Use your ears to begin good customer service

No. #1 of the Top Five Things Businesses Should Do to Piss Off Their Customers


It’s so simple yet it’s not. Listen to your customer – every word, every inflection, and every bit of emotion.

Listening is about understanding your customers’ concerns, noting their perceptions and being aware of their tone.

Are they just being polite when really they’re frustrated?  Are they shy or introverted where an “in your face” approach won’t work? Do they need a lot of assistance or barely any at all?

Not listening can lead to anything from a wrong food order to a yelling match in the middle of your store.

I once met with a financial advisor at BMO who told me a very simplistic story about how I could save money and get out of debt. This was a story (he told me this) that he told everyone that came to see him. I found it to be one of the most condescending things I’d ever heard. The same approach doesn’t work on everyone. If he’d listened to my impatient tone and matter of fact questions, he might have understood that, but rather, he painted all his clients with the same brush.  Your customers are unique and the same tactics don’t always work. Hell, sometimes they backfire.

Customers want to be heard and know their concerns are understood. Most of the time, if there’s a complaint or any issue, all the staff needs to do is listen to address the problem. Nothing more.

Good listening will allow you to solve their problem and build a relationship.  You are a human being, not a business to them. Please act like it.

To recap: Listen. 

Now, go back in time to find the top things businesses should do to piss off their customers: Number TWO, Number THREE, Number FOUR, Number FIVE

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