Are your Customer Service Agents really listening?
Are your Customer Service Agents really listening to your customers, or are they just going through the motions?
How important is it to your business that they really understand your customers concerns, questions or opinions?
If it is important to you then as a Manager a crucial skill you must ensure every Customer Service Agent is trained in is Listening Techniques.
Sure they listen. You will probably hear them saying things like “yes, Uh-hmmm, ok” which is a start, but only one of the 4 key steps they need to use to really understand your customers.
Professional Customer Service Training focuses on a simple, easy to understand model called the L.A.E.R. Process, and has proven to repeatedly retain customers and convert enquiries into sales
The L.A.E.R. process stands for:
L – Listen – includes things like verbal acknowledgement, nodding (yes, even when on the phone) and other active listening techniques
A – Acknowledge – paraphrasing and repeating verbatim what the caller said
E – Explore – asking probing questions to gain a deeper understanding of the customers point of view
R – Respond – giving recommendations, solutions and next step actions
Have a listen to your Customer Service agents, you will probably hear they are quite skilled at Responding. In fact they may even throw in an odd question here and there.
But how well do they truly Acknowledge and Explore?
Acknowledging Tells the Customer “I hear you”.
The simple act of paraphrasing or repeating back what they have heard is the most often missed listening skill, yet Acknowledging is the most powerful way of saying to a customer “I hear you”.
It looks simple in theory, but using the L.A.E.R. model on a daily basis requires learning and coaching through day-to-day tasks, challenges and practice.
So include it in your team meetings and on the desk coaching and watch your customer satisfaction levels increase.