The Art of Listening
We’ve talked about the importance of customer service in previous blog posts, but we can’t stress enough how positive customer service can impact your business. With so many consumers adding reviews of businesses to online venues, having a solid customer service plan is vital. But there are many different aspects to customer service. It isn’t just ‘get the customer what they want’. Although that can be the end goal, going above and beyond is how you’ll notice and most importantly, be remembered.
One of the most important parts of great customer service is listening. Listening to what your customer needs and wants is the first step to establishing a solid relationship between business and customer. Here are a few ways you can enhance your listening skills:
- Face your customer and make eye contact. When you make eye contact, you engage with your customer and they know you are paying attention.
- Block out distractions. This can be difficult, but when you focus solely on them, you are letting the customer know their needs are important. This is important for phone sales as well. And don’t forget to smile!
- Don’t skim an email. You may miss an important question or request. Slow down and take the time to read each sentence. Gather your thoughts and facts and respond in a timely manner.
- Be specific with your time estimates. Saying “right away” or “very soon” can mean something different to each individual. Let them know you’ll get back to them in an hour or the next day by 8 am. Whatever your timeline is, make sure to be clear.
- Go the extra mile. Try under-promising and over-delivering. This will allow your customer to see you’ve gone above and beyond in order to help them.
Being present during the conversation is the most important part of obtaining great customer service. Blocking out all those distractions, paying attention, not interrupting, and repeating back what the customer has asked for to show you’ve been listening are all skills that will help you reach exceptional customer service!