Keep Listening Skills Sharp

April 4, 2019 —

There are several basic steps to better listening. And it all starts with recognizing what’s involved. “Exceptional listening requires concentration, effort, and a thoughtful response,” says author Joe Takash, “It means you must work at listening with your head and heart and not just with your ears.”

The April issue of Customer Communicator newsletter includes Takash’s tips for better listening, a better listening self quiz, and a Listening With Heart handout.

One of Takash’s most helpful tips is to use the “repeat principle.”

He advises frontline reps to paraphrase and clarify what they believe the customer is saying. For instance, a rep might say, “If I’m hearing correctly, you’re telling me that …”

By paraphrasing and confirming, reps will show the customer that they are listening and also have the opportunity to clarify accuracy and eliminate misunderstandings.

However, Takash does warn about over-using this technique. “If you do, you risk coming off as inattentive or hard of hearing,” he says. Wait until you need an explanation or until the customer says something with a lot of emphasis. “This gives you the opportunity that you need to apply the repeat principle,” he says.

Today’s checklist …

  1. Share. Introduce the “repeat principle” to your team.
  2. Give. Print copies of the Listening With Heart handout for everyone on your team.
  3. Subscribe to Customer Communicator newsletter so that you and your frontline staff can receive monthly ideas, information, and inspiration on improving the service experience.
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