If a customer has a request or problem, there’s nothing that will infuriate them faster than a brush-off response that shows you are not paying attention. Listening is a sign of respect. Here are a few rules to follow:
Don’t interrupt. Wait for the customer to finish what they are saying before you start speaking. Otherwise, you are pre-judging their point, and that’s not smart.
Give your full attention to the customer. Avoid looking away or doing something else while the customer is talking to you.
Concentrate on the customer’s message, and then think about how you will respond.
Ask questions that encourage a response of more than just Yes or No.
Don’t make assumptions about the customer, what you think the problem may be, or about a possible solution, without first getting all the facts.
Watch your body language and the words you choose. Keep a smile on your face and in your voice.
Make eye contact. Show them you are paying attention. It’s also OK to break eye contact occasionally, as you would in any casual conversation, so the customer will be comfortable.
Always, always be polite. There’s just no excuse for being rude to a customer who wants to give you their business.
The excellent customer service video program, WAYMISH (Why Are You Making It So Hard….for me to give you my money), presents a variety of situations that frustrate customers, and what service providers and their supervisors can do to prevent them.