I’m not your Buddy
Posted On: January 12th, 2012 by Jeff Mowatt
Here’s a scenario you may find to be helpful with some of your team members. A manager of a computer helpdesk team, explained to me that some of his younger technicians; particularly the males, are too casual in their client conversations. Trying to be friendly and disarming, they routinely address male customers as ‘buddy, ‘bro’, or ‘dude’. The manager was hoping that in customizing my seminar for his team, I could address this issue so his employees could get that this is inappropriate.
I focused the half day seminar on how to be perceived by customers as a trusted advisor. I pointed out that helpdesk team members are like medical doctors diagnosing problems and finding solutions. “As trusted advisors, doctors don’t try to position themselves as your buddy,” I explained. “Imagine if after examining you, the doctor asked if you wanted to go for a drink later on. That would be weird.” They had a chuckle. More importantly, they got it. I suggested an easy way to avoid the mixed message is to simply drop the dude, buddy, pal, terms and instead just use the customer’s name
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