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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Author: Janie Sullivan

Janie Sullivan, MBA, MAEd, has been teaching adult learners for over 20 years. She has taught online over 15 years, specializing in writing, communications, and small business applications. Janie directs the Center for Writing Excellence where she offers writing, editing, and formatting services for writers. She has been published in several newspapers and magazines as well as multiple online sites. She teaches communication, business strategy, leadership, and management courses. Janie has published a book "Develop and Deliver an Online Class." This is the third book she has written about writing and teaching online. She also has published a novel and an anthology of short stories.

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