It’s often counterproductive to respond to customers before they have finished speaking. Even if you think you know how to help, you may not have gotten the whole story, says Stephen Boyd, author of Emphatic Listening. To get the whole story, he suggests these five tips:
• Talk less and listen more.
• Encourage the customer with fillers such as “I see” and “um hmm.”
• Ask questions to delve deeper when necessary.
• Hear the customer out completely.
• Don’t rush to give a response.
More on how to get the whole story from customers appears in the November issue of Customer Communicator, the training newsletter for frontline reps.