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Understanding Customer Competence Levels: Your Guide to Efficient and Effective Support Calls
by George Spalding, softcover pamphlet, 23 pages, 1996, $19.95



In this book, author George Spalding presents a humorous golf analogy to help us understand and determine the four levels of competence that each support center customer goes through when learning something new.  As our fictional golf enthusiast moves through the four levels of competence -- unconsciously incompetent, consciously incompetent, consciously competent, unconsciously competent -- Spalding shows how these competence levels relate to the customers who use your support services. You'll learn the four main indicators that can alert you to your customers' competence level: the terminology they use, their emotional state, the completeness of their audit trail, and who they feel is responsible for the problem.  If you can recognize these indicators, then as a support professional you can adjust your style, determine the symptoms and problem, and more efficiently and effectively resolve their service requests. 

Table of Contents

  1. How competence levels impact your support center
    • Bill's golf invitation
  2. Understanding competence levels
    • The four levels of competence
  3. Recognizing each competence level
    • Key indicators of competence level
    • Terminology
    • Emotional state
    • Audit trail
    • Responsibility
    • The importance of recognizing competence level
  4. How to approach customers at each competence level
    • Unconsciously incompetent
    • Consciously incompetent
    • Consciously competent
    • Unconsciously competent
  5. Benefits of recognizing and approaching competence levels
    • Recognize the need for specific training
    • Fewer call backs, increase productivity, and decrease support costs
    • Back to square one

Appendix: Where to learn more

The Resource Center for Customer Service Professionals
Tel: (708) 246-0320   Fax: (708) 246-0251  

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Last modified January 18, 2012