As it turns out, a single occurrence of unfulfilled expectations is enough for a customer to switch to better opportunities. In fact, statistics claim that 82% of the clients change the service providers once they encounter a bad experience. While 82% is scary, large numbers, it is best to take umpteen necessary precautions possible and that is when the golden rule of active listening comes into play.
Needless to say, if you wish to prove your worth in the market, it is a crucial tool to actively listen to your customers. Not only that, but you also need to analyze their feedback o that you can rectify issues related to the causes of churn.
Let us first learn what active listening definition is. It is basically a research-driven discipline that needs a scientific and open state of mind. It improves concrete insights into the customer experience. Additionally, it explores customer successes and missed opportunities. Most of all, it is a way to stay on top and benefit the customer.
In this blog ahead, we read about some of the best practices we can adopt to inculcate active listening and also on how we do that. But to begin with, let me leak the secrets of why is active listening important.
- Improves Customer Retention
- Enhances Upsell and Cross-selling opportunities
- Minimizes Customer Churn
- Paves the way to great conversations
#1 Improves Customer Retention
Sadly, no matter how great of a service you provide, it is very tough to retain 100 percent of the customers. In fact, research claims that 44% of the customers have no plans to switch service, whereas a whopping 83% end up switching in a small period of time. So how do we go about it?
Of course, this leaves you with a tiny wiggle room when it comes to customer service. And that is why your team must pull off its A-game. Ensure that your clients are satisfied and stick around to your business. Therefore, actively listening to their feedback is the best way to keep up with customer satisfaction and fulfill their needs.
#2 Enhances Upsell and Cross-selling opportunities
Active listening not only improves customer retention but also acts as a tool to enhance your upselling and cross-selling opportunities to the customers. Let’s say, you as a customer rep come across a customer who is dissatisfied with some of the usage limits of your tools.
Instead of defending how great those tools are, you can rather encourage them to take up a premium plan. Explain to them how beneficial it can be and how it could help resolve their problems. Who knows, the customer might turn out fascinated by the service and might seal the deal.
#3 Minimizes Customer Churn
Poor or improper customer service accounts be the second biggest reason for customer churn. Further, when a client does not receive the quality and value he deserves, he will not take a backseat from switching.
A recently generated report says that almost 86% of the clients would not mind paying more when faced with excellent customer service or support. And how do we give that? The answer is active listening.
#4 Paves the way to great conversations
When you truly participate in a conversation and hear what the other person wants to say, you are halfway through creating a personal conversation. As you invest your time and energy in the role you are playing, the customer gains happiness just from the chat. It is always better to go above and beyond the conversation. Do not talk just for the sake of it. Connect with the customer’s needs and strive to deliver a delightful service.
Although these were some of the active listening skills one can inculcate to take the service to the brim, there could be times where you just don’t know how to proceed. To pay heed to that, check out the following and know the answers to ‘How’.
#1 Patience and Perseverance
Sometimes, you may have to deal with a customer who is new to your product line and that could be uninteresting sometimes, agreed. But you as a customer rep need to be patient. You will have to let them know the basics and the terminology.
If the situation demands you to hold their hand through every troubleshooting step, do that too. Never lose your cool under the pressure and believe in perseverance. Every question asked by them is precious and your team needs to revere each of them equally.
#2 Body Language speaks too
Body language is a major facet that decides whether you are practicing active listening or not. Maintaining a smile along with a straight posture can take you a long way. And this applies to chats and emails too.
A positive attitude makes you more energetic and keeps you charged during a call. If you are not paying attention, a customer can get to know that. And later this might cut a sorry image of your company. Therefore, smile and succeed!
#3 Channelize your Preferences
Communicating with a customer on a channel that they are most comfortable with, works well. For instance, you are speaking to a millennial customer, social media might be the right channel to discuss. This way you can reduce friction in your customer’s experience by meeting them on a channel they are already acquainted with.
Kindly note that this requires your team to have an in-depth understanding of your client base. This is also a great opportunity for customer service to align well with marketing.
#4 Let the Customer speak first
In order to truly listen to the customer, it is of high pertinence that you let them speak first. Hear them out till the end of what they have to say. And once they are done addressing their concern, step in then.
Interrupting them can make you look impatient which might not be a great thing to do. Hence, it is better to wait until the client finishes speaking. Also, you never know is there could be any relevant information that can alter the case.
Active listening is all about paying attention. As a successful customer rep, you will have to pay attention to both the problem as well as the person. You need to be fully present in the situation and emotionally connect to what the client has to really say. Understand their concern and be there for them. As at the end of the day, giving them the greatest customer experience is all that matters.