Imagine this situation. A customer calls the technical support department of a certain company with a problem. The tech support representative listens carefully to what the customer says. Noticing that the situation is out of control, the representative transfers it to a more knowledgeable technician in the company. The technician immediately addresses the situation and the customer walks away. However, the customer was not satisfied. Why?
Good customer service is about solving the problem. What differentiates great from good customer service? Exceptional customer service is not just about solving a problem. Yes, the customer does want you to solve their problem, but what customers really want is to find how to prevent this problem from happening again.
Hence, the customer walked out with a solved problem, but not a satisfied person. The best way to ensure the customer is truly satisfied is by showing empathy, focus, and the most important factor – active listening.
Why do tech support representatives need to actively listen? Active listening is needed to ensure that whatever the customer conveyed is paraphrased and reiterated accurately so the customer understands what was said. Active listening is used whenever there is a conflict that needs to be resolved.
How can you ensure active and effective listening? It is a simple three-step process that all tech support representatives can follow:
- Really listen
If a customer is speaking to you, give him or her your complete attention. Don’t be a passive listener by multi-tasking and listening only to the highlights. Avoid being distracted by other things and give your complete focus to every word the customer is saying
- Extract important information
Once you have completed the task of listening actively, then you need to start processing the information you have captured. Try to capture details such as facts, emotions, and any other key points that you heard from the customer.
- Time to return it to the customer
Once you have completed the task of listening to the customer and comprehending the problem, it is time to do a recap with the customer and make him listen to what he has communicated. Showcase empathy by using phrases such as, “I understand what you are saying and your frustration.” Reflect emotions and empathy that the customer has shared.
Why should tech support participate in active listening? There are three primary factors for this:
- Active listening solves the customer’s problem
- It helps in developing a strong customer relationship
- Indirectly, this helps to boost productivity and bolster revenue
“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.” Stop the eagerness to respond and first understand the customer. This is active listening with multiple benefits.
Want to move your technical support department to active listening? Click on the link below to watch a quick video and to download the whitepaper. Why Active Listening Skills Matter in Tech Support