Yesterday I posted about an issue of the line between being personable and being professional that was raised by a regular reader, Matthew, in an e-mail he sent earlier this week. If you missed it, it’s worth a read along with the comments posted. I especially appreciate Anonymous Cog (a Patriarch among call center bloggers) chiming in with this link.
In the e-mail, Matthew raised another issue:
Another thing I struggle with is when do I dare have
fun at the expense of a customer (provider). Names prompt the most attention.
Doctors tend to have some fun names. I talked to a lady today calling on behalf
of Dr. Eddie Munsterski and I had to choke back the laugh. A dental
provider once called named Dr Payne and I couldn’t help but ask how business
was going for him. I’ll never forget the call I got from Thurston Howell
I think you use experience as a teacher and follow the lead of the customer. I would bet that most of these people are used to the ribbing they receive from their names – but you don’t know if they are sick of it, or if they have a good natured laugh at their own expense. I would typically coach a CSR to fight the temptation to say anything unless the customer brings it up or makes a comment. You’re better off playing it safe rather than finding yourself spending unnecessary time apologizing to an irate caller.
Matthew made a great point at the end of his e-mail:
You’re either professional or personable, experience is what allows you
opportunity for both.
Have you had calls from a customer whose name made you do a double-take? Post a comment and share it with us!