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Develop Listening Skills for Customer Service

    • 37 posts
    December 1, 2011 12:34 AM EST

    Got useful tips from you here, but sometimes customers are so unbearable when they start chit-chatting with me and it’s so very irritating.

    • 344 posts
    November 23, 2011 8:34 PM EST

    ·  1

    Note any communication barriers, such as bias, noise, emotion and cultural difference, that can lead to misunderstandings. For example, a customer service employee may assume a client is going to react a certain way based on past experience, so she may be less willing or hesitant to help the client. Approach the speaker with an open mind to avoid communication barriers.

    ·  2

    Learn to recognize verbal and nonverbal cues to develop listening skills. A dialogue consists of vocal, tactile, visual and spatial components that work both ways. A client's intonation may hint at his confusion while an employee's eye contact shows interest. Pay attention to body language, proximity and variations of vocal expression--repetition, timing and tone.

    ·  3

    Focus on the message as part of good customer service. It is normal to get defensive when a negative situation arises in the workplace, but this creates tension and undesirable outcomes. When a client calls to complain, remain objective; concentrate on the message, not the delivery.

    ·  4

    Develop listening skills through clarifying questions. Gain information to understand the speaker. For instance, a call center employee may ask the customer to describe the problem in detail.

    ·  5

    Summarize what the customer said to make sure you accurately understand the situation. A prompt like "If I am hearing correctly ..." is an effective way to begin rephrasing, but try to develop your own; it sounds more natural.

    ·  6

    Utilize different listening skills. Since situations in a customer service setting are fluid, it is sometimes necessary to go back and ask, repeat or recap. For example, if a costumer is not satisfied with the solutions offered, then repeat the idea that you want to help.

    ·  7

    Acquire feedback to develop listening skills. Survey a customer's experience and reflect on the exchange.
    Sit with your back straight, or stand and stretch to stay alert while listening.



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