What are the benefits of listening to your customers?
Listening is not the same as hearing. The latter is passive, whereas the former is an active activity wherein genuine attention is paid to what customers are saying.
Listening can help build trust, create self-esteem in customers, and diffuse the defensiveness and tension thereby lowering resistance from them. Some of the measures that customer service executives can employ to promote listening are listed below.
- Offer short verbal acknowledgments like ‘Go on’ ‘I understand’ to show that you are in tune with customers
- Avoid distractions and keep the focus on customers
- Ask questions that are relevant as it can help clarify the customers’ needs
- Avoid interrupting, unless you need to clarify something from the customer
- Restate or paraphrase what the customer has stated. This allows you to gather any information that the customer may want to add or that you may have missed
- Avoid arguing; remaining silent is a good thing, particularly if a prospect or customer is venting
- Summarize the key points as doing so will allow you to take the reins and direct the flow of the conversation
- Listening to customers comes with a lot of benefits, a few of which are discussed below.
- Listening can help increase sales. When you listen to a customer, you get to the root of their requirements and thus are better able to service them. Listening makes customers believe that you are prioritizing them, which increases their comfort level and makes them more prone to purchasing from you.
- Listening helps build a relationship with prospects or customers. Listening skills ensure that you offer a solution that is deemed correct by the customer and not something that you think is right. This makes customers feel that they can depend on you, increasing their trust and loyalty for the company.
- Customers who have regularly experienced great customer service are more likely to spread news about the experience via word of mouth or through social media. This allows companies to gain new clients. Also, thanking the customers’ conversations on social media platforms about their appreciation is one of the ways to show that you are listening.
There are also ways to “listen” to your customers that doesn’t include face-to-face communication or direct communication. This means not just communicating with your customers but taking a step back at what they are saying. If you were to take a look at a group of negative reviews, is there a common problem? Instead of just treating the “symptoms” every time, you can identify the “sickness” and fix it. The same thing goes for positive reviews. Here are a couple more tips below.
- Another method to show that you listen to customers is taking feedback. It is one of the best sources for learning about customers, their needs, and behaviors. A feedback can especially be helpful from a customer who is not happy with either the service or the product. Feedback can help fill the gaps and improve the delivery systems and customer service of companies.
- Listening to customers can also help avoid varied crisis. It may be noted that word of mouth is not the only way in which customers spread information about their experiences. They may choose varied platforms, including social media. Hence, it is important to monitor your social media accounts to keep abreast of any ill-experiences of customers, offer solutions, and thus help prevent any crisis that can be severely detrimental to the company’s image. Such a fast response will help increase the customers’ trust in the company, enhance their bond with you, and boost your goodwill.
Remember: without your customers, you don’t have a business.