Discover “Service Listening”

On the phone or in person, listening is the single most important service skill. And while everyone assumes they know how to listen, the truth is that listening is a technique, which must be practiced over time.

In the training guide, Effective Listening, the authors provide eight techniques for effective “Service Listening.” One important technique is to show the customer that you are listening.

To do this, the authors recommend paraphrasing what the customer has said. This shows that you have received the message and allows you to clarify or probe for additional information.

A simple example of paraphrasing might begin, “If I understand correctly…” or, “So the issue seems to be….”

Another important tool to let customers know that you are listening is to avoid silence. After all, when you are working with customers on the phone, there are no visual cues. Silence can give the customer the impression that a rep is disinterested, bored, and not attentive.

Instead of silence, punctuate the conversation with brief filler words and phrases such as “yes,” and “I see,” and even non-words such as “um hmmm.”

Most customer service professionals use these actions to some degree without even realizing it, say the authors. But to enhance service listening, it’s important to consciously incorporate them into every conversation.

Learn more about Guide to Effective Listening

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