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The other voice!

I am the archetype 21st century cyber junkie – have even started wondering whether life outside the Net has any meaning. Well, we can discuss that later but let me tell you a bit more about the call I made to the Internet Service Provider.

I had spoken about the Call Centre Agent in my previous article.

You may remember that I was quite irritated from being put on hold for more than 10 minutes and this guy aggravated the situation by not hearing what I said. He then did the unthinkable – he hung up on me! That is a cardinal sin!

I called again and got another Executive who showed the good sense to listen and responded courteously. I ended the call by reiterating my bad experience and this Executive promised to take action – even if nothing is done she had heard me out. That is the least the customer expects.

Listen! Yes, just LISTEN … that is the key to Good Service!

We humans just love hearing the sound of our own voice – so we keep rattling on and lose the customer along the way. She loses interest and goes her own way. We probably didn’t notice! Remember, two voices are needed to make a conversation.

The key to good listening:

  1. Keep your eyes (Yes, eyes!) and ears open – and your lips in contact with each other!

The customers body language and expressions can tell you a lot – speaks volume about her state of mind and feelings. In a phone conversation the pitch, volume and pace are indicators of the customer mood. Pay ear!

2. Don’t get distracted by your thoughts!

Let the customers words get a full run of your brain and let just that flood your senses. You are showing respect and interest by doing this. You will get your chance to speak, and to think!!

3. Confirm that you have understood before you act!

The customer probably meant something and you interpreted it differently. Ensure alignment, by summarising, before you respond or take further action; It can save a lot of trouble and time. This step also shows the customer that you care.

4. Promise to take action and give a timeline for completion

The customer is not calling to while away time – they have genuine needs and/or grievances which need to be fulfilled / solved. Deliver on commitments.

Are you listening?

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