Learn how to stop talking and start listening. Prepare for success by learning the power of listening, and some of the initial steps required to be successful.
- Have you ever tried to buy something and just wished the sales representative would stop talking and start listening? Or have you ever called a customer service line and felt that the person on the other end couldn't care less about what you had to say? Yeah, I've been there. We've all been there. The sales and service reps are following a script. They're talking like robots instead of listening and treating us like human beings. If you want to succeed in customer relations, then you've got to master the ability to listen. This isn't easy.
For those of us in customer service, it can often feel like we're meant to sit there and take whatever the customer throws at us. But that's not why we're there. We're there to add value through listening. Listening is about showing the customer that you care about what they're dealing with. A good way to think about listening to your customers is the metaphor between prescription and diagnosis. We have to be like a therapist. We need to diagnose before we prescribe. We diagnose the situation by listening. What does that look like? It means that you're listening.
You're actively engaged. It's not just nodding a lot while you think about what's for dinner tonight or what you're doing this weekend. Actually listen. Or if your customers are speaking to you by phone, then it's important to close out all distractions. Don't tinker on your computer, don't type on your laptop, don't fiddle around on Facebook. Focus on what the customer is saying. Once you have listened and are able to diagnose the problem, then and only then are you in a position to prescribe a solution.
You wouldn't want a brain surgeon taking a scalpel to your headache without first asking a few questions, and yet, far too often, we're willing to try and solve a problem without actually hearing from the customer first. So listen and diagnose the situation first then prescribe a solution. Your customers will notice and thank you for treating them like another human being.