What separates humans from other creatures is our advanced communication abilities. That serves us well in business — especially when it comes to customer experience (CX) and NPS (Net Promoter Score). If you work in business or are an entrepreneur, you know how much CX matters and why it’s important to learn ways to better listen to customers.
Satisfied customers are willing to return for your services or vouch for you to others. Because CX relies heavily on strong communication skills, below are the top ways to improve the art of listening.
Focus on understanding, not your response
A common habit to develop is not actually paying attention to what the other person is saying during a conversation. This style of listening is known as passive listening and sometimes results from the need to quickly formulate a response.
You are focusing on how to respond rather than trying to understand the other person’s message or needs. We all know it doesn’t feel good to get a partially related response in an email or during a conversation. That’s not going to give you the great customer service feedback you’re looking for while building a brand.
To make sure you are not behaving this way to others, focus on understanding the other person’s concerns by intentionally listening to them. It helps to feel confident that you can pause after they finish talking to digest their words before you formulate your response.
More ways to better listen to customers: Let notes take a backseat
In today’s world of virtual meetings and Zoom calls, taking notes by typing them is often a go-to for many. However, studies have shown that taking verbatim notes is actually much less useful than simply listening and writing down a few key pieces of information.
Typing word-for-word is “non-generative” recording. When practicing non-generative recording, your attention is on writing when you should be concentrating on listening instead. Thus, your understanding of the other person’s message diminishes.
If you must take notes or get anxious when not doing so, write your notes by hand and practice “generative” recording. That means writing only snippets of information or using shorthand.
Infographic on 10 ways to better listen to customers
For more tips on improving the art of listening for better CX, see the full guide from Chattermill. For a quick summary, take a look at the infographic below: