One of the most common – and counterproductive – mistakes in business is making assumptions about your customers.
Having even the most dynamic marketing plan for a superb range of products is whistling in the wind if you haven’t established good two-way communication with your target market.
How can you be sure that your brand and customer service are properly focused, without a constant flow of customer feedback?
Even if you do online and offline surveys and research, that’s still not a substitute for active listening.
What’s active listening?
Whatever your sector or size, your business hinges on the people who buy your products and services. Your organisation has numerous opportunities to actively listen to them, and get a clear view of their wants, needs and desires.
Every phone call is a great chance to engage customers in conversation. It should be a key part of customer service culture – showing that you are interested and care about their views.
It’s also great business sense as it provides information to help you to continuously improve customer experience.
More benefits of active listening
One of the advantages of creating a culture in which staff actively listen to people, is that customer experience becomes more likely to stimulate repeat business.
If your business callers end up feeling confused or ignored, they will have no hesitation to show their dissatisfaction by hanging up or transferring their custom elsewhere.
As you probably already know, it’s a lot more cost effective to hang on to your existing customers than securing new ones!
Active listening skills
The key to active listening is providing seamless customer service; taking time to engage the caller in a conversation while still getting the job done during this positive two-way exchange.
This can mean showing interest in what the customer has to say and asking carefully worded questions in response. If it’s a complaint call, showing interest and empathy can go a long way to calming the situation. It’s then possible to extract constructive information for service improvements.
Clearly active listening can’t be scripted. Not least as customers can easily spot when a discussion is not authentic. It relies on personnel who are adept at keeping conversation flowing while still providing efficient and effective customer service.
Call us, so we can talk you through how we achieve this vital skill!