How to Develop Active Listening Skills
Active listening skills will help you discover things you can do that mean something to the customer, don't cost the company a lot, and are not offered by your competition.
- Focus on the customer. Don't try to multitask when you are talking to a customer. If you are preoccupied with your keyboard, a computer screen, or even other customers, you will not be paying attention to what your customer is saying.
- Make eye contact. Looking at your customer and acknowledging what he or she is saying by nodding your head or using small words like "ok" or "uh-huh" will let your customer know you are paying attention.
- Don't interrupt. Let your customer finish what he or she is saying before you speak and then ask questions or make comments that are appropriate to the discussion, again letting your customer know you are paying attention.
- Provide feedback. Use paraphrasing or parroting skills to clarify what the customer is saying. This will not only ensure that you have the right information, it will also show your customer that you care about him or her.