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Mirror/Paraphrase Workshop


I work for a software company and we are constantly troubleshooting our customer's question/problem but I find our reps did not understand the customer's question and they try to automatically troubleshoot.

I want to have a workshop that further talks about mirroring or paraphrasing the customer.

Does anyone have a powerpoint, notes or suggestions?

Thank you for everyone assistance on this. :)

Maria Santiago

3 Responses

  1. Mirror/Paraphrase Workshop
    Dear Maria

    You could consider some form of workshop focused purely on the development of generic active listening skills. However I think the problem might be rather more deep seated than that.

    The Training Foundation offers a specific course for this situation called Providing Technical Support that Reduces Support Calls! This leads to the TAP Certificate in Smarthelp Skills. This two day course will enable your reps to better understand the clients’ perspective and help them to communicate more effectively. They will also be equipped to coach users to solve or overcome similar problems in the future.

    The event is highly interactive and involves a maximum of six delegates at a time.

    To find out more visit the TAP website at:

    Hope this helps

    Best wishes

  2. NLP ‘mirroring’
    You may want to seek out some NLP resources for this workshop, this will help with mirroring language and tone, as well as improving listening skills. I’ve heard this works very effectively with call centres, and having an IT background myself, if I’d known then what I know now, I’d have trained my helpdesk in paying attention to ‘representational systems’ and ‘logical levels’, it really helps communication, and would help your team to hear what’s actually being said rather than hearing what they expected to hear.
    good luck!

  3. Rapport with customers
    I developed an exercise to develop rapport skills for call operatives who were working with highly technical customers where they would have little or no idea about the technical content involved in the calls.

    The exercise:

    Produce many examples of random pictures one page size from shapes found on MS word.

    Each picture has a variable number of random shapes in various colours/patterns and in various positions around the page.

    These pictures can be printed onto sheets of A4 paper or can be loaded onto a PC if you have IT training rooms and so can be read from a screen.

    Working in pair’s one person is the call operative and the other is the caller/customer who is given one of the random pictures.

    The two must not be able to see each other – either back to back in a classroom or ideally on phones in separate areas.

    The operative has to talk to, question and listen carefully to their caller and reproduce the picture exactly from the conversation.

    The customer will only be satisfied if the picture is a pretty near copy.

    If you are using a PC the call operative could attach and send the replication back to the customer. If not they draw it on a sheet of A4 paper.

    If you do this in a classroom with a group it is one exercise that keeps everyone engrossed as people fall about when they see how much people can misinterpret instructions and use personal views which are quite different to what was actually said!!

    Whilst enjoying the spectacle they also seem to learn a lot about communicating and the following pairs can be seen and heard to have picked up good questions and dropped poor ones. Max group about 8.

    The pictures can be used many times as you can invert them, transpose them show them in diamond formation instead of rectangles.

    If they are on word docs they can be re-coloured / new patterns etc. As an experiment I asked on operative to be the customer and communicate the exact same picture they had just worked on without letting on to their partner. The other operative took almost as long as the first and only speeded up once they were sure it was the same picture showing that they had not assumed what was coming next.

    Good luck.


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