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Listen And Improve

When someone tells us that something is wrong with our products or service we can be defensive. Dealing with complaints or any expression of dissatisfaction can be a golden opportunity to make improvements.

 

When a customer takes the trouble to tell us how we can improve, we are missing a great opportunity if we don't listen closely. Use the listening wheel:

  • Empathy – if the customer knows that we are sharing their feelings, they will begin to trust us.

  • Open questions – we need the customer to express what they are thinking and to get it off their chest. We must encourage them to tell us their story by asking open-ended questions.

  • Clarify – sometimes the customer's story can be confusing. We therefore need to check the facts and try and get them in order.

  • Encourage – using simple positive expressions such as "yes", "okay", and "tell me more" will show that you are listening and the draw out the problem.

  • Reflect – as we are drawing to the end of our conversation it is important to repeat back to the customer how we see the situation. This will let the customer know we have been actively listening. It also gives the customer an opportunity to add further comment.

  • React – the customer is expecting and deserves a reaction. We know that the customer isn't always right but a concession will help. This may range from voicing appreciation for their comments through to some form of generosity to make amends.

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