Communication Skills: CompUSA Suddenly Needs Writers “One misspelled word and customers begin to doubt the validity of the information they are getting,” warns Mary Jo Lichtenberg. She’s director of training, quality, and career development at CompUSA, in Plano, Texas. One of her big problems is training service agents with weak communication skills. “Just because agents understand technically how to troubleshoot computers or pieces of software and can walk customers through solutions extremely well over the telephone doesn’t mean they can do the same in writing,” she complains. “The skill set for phone does not necessarily translate to the skill set needed for writing e-mail.” With more than 200 superstores, CompUSA is a leading retailer and reseller of computer hardware and software. As more and more of its customers choose e-mail and Web chat sessions to obtain service and support, CompUSA service reps are doing more writing.
In teams, discuss what communication skills are necessary for service agents troubleshooting computers and software at CompUSA. How are the skill sets different for answering phones and for writing e-mail responses? What suggestions could you make to Lichtenberg as director of training?