Home Business How to Master Listening and Build Relationships With Your Customers

How to Master Listening and Build Relationships With Your Customers

by Olufisayo
call center

Nothing kills a customer’s interest like feeling a business isn’t listening to them. When people contact your call center, they almost always have an issue they want to resolve. Listening to them so you can respond quickly and get things resolved the first time they reach out will help you forge lasting loyalty with your customer base.

Go omnichannel

When people contact your call center, by whatever form of communication, they assume that someone is readily available to assist them. When they call and have to wait while an agent pulls up an email conversation to find out what happened; or worse yet, doesn’t even bother and makes them once again explain things they’ve already told the company, callers get frustrated and angry.

By moving to an omnichannel contact center, you ensure that all your possible communication channels are interlinked. However long a customer’s journey is and however many channels they’ve used to reach out, you can effortlessly access all of it in a single conversation. You’ve just shown your customer that you’re really listening.

Repeat and ask questions

When customers initiate contact with your call center, show an interest in what they have to say. If you were interacting with them in person, you would do this with body language by smiling and keeping an open posture. You can communicate this same interest remotely by doing two important things.

First, summarize and repeat back what a customer has told you. This shows you’re listening and that you’ve understood them. Second, ask intelligent questions that respond to the information a customer has just given you. This shows that you have not just heard but actually thought about and understood what they’ve said.

Respond to everything

There’s an old proverb: “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” This is a great bit of advice to make the motto of your call center. An angry customer will never become less angry when they get a frustrating or sarcastic response (even if that might be what they deserve!)

On the other hand, an angry customer can sometimes be placated by a listening ear that responds with patience. That patience tells your customer, “I hear you and understand your feelings.” That kind of response can sometimes “turn away wrath” and earn you long-lasting loyalty.

Ask for feedback

Whether your customers have a good or bad opinion, knowing that you want to hear about it will communicate that you’re listening. If you are willing to listen to them, they will be more willing to listen to you, and you can turn that feedback into action that improves your bottom line.

Feedback surveys that arrive by email after a purchase, a chance to leave feedback after a call to one of your agents, or even comment cards on the counter at your physical location are all ways to tell your customers: we hear you, and we care.

Let them know when you act

You probably already show repeat customers how much you appreciate them with loyalty discounts, reward cards, or ways to earn points or prizes. You can also show your appreciation, and demonstrate that you’re listening by letting people know when you’re making changes based on their feedback.

It takes a few steps to set up, but if you’ve kept track of specific customer feedback, it can be very meaningful to let them know exactly how you’re acting on it. When they open that email with a subject heading that reads: “We heard you,” they see firsthand that their input means something.

We all like to be listened to, and showing customers that you’re willing to go the extra step and put yourself in their shoes to really hear them tell them you’re a company they want to do business with.

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