BEP 239 – Telephoning: Tech Support English (2)

English Call Center Tech Support

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on handling a tech support call.

Whether or not the words “solving problems” appear in your job description, there’s a good chance it’s something you do every day. And some days it seems like that’s all we do. So it’s important that we learn to do it well.

In today’s lesson, we’ll look at a tech support situation, but the techniques that we’ll learn can be applied to any situation. We’ll cover language for retracing a problem to the beginning and confirming what has already been done. We’ll also look at eliminating possible causes and suggesting alternative ones. And finally we’ll learn how to confirm the settings on someone’s computer or other device.

In the dialog, we’ll rejoin Stacey and Nick. Stacey’s a lawyer in New York who’s been having trouble uploading documents to her company’s server in the U.K. where Nick works in tech support. Nick’s been trying to help Stacey solve her problem.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Nick use the question “right?” repeatedly near the beginning of the call?
2. Why does Nick ask Stacey whether she’s made changes to her operating system?
3. Nick suggests another possible cause. What is it related to?

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BEP 238 – Telephoning: Tech Support English (1)

Telephone Tech Support English

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on handling a tech support telephone call in English.

We’ve all been in this situation: The phone rings. Someone’s got a problem. They need our help to fix it. So we work through the issue with the person, trying to figure out exactly what’s happening, what the person wants to do, and how to help them do it.

But it’s not easy, especially on the phone, because we can’t see what the other person sees. And when someone has a problem, they’re usually frustrated about it, which can make our job even more difficult. So we need to stay calm and positive, keep a clear head, talk through the issue and find a solution that works. This situation is not unique to tech support. Everyone has to be able to help solve problems over the phone.

Today we’ll look at several techniques that can help you deal with these kinds of situation successfully. We’ll start by asking open-ended questions, confirming what the user is trying to do, and asking what they see as they try to do it. Then we’ll try requesting the user to do something as well as putting our instructions in simple terms. And finally we’ll practice asking someone to wait while we check something.

In the dialog, you’ll hear a conversation between Stacey and Nick. Stacey is a lawyer in the U.S. who’s having some trouble transferring files to her company’s server in the U.K. Nick is the British tech support agent trying to help Stacey solve her problem.

Listening Questions

1. At the start of the conversation, what question does Nick use to get Stacey to describe the situation?
2. Why does Nick ask Stacey to try opening the file?
3. What does Nick ask Stacey to do to help him check whether the problem is fixed?

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Skills 360 – How to Get Good Customer Service (2)

Welcome back to the Skills 360 podcast. In today’s lesson, we’re going to look at how to get good customer service. More specifically, we’re going to learn how to complain properly and get a good solution.

It all starts with a problem. You buy a product and it doesn’t work right. You get frustrated. You paid good money but you’re not getting what you expected. It’s time to complain. So you go back to the store or you ring up a customer service line. This interaction could end with more frustration or it could end with satisfaction, depending on the outcome. So how can you get a good outcome?

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Skills 360 – How to Get Good Customer Service (1)

Welcome back to Skills 360 for today’s lesson on how to get good customer service.

You probably know what bad customer service looks like. We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve stood in line at a computer store to return a defective piece of equipment and the clerk asks you rudely “Well, how do you know it’s broken? Did you plug it in?” Or you’ve called your phone company to change your service and when you finally make it through the voice menus to a real person, you get put on hold for 10 minutes. It’s crazy, right? We are paying customers, and we get treated like this? So if you’ve ever felt your blood boil in situations like these, listen up. Let’s talk about how to get good customer service.

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BEP 199 – Telephone English: Controlling the Call (2)

In this Business English lesson, we’ll continue our look at language and techniques for controlling a telephone call in English.

If you’re like most people, talking on the telephone is a basic part of work life. We talk with colleagues, customers, potential clients, suppliers, company reps – the list goes on and on. In fact, the telephone has become even more important as we spend less time at our desks and more time dealing with people remotely.

As you surely know, talking on the telephone is not always easy. We can’t use the same techniques that we might use when talking to someone face-to-face. We need to learn a new set of skills. It is these skills that we are looking at in this series about controlling the call. If you learn to do this well, you’ll end each conversation with a sense of achievement and purpose.

In today’s lesson, we’ll hear a conversation between Chris and Nick. Chris is calling Nick to inform him about some price changes and to arrange a meeting. As you will hear, the caller carefully controls the conversation and gets the outcome she wants.

Listening Questions

1. What reason does Chris give for the change in prices?
2. When will the price changes take effect?
3. Why does Chris want to meet with Nick?

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