Customer Experience News & Trends

4 customer questions you never saw coming — and the best ways to respond

One of the most predictable things about customers is that they’re unpredictable. Questions and requests will take you by surprise — some not as much as these classics.

Customers make outlandish requests or ask silly questions sometimes because they are confused, expecting too much or too little or downright too demanding.

Whatever their reason for, agents want to keep their cool and remain professional when customer questions and requests by surprise. Here’s what to prepare for:

  1. What time should I expect the noon delivery? Don’t say “noon.” It’s contrite. Instead, when customers answer their questions in the context of the question, put the focus of your answer on something else. Best response: “The delivery at noon should be right to your front door.”
  2. You’ll have it here tomorrow, right?. They usually make this demand after they’ve placed a custom order, and they’re 3,000 miles away from your facility. Best response: “We give each special order individual attention. We don’t want to shortchange you in quality. So after an all-points inspection, we’ll have it to you in just three days.”
  3. Where’s the any key? (Or, Do I press the ‘on’ button to turn it on? or How do you disconnect the power?) Any seemingly simple technical question requires a gentle touch so customers don’t realize they’re having a hard time with an easy thing. Best response, “Why don’t you try pressing the space bar?” or “I find the best way to disconnect power is go straight to the source. Pull the plug from the wall.”
  4. Where I can find my insurance coverage information? (and you’re in the banking business.)  What’s the best way to handle the software updates? (and you’re a satellite TV provider agent.) Customers will try to get answers on anything from anyone who’s listening. Best response: “I’m not the expert on that subject, but I think I know where I can direct you.” Then keep a list of related industry contact center phone numbers at hand.

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