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Tips to Improve Listening Skills

Communication does not only involve speaking. Half of communication is listening. Hence, call center agents should equally develop listening skills in order to become good communicators. Here are some tips to improve listening skills.

Focus on speaker. Agents should focus on what customers or clients say at the other end of the line by giving their full attention to speaker and avoiding getting distracted by other things including other things, external noises or other colleagues.

Identify emotions. When listening to a caller, agent should equally listen to the emotion of the caller e.g. angry, disappointed or interested. In this way, one can easily understand the speaker by relating speaker’s emotions.

Ask questions. If one is unable to get information the first time, it if advisable for agents to ask questions to clarify information given by client or caller.

Don’t Assume. Wait for what that customer would say. Do not pre empt what the caller is going to say or jump into wrong conclusions.

Avoid interrupting customer. Let the customer speak and finish. Agents should avoid interrupting or interjecting anything.

Summarize. After hearing the customer, check the facts or content of information given by summarizing key points of information given by customer.

Write it down. Take notes by writing down information given by customer.

Avoid obstacles to effective listening. These listening obstacles included the assumption or having the framework that one is always right and the customer is wrong or not knowledgeable; biases whether discriminating or not; preferences of talking than listening; and waiting for gaps or pauses before responding.

Practice. Like all other skills, listening is a skill which can only be developed through constant practice.

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