What are the levels of Learning?

Communication success in a customer care setting is achieved by recognizing that all customers have a particular level of learning. These levels of learning range from novice to expert, and they can be dynamic. Each level of learning is a stage that every customer must pass through to reach expert status. You too are passing through these levels. It is important to LISTEN carefully for indications of the customer’s level of learning and to respond appropriately.


Level One    : Unconscious Incompetent
Level Two    : Conscious Incompetent
Level Three : Conscious Competent
Level Four   : Unconscious Competent


Level 1: Unconscious Incompetence
They are clueless, ignorant, at the very beginning of the learning process. The level 1 customers will be passive in helping to develop a solution and require you to take full leadership and resolution responsibility. Be patient with them.Provide information at a basic level. Since Level 1 support reps will likely not know the answer, they will mention information to customers that should not be discussed   (i.e., lack of training, private management/company issues, etc.)


Level 2: Conscious Incompetence
They are fearful, self-conscious and easily embarrassed as this is a scary place to be. They have a basic understanding of the product, but usually are still in a training mode. Some are afraid of sounding ignorant and will be apologetic. The Level 2 support rep will come across as sounding nervous. 


Level 3: Conscious Competence
They are knowledgeable about most issues and procedures and are confident in their actions. Typically,the Level 3 customer will do some troubleshooting and investigating prior to contacting you. This is more of a collaborative conversation with joint troubleshooting and resolution. The Level 3 support rep will sound confident at all times and will demonstrate patience with customers at a lower learning level.


Level 4: Unconscious Competence
They are usually a power user or “guru,” and have forgotten how they got so smart or experienced. Level 4 customers do most of the troubleshooting themselves before they call for support, and frequently explain what the problem is before you start asking questions. Level 4 support reps are impatient and irritated with troubleshooting questions and can be difficult to talk to.

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