How attentive listening helps your customer service outsourcing

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Listening is branding—a truth that matters most especially in customer service outsourcing. In fact, the quick review of stats about listening accumulated by the International Listening Association tells of the verity and importance of attentive listening not only to one's daily life, but also to businesses.

The numbers provided there magnify the fact that without listening, effective communication cannot possibly exist. And as the statistics say that in every seven minutes of 10 we communicate, lightly taking the gravity and essence of lending a focused ear may cause a serious detriment to any business.

How do you listen?

The idea of listening in a call center company is different from that of regular businesses. Here, there are no facial expressions that the representative can use to gauge his customer's composure or emotion. It is all words, for everything is done over the phone. The closest to the ever-important facial expressions in communication are the pause, breathing, and cadence.

But what really is the essence of listening in the outsourcing trade and to its aim of nailing customer service?
  • Listening is a display of commitment.

    When the caller on the other end of the line speaks, he certainly wants your full attention. He wants to be heard. He wants to feel that his problem will not just fall on deaf ears. He wants his problem to be dissected, scrutinized, and solved. That said, you—the customer service representative—must assure his commitment to you by simply repeating what he has said.

    It's pretty simple, but many agents tend to forget this simple rule, perhaps because of the volume of calls they are getting in a day. But doing such is not only for the benefit of the caller; it is for you, too. Repeating the caller's problem would help you prove the caller that you heard his problem, acknowledge its existence, and intend to solve it.

  • Problem solving begins with attentive listening.

    By simply opening an ear for your customer, you gain new information, but by attentively listening to his words, you get details that might and would lead you to solving the problem—as solutions sometimes are just in the problem itself. Focused listening helps you hear painstaking details that are often overlooked when attention is elsewhere and absent.

  • Listening is building a bridge that is trust.

    Before the caller reaches the hotline, you two are unrelated and not likely linked by any means, even when he finally hears your voice at the other end of the line. It is your responsibility to create a bridge that would link you to him, to solving his problems.

    When the caller feels that you catch and understand every word he says, he feels important, which eventually leads him to trusting you. The very reason many callers turn irate even in the first few minutes of the call is that they don't get what they initially expected when they've decided to call, which is to feel important, listened to, and cared for.

  • Listening is really branding

    At the end of the day, listening remains a key to your branding—or branding itself. It is believed that customers do not actually listen to what you say and about to say—they listen to what they say to themselves about what you say; they just need to hear what they want to hear. This assumption can give a clear solution to their problem.

    So how would you give what the customers need if you are not attentively listening to their queries and problems? Customer satisfaction is essential in your branding. A customer can bash you or write negative comments or columns about you on the Internet if he felt abandoned and treated lightly by a customer service representative. In this day and age, everything could end up on the web, and it is the brand's choice whether he wants to be there in good light or not, whether he wants to elevate his customer service quality by simply listening.

Active—or attentive—listening is essential to any trade, for the customers are its lifeline. How would the world of commerce move if there's no one who would do the purchasing? The key: listen to them attentively because in this way, you are keeping them loyal to your brand.

Open Access BPO's top priority is to provide unique outsourcing solutions that are built on unparalleled customer service. Learn more about us through our website or Google+ page.