Active listening is the foundation for any customer service interaction. Each call that comes in is a real person looking for guidance or a solution to a problem, so active listening is critical to make that person feel heard, understood and served.
The Importance of Listening in Customer Service
The first step in most customer service interactions is to listen first before speaking. At Ansafone our agents maintain their full attention throughout the conversation and keep the focus squarely on the customer. This ensures that the interaction proceeds with the customer’s needs as the primary driver, and is especially important when it comes to building a solid relationship. Giving each customer our full attention ensures that we can respond appropriately and leads to increased customer satisfaction.
Even though the caller hears just a voice on the other end, actively listening is still key, much like speaking to someone one-on-one in person. We undoubtedly create an instant bond, build trust and make the customer open up even more.
Actively listening is a big part effective communication. Our agents have mastered this skill, which allows you on every call to win a life-long customer.
Active Listening Leads to Empathy
Showing empathy when on the phone can calm down emotional or anxious callers. Most people call or contact customer service if they’ve encountered a problem with a company’s product or service. That means call center agents have to be calm and exhibit a great deal of patience as they navigate each customer’s concerns. Active listening is especially critical in situations where customers are upset or frustrated. By asking follow-up questions, relaying back their situation, and empathizing with their concerns, customers feel truly understood and taken care of.
Empathy is extremely useful but also goes hand-in-hand with understanding. The absence of empathy can lead to service failure and upset customer. When someone feels that a representative is not truly engaged in trying to understand their problem, they’re much more likely to walk away.
When a customer service agent assumes they know what the caller is feeling, they tend to stop listening for cues that can indicate how someone really feels. In doing so, empathy is impossible to achieve.
Active Listening Ensures Customers are Truly Heard and Understood
Vocalizing our thoughts and feelings is all part of human nature. We tend to listen to far fewer words than we think about. Even though actively listening can be a challenge at times, it’s a must in order to provide a great customer service experience. Most business problems can be attributed to poor communication. Since many consumers’ still prefer to call customer service, exercising the skill of active listening will reap valuable returns for any organization.
Actively Listening Means Asking Follow-up Questions
One way our agents practice active listening is to ask questions when possible, which is followed by an expression of understanding. Miscommunication can lead to frustration. At the moment it may seem like something small, but it could end up being be the last straw for a customer who feels like nothing is going their way.
Actively listening before taking action allows us our agents to gather all of the information they need to help prevent miscommunication and the resulting service issues that come from not understanding what the customer truly needs.
Asking a lot of follow-up questions keeps the conversation alive! Some customers can tell right away when someone isn’t really listening since there may be complete silence on the other end of the phone. Sometimes this means that you’re taking in what the other person is saying, but it can come off like you’re only half listening. It’s actually when someone is being more vocal – asking a lot of questions, following up on previous points, and engaging in dialogue, that a customer truly feels heard.
Ansafone is a Great Solution for Your Call Center Needs
Nothing is more important than making sure that your customers feel cared for and comfortable over the phone. Our agents are trained to be active listeners and keeping the communication going back and forth.
Ansafone Contact Centers, a 24/7 live contact center service provider, uses a multi-channel communication approach to help clients communicate via phone and live chat, with email management and social media monitoring. Ansafone’s business process outsourcing (BPO) services specialize in customer service, help desk, tier-1 tech support, sales conversion, and enrollment. Contact us today at www.ansafone.com to learn more.