Service Engagement step, FABRC, is a tool for communicating your proposed solutions, while keeping the interaction conversational. The first three letters of FABRC stand for Features, Advantages, and Benefits. This models behavior for effectively communicating a proposed solution to the service “gap” uncovered with LAER. By clearly explaining how the solution will produce the EXACT benefit required to close the service “gap,” the customer will be more likely to embrace the proposed solution.
The “RC” in FABRC reminds the service professional to keep the solution portion of the call conversational through the use of Response Checks. Response Checks are a strategy of asking open ended or close ended questions such as “how do you see this solution working out?” or “Am I making sense?” Response Checks ensure the customer remains “engaged” throughout this important step in the encounter, and provide the opportunity to gain additional clarity.
The bottom section of the Customer Service Engagement Diamond represents the Positive Close. This is the final step in the call, when the service professional asks for a commitment to the proposed solution and finalizes the details for implementation of that solution. In Carew’s ECS program, participants are taught specific techniques to make sure there are no missed opportunities to meet or exceed each customer’s expectations.
Put together, the visual process model of the Customer Service Engagement Diamond will provide the required “geometry” to ensure outstanding customer service outcomes on every call. Please visit our website to learn more about Excellence in Customer Service (ECS).
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