Compassionate Geek Review (Book)


Title: The Compassionate Geek
Publisher: CreateSpace
Writers: Don R. Crawley, Linux+, CCNA Security
Contributor: Paul R. Senness, MBA
Release Date: 5/2/11
Price: $20.00

Compassionate Geek takes you into the world of customer service in a day and age where it is a dying art to be considerate. When customer service is no longer face to face some of the compassion is lost. Technology is ever changing meaning the need for qualified technicians is ever more present but when does a technician cross the line of being too technical. New technology means old technology is forgotten or slowly becomes obsolete but the users don’t also fade with that technology. Just because product x is on the 15th different version does not mean every user has upgraded. Customer service reps and technicians in the same sense should know how to interact with the multiple generations that may encounter the product. Technology shifts meaning users can range from age 9 to 99 the way they should be treated should be no different because of skill level.

Face to face expressions can tell how the customer is responding to data you are relaying to them unfortunately that is a lost art over the phone. Tone of voice is important here listening to the reflections of voice to hear if the customer is genuinely excited or disappointed with your service. Taking into account all emotions being a professional takes a different skill set to interact with each emotion. Anger, fear, sadness, happy, upset, scepticism etc… are all emotions your customers may feel when more information about the issue unfolds. Being able to be vigilant of these emotions and handling them accordingly will be a step towards being better at customer service.

What are some things you can learn from this book?
  • Best practices for communicating with email, including examples
  • The four intrinsic qualities of great service providers
  • Best practices for communicating using chat and texting
  • Ten tips for being a good listener
  • Two practical ways to keep your emotions in check
  • A flow chart for handling user calls
  • What to do when the user is wrong
  • How to work with the different generations in the workplace
Quote from author:
This book was born out of the training classes I’ve presented for I.T. professionals.  I was approached by a state agency to develop customer service training for their help desk staff.  They were interested in customer service training presented from the perspective of a technologist, rather than a mainstream customer service trainer.  I contacted my friend Paul Senness to help write the training workshop, because of his extensive experience in business training in general and specifically in customer service training.  As often happens, what began as a simple project soon took on a life of its own.  I listed the workshop on my website and have since presented it for organizations as diverse as Facebook, the Discover Card, SUNY Cobleskill, LogMeIn, and various government agencies.  We’ve included input from students, plus research we’ve done in the area of customer service.  We intentionally kept the book short, realizing that I.T. people are among the most overworked and under-appreciated of any group.  We can’t help on the overworked aspect of the job, but this book can help you become more appreciated!

What I have to say about the book:

5 years of working retail has been a treat seeing the actual use of customer service from many different levels. Reading this book was eye opening in many senses even though I have worked in sales for 5 years. Seeing the coin from the customer side then flipping to the customer service side many of the ideas were very clear. One customer service experience can not in many senses be related to another for the sheer vast differences in how service is provided. One retailer may have looked down upon you because you had less then adequate money while another still saw you as a customer. In reading this the lines between customer and sales associate became much more clear. We are all at one time a customer, now to ask ourselves where the discord happened between compassion and just another sale on the board. Any sales associate or person that is somehow customer facing owes it to both the customer and themselves to read this book. I myself will keep this book with me on my iPod to reference in downtime to help with my customer service skills.

Rating: 9/10

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