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The Art of Listening

These days, many companies are recording telephone interactions, conducting surveys, and collecting customer satisfaction data. But are companies really listening?

Benefits of Listening
An article on About.com identifies how good listening skills can make workers more productive.

The ability to listen well allows employees to:

  • better understand assignments and what is expected of you;
  • build rapport with co-workers, bosses, and clients;
  • show support;
  • work better in a team-based environment;
  • resolve problems with customers, co-workers, and bosses;
  • answer questions; and
  • find underlying meanings in what others say.

Listening in Business
Professionals use listening skills in different ways throughout the day. Health care professionals, for example, use listening skills to help identify and diagnose patients’ ailments. Sales representatives pick up cues from customers for up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, and listening skills help them prescribe the correct solution for each customer situation. Successful managers listen and respond to employees, showing care for employees and customers alike.

Reading Between the Lines
Quality assurance managers also employ listening skills in their day-to-day activities. When completing agent evaluation scorecards, QA managers have the opportunity to listen to many different customer interactions throughout the day. These employees are in the unique position of listening to a variety of interactions, and can ‘read between the lines’ of conversations, identifying business process break downs, or areas where products can be improved.

Are you Listening?
Is your company currently recording telephone interactions? How are you using the recordings to improve your business? Perhaps managers could listen to selected calls to bring the voice of the customer to life. Or, maybe you could add an additional field to your quality management scorecards so that evaluators can note product requests or other issues that were identified as they listened to calls. Contact center representatives can flag calls for later reference, helping managers to immediately identify conversations that they should listen to because they deserve greater care or follow-up.

How are you listening and responding to your employees and customers? Have you been able to listen and put the voice of the customer to work within your organization?

Published in call recording contact center agent customer service quality management quality monitoring Telrex voice of the customer