The answer to these questions can be found in how the customer was treated. If we solve your problem (the “logical fix”) and don’t make you feel valued, there’s noemotional connection. At that point, our service will look like a commodity to you, and you’ll seek the lowest price.
If, on the other hand, you know you are welcome, valued, and cared for–even if we don’t solve your logical problem, we can build and keep rapport by treating you appropriately, acknowledging you and what you’re facing, and then showing empathy for your situation.
Listening means focusing on the words, body language, and overall message of the speaker. This requirespractice. The chief block to listening is self-centeredness (including being distracted by thinking about what you’re going to say next).
Paraphrasing is a way of acknowledging that you heard the other person by restating or rewording what s/he said. When paraphrasing, start with a transitional phrase, such as, “Let me make sure that I understand your point. Do you mean…?”
Provide the logical fix for the customer—solve the problem, if you can. Make it right. Correct the error. Repair what’s broken.
Then, provide an emotional fix, when you can. Let the customer know that you understand (show empathy). Give something as a gift to the customer to make up for the inconvenience. These kind actions go a long way toward building good will—and repeat business.
Subscribe to the IC weekly newsletter for tips and advice on your communication skills!
Effective communication is empowering. Get started on your path to being more clear, brief, and effective.Upcoming Classes