- On the Motherboard Overview
- Processor Overview
- Processor Basics
- Speeding Up Processor Operations Overview
- Threading Technology
- Connecting to the Processor
- Multi-Core Processors
- Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
- Intel Processors
- CPU Sockets
- AMD Processors
- Processor Cooling
- Installing a Processor
- Upgrading Processors
- Overclocking Processors
- Installing CPU Thermal Solutions
- Troubleshooting Processor Issues
- Expansion Slots
- PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect)
- AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port)
- PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express)
- Types of Motherboards
- Upgrading and Replacing Motherboards
- Motherboard Troubleshooting
- Soft Skills-Active Listening
- Chapter Summary
- Key Terms
- Review Questions
Soft Skills—Active Listening
Active listening is participating in a conversation where you focus on what the customer is saying—in other words, listening more than talking. For a technician, active listening has the following benefits:
Enables you to gather data and symptoms quickly
Enables you to build customer rapport
Improves your understanding of the problem
Enables you to solve the problem more quickly because you understand the problem better
Provides mutual understanding between you and the customer
Provides a means of having a positive, engaged conversation rather than having a negative, confrontational encounter
Focuses on the customer rather than the technician
Provides an environment in which the customer might be more forthcoming with information related to the problem
Frequently, when a technician arrives onsite or contacts a customer who has a technical problem, the technician is (1) rushed; (2) thinking of other things, including the problems that need to be solved; (3) assuming that he or she knows exactly what the problem is, even though the user has not finished explaining the problem; or (4) is more interested in the technical problem than in the customer and the issues. Active listening changes the focus from the technician’s problems to the customer’s problems.
A common but ineffective service call involves a technician doing most of the talking and questioning, using technical jargon and acronyms and a flat or condescending tone. The customer who feels vulnerable experiences a heightened anxiety level. Active listening changes this scenario by helping you build a professional relationship with your customers. The following list outlines some measures that help you implement active listening. Figure 3.41 has a to-do list for you that is for your entire IT career.
Figure 3.41 Active listening
Have a positive, engaged professional attitude when talking and listening to customers:
Leave your prejudices behind; be polite and aware of other cultures and customs; be open-minded and nonjudgmental.
Have a warm and caring attitude.
Do not fold your arms in front of your chest because doing so distances you from the problem and the customer.
Do not blame others or talk badly about other technicians.
Do not act as if the problem is not your responsibility.
Focus on what the customer is saying:
Turn off or ignore electronic devices.
Maintain eye contact; don’t let your mind wander.
Allow the customer to finish explaining the problem; do not interrupt; avoid arguing with the customer or being defensive.
Stop all irrelevant behaviors and activities.
Mentally review what the customer is saying.
Refrain from talking to co-workers unnecessarily while interacting with customers.
Avoid personal interruptions or distractions.
Participate in the conversation in a limited, but active manner:
Maintain a professional demeanor (suspend negative emotions); do not minimize or diminish the customer’s problem.
Acknowledge that you are listening by occasionally nodding and making comments, such as “I see.”
Use positive body language such as leaning slightly forward or taking notes.
Observe the customer’s behavior to determine when it is appropriate to ask questions.
Briefly talk with the customer:
Speak with a positive tone; use a tone that is empathetic and genuine, not condescending.
Restate or summarize points made by the customer.
Ask nonthreatening, probing questions related to the customer’s statements or questions.
Do not jump between topics.
Do not use technical jargon.
Clarify the meaning of the customer’s situation.
Identify clues to help solve the problem and reduce your troubleshooting time by listening carefully to what the customer says.
Follow up with the person at a later date to ensure that the problem is solved and to verify satisfaction.
Offer different repair or replacement options, if possible.