Connect with customers by implementing active listening
Active listening is a customer service technique, being able to listen to what the customer is saying because we also listen to the tone and language choices. We can also think of active listening as listening to what is not said. If we actively listen, we are also letting customers know that we are listening. This can be achieved by verbal noddings, such as "uh-huh" and "yes."
From this definition, we can see that there are many key elements of active listening. But it is essential to develop this skill so that we, as agents, can check our understanding and find the core of the problem. Therefore, active listening helps us ask better and more relevant questions. At the same time, it can also build customer trust in us, leading to the next point. Empathy begins with trying to understand another person, why they do what they do, and find a way to relate to their feelings.
From this, we can see that the skill of active listening is closely related to empathy because listening is a skill that helps us unravel our understanding of others. Therefore, if we do not actively listen, we will not be able to show proper empathy, and we will fall into traps, such as assuming that we know the problem without fully understanding the problem.
In addition, we may be able to meet the functional needs of customers, but some people hope to have room to vent and let the problem completely get rid of their troubles. Through active listening and empathy, we can ensure that the emotional and functional needs of our customers are met.
Apart from this, active listening helps the agent refocus on what they are doing. Staying 100% focused throughout the day, actively listening, and showing true empathy is a very tricky task—especially when agents are dealing with very similar types of calls. With this in mind, the agent's ability to refocus, one call after another, itself becomes a key customer service skill. Therefore, although each call center has different management methods and challenges faced by agents, when helping agents to refocus, please keep the following points in mind:
Rest time is important, especially during peak hours-if agents are stressed by too many calls; they will not have the energy to stand on the customer's side. Agents will be very busy, just trying to complete their shifts.
Interaction with team leader/coach-Research has always shown how important the relationship between team leader and consultant is. If agents feel they are valued and listened to, they are more likely to interact with customers in the same way.
Team leaders should prioritize communication and maintain empathy with their agents. Lead by example!
The ability to monitor agents to establish rapport and resolve queries is the top priority. Consider customer experience and lifetime value!