8 Don’ts in Listening to Customers

Nothing annoys customers more than a customer service representative who does not listen. Some people are good listeners by nature, but most need to learn the basics. Here are 8 don’ts in listening to customers that every person must know before applying to a customer service job. 

Don’t judge when listening to customers

No matter what business you are in, all your customers have different knowledge and experience. When they call your customer service, they expect to hear sympathy and understanding. Focus on the customer’s problem, not on your thoughts about it.

Don’t jump to conclusions

You are not able to understand how the customer feels until you listen carefully. Customers’ emotions towards the same thing may vary greatly.

Don’t be a sentence grabber

You may think that you already know the case, and want to start solving the issue without listening to the end. It may surprise you how often stories have unexpected finals. When you finish sentences for the client, you may never know what the real problem is and waste time on solving a non-existent problem. Besides, you irritate the customer, causing another problem for yourself.

Don’t interrupt the customer

Be patient. Listen to the end. If any questions arise, write them down to ask them later, when the client finishes the story. Your questions may distract customers, they may skip important information. No need to mention that interrupting people is rude.

Don’t ask questions that are not related to the issue

It does not happen often in customer service, but we still have to mention it. Your questions must be aimed at ensuring understanding. For example, when a woman tells you that she has received a dress of the right size, but a wrong color, don’t ask how the size fits, focus on the color.  Questions that are unrelated to the problem can be asked when the problem is solved.

Don’t be self-assured

Always ensure that you understand the customer correctly. Repeat the summary of what has been said back to the customer. Summarization shows the customer that you really understand them, and allows them to correct the information if necessary.

Don’t be too focused on the words

You are considered a good listener not only when you understand correctly what customers want, but also when you can share their emotions. Active listening implies both emotional and vocal reaction. By reflecting customers’ emotions and responding to their feelings, you build trust, and comfort customers to tell the whole story.

listening to customers

Don’t make customers repeat

If you cannot rely on your memory, always take notes to memorize the key points and facts. This helps a lot when you are not able to solve the problem immediately, or when you have to pass the information to another colleague.

It takes time to learn to listen, but it always pays off. Good listening skills improve relations with customers, family and friends. And it costs nothing to start practicing right now.