“Listening to myself,” I said. “I can hear myself in the headset.” The voice of your customer is a powerful tool that you should never ignore, but it’s only effective if you’re listening.

For this reason, we have created a set of guidelines for how to listen effectively and learn from what people are telling us about our products or services. An effective listening strategy starts with the basics.

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First, make an effort to be present when you listen. Pay attention to your body language and tone of voice so they’re supportive and respectful of what’s being said; have a neutral expression that shows you are attentive but not judgmental or critical.

Secondly, it helps to give feedback by asking questions about opinions shared during conversations in order to understand better where someone is coming from before making any judgments on their perspective (“What does ‘best’ mean? What do people think makes something best?”).

Lastly, don’t interrupt unless it’s really necessary. If there are things you disagree with or need clarification on, wait until the other person has finished speaking before responding.

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