Show customers you’re actively listening to them

12362170 - bright picture of friendly female helpline operatorCustomer service is all about keeping people satisfied and having them come back. You want to help answer their questions so they purchase a product or handle any concerns they may have about a purchase they already made. It’s important this is all done with proficiency.

One of the ways to help customers feel satisfied is to make sure they know they’re being heard. Any agent who works with customers needs to display the ability to actively listen.

But, how do you do that if the interaction doesn’t take place in person? When you speak with someone face to face, you can easily nod your head and give good eye contact to show you’re listening. But, these are things you can’t do over the phone or email. You need to rely on other methods to show you’re focused and engaged.

Start off on a good foot by using the person’s name. By saying something like hello “insert customer’s name,” you show them that you’re invested in the call. Then, ask them how you can help. Let your customer explain the issue and don’t rush them or cut them off. Listen intently and take notes. You can say things like “mm-hmm,” “tell me more,” or “could you clarify that last point?” to show you’re paying attention.

When your customer finishes saying their piece, take time to reiterate what you heard. You can say something like “I’m sorry about ‘insert issue,’ here’s what we can do to help,” for example. You may also say something like “To make sure I’m understanding your needs, the issue is ‘insert problem,’ is that correct?” Then you can follow up with how you can help them.

As mentioned above, it’s important to take notes during your conversations. This ensures you remember everything the customer says. A customer will quickly feel unheard or frustrated if they have to repeat themselves. It shows the service agent wasn’t listening in the first place. If you have further questions about the issue at hand and they weren’t already addressed, take time to clarify them. Doing so can help you find the best solution to take care of the issue. It also shows you have a vested interest in solving the dilemma.

Customers reach out to service agents because they want their questions answered or their problems solved. They reach out because they want someone to listen to them. Make sure every customer you speak with feels heard.

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