Active Listening: The Ultimate Technique for Customer Satisfaction

– “Santiago: Hello, good afternoon, I am communicating because I want to tell you that I am displeased with the treatment received from the company. I was told that my product would arrive on Monday morning, and not only that my order arrived today FRIDAY, but they have also sent me something that I did not request…

– Representative: Hi Santiago, good afternoon. Thank you for contacting us. Tell me: why are you contacting the company? How can I help you? We’re glad you’re happy with your order, that’s our company’s goal!”

You don’t have to be a communication expert to notice that in the example in the dialogue above there is something that is not working well.

And, of course, that mistake is not attributable to Santiago…

“Humanizing” feedback in your company’s internal and external communication processes is the key to enhancing your brand over time.

No more autoresponders!

If you are one of those who believe that it is time to take a leap in quality to achieve effective customer satisfaction, then it is time for you and your internal collaborators to incorporate some tips to have an active listening in a natural way.

Active Listening

The Importance of Active Listening in Customer Service

Anyone who has ever worked in customer service knows that you don’t always have the capacity or resources to solve every problem that users raise.

But what you can do in 100% of the cases when you talk to a client is to offer mindfulness, listening to their needs in a committed way and responding appropriately.

Competent listening is the foundation of any effective customer service interaction and is one of the most powerful tools available for attempting to turn a negative experience into a positive one.

There is prestigious research that shows how participants in a conversation feel better when they perceive that the other party is actively listening.

And, of course, the formula is applicable to both external and internal customers (i.e. with the company’s collaborators) and even the company’s suppliers or other key stakeholders in the development of the business.

Active Listening vs. Passive Listening

Representatives who do not listen competently cause direct damage to the company because they put the company’s institutional prestige and even its value proposition at risk in many cases.

But they also miss the opportunity to establish a good relationship with the user, which allows us to understand their true needs and from that place establish an effective commercial relationship with the customer.

Too often, salespeople are just anxiously waiting for their turn to speak—or thinking about what to say as soon as they get the chance—instead of actually listening to the prospect.

What do you lose by constantly talking without listening to the other party?

  • Stimulate the generation of trust and rapport in the person and the subject communicated.
  • Discovery of customer needs.
  • Opportunity to show how good you are at specific topics or how you can help provide solutions on specific topics.

Active and passive listening play a decisive role in any instance of communication . Whether or not it is used will depend on the quality and type of conversation that results.

So, what’s the difference between passive and active listening?

Passive Listening:

The “passive” listener in a conversation is the one who inhabits the instance of dialogue without expressing himself in any way in relation to what is being communicated.

Somehow, he hears the words that are communicated to him as a background “noise” and chooses not to give back in relation to what was said to him. It’s simply a matter of listening, of receiving the message.

This type of listening is ideal for situations where a speaker is addressing a group of people.

On the other hand, it is terrible to adopt this kind of posture in conversations where the speaker wants to receive feedback or at least some proof that the listener is paying attention and making an effort to understand what is being communicated.

Examples of passive listening:

  • Listen to an audio recording or listen to live audio.
  • Listen to a speaker at a meeting, conference, or convention.
  • Watch a recorded or live performance (movies, plays, concerts, etc.)

Active Listening:

Active listening involves more effort than passive listening. It is a listening pattern that has the receiver of the message engaged with their interlocutor in a positive way.

The goal is to fully understand what the other person is saying – or to show full willingness to try to achieve it – in order to avoid misunderstandings or erroneous assumptions.

The better we are at active listening, the more we practice it.

And the more you practice, the easier it is for the other person to feel heard and valued. This is a solid foundation for any successful conversation in any setting, whether at work, at home, or in social situations.

Examples of Active Listening

  • A representative of a company attending to a customer’s need.
  • A doctor who listens to the characteristics of a patient’s pathology.
  • A couple’s conversation where one of the parties raises an important issue for the relationship.
Active Listening

Active listening is customer satisfaction

To be effective, active listening must be firmly grounded in the user’s basic attitudes. It is not possible to use this technique if from the beginning of the communication we are in conflict with the client’s personal concepts.

When people are listened to sensitively, in a “human” way, they tend to listen to themselves more carefully and make it clear exactly what they want, feel, and think.

In addition to providing specific information more than any other activity, active listening always builds positive relationships, favoring the possibilities of generating understanding regardless of whether or not a solution to the conflict that may have arisen is reached.

8 Tips to Incorporate Active Listening Easily

  1. Show attention by encouraging body language and nonverbal cues.
  1. Reflect on and analyse the words used by the interlocutor in order to suggest whether there is a need for clarification.
  1. Constantly pay attention to the other person’s nonverbal expressions.
  1. Repeat some specific words or phrases of the sender of the message to show that it was understood correctly or to request clarification.
  1. Paraphrase part of what you have heard with your own expressions to show that you understood the idea conveyed.
  1. Ask relevant questions according to the topic addressed.
  1. Summarize what has been stated in a clear and coherent manner.
  1. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes in the most faithful and respectful way possible, seeking to better understand the perspective from which the other person builds their story.
Active Listening

The 5 Axioms of Communication

Paul Watzlawick He is recognized worldwide for his contributions in the field of communication studies. His greatest work is the famous “ Theory of Human Communication “.

Among these contributions, the 5 axioms of communication stand out, which are present in all message exchanges because they are laws that define the functioning of the communicational process.

The 5 axioms are:

  • It’s impossible not to communicate.
  • The content of the message depends on the relationship between the interlocutors.
  • Communication is always punctuated by the parties involved.
  • Communication takes place on a verbal and non-verbal level.
  • The communication relationship can be symmetrical or complementary.

The standout in customer service: it’s impossible not to communicate.

All human behavior communicates. People’s actions and behaviors, no matter how small and imperceptible they may seem, speak to those people’s needs, as well as their goals, expectations, and desires.

It is important to effectively incorporate active listening in relation to customer service because there is always information that must be collected to enhance our brand in the market.

Any contact with a user – especially in the context of a negative experience – is a resource that must be collected in order to adapt to the dynamic perspectives of customers and to be able to set trends in the market and with our direct competitors.

Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer who has had a bad experience. Does it make you reconsider choosing that brand or service? Will you make a claim? Will you complain on social media? Will you tell your friends and family the bad news?

This all depends on many factors, but keep in mind that the vast majority of bad consumer experiences won’t reach your ears unless you do something about it.

What can you do? Start Listening

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Log in to Global Metrics and get insights that allow for continuous improvement of your brand’s experience. Transform the way you manage the experience of your customers and/or your collaborators through effective active listening.

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