Customer Experience News & Trends

5 listening mistakes that kill customer satisfaction

You hear customers’ words, but do you always process what they actually mean? Probably not if you commit any of these five listening mistakes that can stymie an otherwise good customer experience.

Whether you’re helping customers with a problem on the phone, talking in person on a sales call or gathering survey feedback, even the most seasoned professionals get distracted from thoughtful listening from time to time.

It’s no crime, but it can cause you to miss out on valuable information from customers and put them off.

Give full attention, please

Here are the five most common mistakes to avoid so customers get the full attention they deserve:

  • Making predictions. Avoid trying to guess what customers are going to say next. Focus on what they have to say and jump in when they ask a question.
  • Making assumptions. Assuming you know where the conversation is going or what customers want will almost always leads to premature and incorrect solutions or answers. Instead, ask a clarifying question such as, “If I have this right, you’d like me to … Is that correct?” before moving forward.
  • Minimizing concerns. You don’t want to minimize the points or feelings customers share. Respond with a sincere level of concern when customers voice concerns and issues.
  • Repeating. Reciting customers’ exact words because you’ve been encouraged to paraphrase to prove you’ve listened can come across as patronizing. Instead, reword their request or question in terms that you both understand.
  • Interrupting. Sometimes we’re so eager to answer questions or solve problems we jump in before customers are done talking. Customers usually find this rude because it indicates that their words aren’t worthy of some respect. Unless there’s an urgent need, wait until customers stop talking.

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