Sharpen Your Listening Skills with These 6 Tips
Listening Vectors by Vecteezy
Providing exceptional customer success begins with listening to your customers. It’s essential to create an environment of trust and open communication, where customers feel heard, valued, and appreciated. As a customer service leader, it’s up to you to ensure that their valuable feedback is not only collected but acted upon.
To gather the most helpful feedback, listening skills are essential and yet are difficult for many to implement because all too often, we are listening to respond, not to understand. Training our brain to focus on the incoming message and dropping all intent on replying can seem counterintuitive, especially when someone approaches us with negative emotions running. Our defenses raise and we assume a need to respond in our defense – not wanting them to get the “upper hand.”
This causes us to miss important cues to what the customer’s core issue really is, which often we could easily solve if we were more aware. To help you provide the best customer experience, here are six steps to ensure you always listen to your customers.
1. Make Listening a Priority
Making customer listening a priority should be the cornerstone of any customer success team’s strategy. Whether it’s during conversations on calls or through surveys, make sure you’re actively seeking feedback and prioritizing responses. Encourage customers to share their opinions and ideas, and remind them that you’re listening. This will create a positive relationship between the customer success team and your customers, allowing them to feel comfortable giving honest feedback.
2. Ask Open-Ended Questions
It’s often easy to rely on the same questions for customer feedback. To get the most out of your conversations, it’s important to ask open-ended questions that allow customers to provide more detailed and insightful responses. Questions such as “What could we do better?” or “How would you rate our product/service?” can help you gain better customer insights.
3. Use a Variety of Channels
Customer feedback can come from many different sources, so make sure you’re open to listening through a variety of channels. For example, social media is a great place to hear customer opinions and suggestions in real-time, and surveys are a reliable way to collect customer data. Whether it’s through email, social media, or face-to-face conversations, make sure you’re listening to your customers across all channels.
4. Record and Analyze Responses
Once you’ve collected customer feedback, it’s important to record the data so that you can go back and review it. This allows you to analyze trends in customer behavior and sentiment, as well as track changes over time. By doing this, you’ll be able to pinpoint areas for improvement and focus your efforts on the most important issues.
5. Report Back & Show Appreciation
Customers deserve to know when their feedback is being considered, so make sure to report back to your customers after listening to their input. This can be done through a follow-up email or phone call, and it’s always nice to offer an incentive or reward for sharing valuable feedback. Something as simple as a small gift card can go a long way in showing appreciation and fostering loyalty with your customers.
6. Take Action & Follow Up
The most important part of customer listening is taking action and following up on the feedback you receive. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as making changes to your product or service based on customer suggestions, or even just thanking customers for their help. No matter what actions you take, make sure you’re continuously following up with customers and taking their feedback seriously.
At the end of the day, customer success depends on building a strong level of trust. By making customer listening a priority and taking action on customer feedback, you can create an environment where customers feel heard and valued. Ultimately, this will result in a better customer experience, and lead to more successful relationships with your customers.
For more information on listening techniques of great customer success leaders, check out these recent ClientSuccess resources:
Customer Success Listening Best Practice Blog Posts
How to Deal When the Customer Isn’t Always Right
Embracing Your Most Vocal Customers (And Why to Worry About Silent Ones)
Customer Success Complimentary eBooks
5 Ways to Surprise & Delight Your Customers
3 Steps to Putting Your Customer First This Year
Learn more about how ClientSuccess can help your company develop a strong customer success methodology and strategy with easy-to-use customer success software by requesting a 30-minute demo.