Presentation on theme: "Asking the Second Question"— Presentation transcript:
1 Asking the Second Question Sandra Ray, CIRSManager, Information and ReferralUnited Way of Greater Houston
2 Workshop Objectives Define the “second question” Discuss why going beyond the stated need is importantLearn methods to probe for additional informationDetermine when to follow-up on calls that have multiple needsLearn to close calls when multiple needs have been disclosed
3 What is the Second Question? AIRS definition – there isn’t oneSecond questions come after inquirer describes their initial situationIt isn’t always a question either
4 DefinitionClarifying a caller’s full situation to help him/her obtain servicesOrListening to callers, providing feedback, and asking open-ended questions that may be related to the caller’s primary need.
5 Open-Ended Questions Invite a caller to give more than a yes/no answer Gives the caller the feeling that specialists are interested in the full storyMay lead to other issues that the specialist is not necessarily expecting or equipped to answer
6 Closed Questions Require only a short answer Name Address How much do you owe on rent?When are you scheduled for eviction?
7 Using Both Types of Questions Both types of questions are needed to assist callersCallers can be redirected from a lengthy response to a short response with closed questionsHelps the I&R specialist maintain control of the conversation.
8 So…What is the Second Question? Why?How?Tell me more…When that happened, what did you do?
9 Getting More Detailed Why? What is the caller’s perception of this event and why they need assistanceWhy questions allow the caller time to reflectOr Vent
10 Caller PerceptionsIs the caller open to the specialist probing for more information?Perception = how we see the world or other people; our view of realityPerception for callers IS reality
11 Learning about a Situation How?Asks for details about the time-frame or steps involved in the situationMay also include the manner or extent of a situation (to the degree)Allows callers to describe reasons for a situation
12 Tell Me More…Depending on the situation, it may be necessary to learn specificsThis is a statement that asks callers to expand on the nature of a situationNot necessarily looking for someone’s “life history” – only what happened to cause an event (job loss, need for food, etc.)
13 Final Details What did you do when that happened? Gives insight into a caller’s coping skillsHow others in the situation react to the callerFamily, friends, social network may also be revealed this way
14 How to Ask the Second Question Use sound judgmentAsking the second question isn’t optionalMay involve commenting on what the specialist hears in the caller’s…Tone of voiceBackground noise (baby crying, etc.)Emotions displayed by the caller (crying, yelling, etc.)
15 If It’s Not Optional…??? It may not always be appropriate Caller expectations of service will drive call specialist conversationOnly needed a number or addressDoes not want to give too much personal information
16 All You Wanted to Know… Plus anything the caller will tell you Callers often reveal significant pieces of their life storyIf the specialist isn’t equipped to handle the answer – let an experienced staff member or supervisor ask
17 Staying “On Task”Easy for call specialist to lose focus of initial reason for the callAlways bring conversation back around to the initial needOther barriers may be revealed – ask caller to prioritize needs
18 Following Up Is a follow-up necessary? Can caller follow through on their own?When following up, have specific goals that should have been metCaller will see if funds are availableCaller will have made an appointmentSpecialist will have made other contacts to see if additional issues can be addressed.
19 Wrapping Up Rephrase the important issues in the call Restate the caller’s next step to resolve their situationRemind caller of referral options and best methods for accessEnd call on a positive note
20 Scenario 1A mother with three children calls asking for assistance with an electric bill. She states that her husband left her and withdrew all money from their joint checking and savings accounts.
21 Scenario 2A woman age 64 calls to see if someone can help her understand a letter she received from the food stamp office. She applied for services and was denied. She tells you that she is raising her 14 year-old grand daughter and expenses are tight.
22 Scenario 3A man, age 52, states that his daughter recently moved back home after being away at college. The expenses are more than he and his wife can afford. The daughter does not have a job. The man asks for help paying the daughter’s car payment and car insurance.
23 Famous Second Questions from 2-1-1 Texas/United Way HELPLINE What is your drug of choice?Who was the last agency that you talked to?Who have you received help from recently? (Make sure you define recent.)If you are not able to receive help from an agency, how will you meet this need?Is transportation accessible to you?How far are you able to travel to receive services?
24 United Way of Greater Houston Questions/AnswersSandra Ray, CIRSManager, I&R ServicesUnited Way of Greater Houston50 Waugh DriveHouston, TX 77007