Improving customer service productivity often means looking at operations, management, performance metrics or incentives. If it looks at listening skills, it focuses on listening among employees, among the team. Rarely, if ever, does improving customer service productivity look at how employees listen to customers.
Moreover, when listening does come up, the focus reducing errors. That’s done by getting the right information and stomping out miscommunication. Yet, even with no errors, listening speeds up customer service.
Speeding Up Customer Service
Listening skills make relationships better. Yes, that’s clear. Go further though. Better relationships also mean faster interactions. They show up in five ways as faster:
- Resolution of customer conflicts.
- Gathering of information.
- Building of trust.
- Customer action on suggestions and recommendations.
- Transfers of calls and accounts.
This begins by going beyond just listening. We must show we are listening. That’s the launch point. Otherwise, we’re just listening to get more info.
The next step employs the full range of listening skills. They show we’re listening. They build relationships. This sets the stage for faster interactions.
The last step employs these skills to resolve conflicts better and faster. That means understanding the basic conflict resolution strategy. It’s not for upset customers only. It works on excited, nervous and stressed ones too.
Improving Customer Service Productivity
Listening skills work to do all this by creating the sense that conversations are taking place. The interaction is not an interview, not a service call, not a sales presentation and not a problem resolution.
The importance of creating a sense of conversations taking place rests in their ability to influence people. Conversations influence people more, better and quicker than any other type of interaction. Mastering these skills does that. They’re tools to navigate customers’ words and tone.
Moreover, these skills take an interaction that often falls into a random walk and influence it. It’s like sailing. We’re no longer at the mercy of wherever customer winds might take us. They allow us to tack as needed and quickly to reach a successful endpoint to our customer interaction.