Failing to listen attentively makes the customer feel as if you don’t care.
Show interest and let your customers know you are listening by
- maintaining eye contact
- letting them finish what they’re saying before you interrupt or finish their sentences for them
- checking or reconfirming details
- asking questions to check your understanding
There may be times when you need to take notes, for example taking down a food order. However it’s very difficult to write notes and listen properly at the same time so listen to your customers first, and then take notes. You can then read back your notes so that your customer is confident you’ve got everything and you’ve fully understood.
This is just as important when you are talking to customers on the telephone. It’s easy to get distracted or be tempted to do two things at once when you’re on the phone, but your customers will usually sense this.
Even if you’re emailing customers to confirm their booking or arrangements, it’s a good idea to check back to confirm details whilst you’re still talking to them so you can correct things before you put it in writing. This saves you or someone else having to amend things later, which wastes your time and is frustrating for the customer.