10. Ask how you can help before proposing - Deepstash

10. Ask how you can help before proposing

Talk to your customer about how they want to proceed with the issue or inquiry. Sometimes, what you or your team offer to the customer could be far off from what they're looking for and just frustrate them. 

Therefore, should there be a consensus on both ends with a compromise that everyone is good with, will show how much you value the customer and your team's opinion.

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MORE IDEAS FROM 10 Tips for CSMs to Develop Active Listening Skills | ClientSuccess

9. Wait to solve the problem or solution

Before rushing in to solve your customer's problem, take a minute to comb through the possible solutions that you can offer them and then discuss this with the customer and your internal team.

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This tip is all about what isn't said. 

If a customer is explaining a product issue in pretty mild detail but is getting audily workeup up over user feedback, this may indicate where the bigger issue lies. 

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7. Stand in their shoes

This is a different way to say "try to empathize with the customer." As a CSM, you should be able to understand where the customer is coming from, or at least try to, especially when they are upset. 

Through empathizing, you can actually get to the root issue instead of the shallow level of questioning.

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If there is any sort of misunderstanding or something you need clarifying, don't hesitate to ask your customer, but don't forget to listen intently to their tone. 

Another thing that you should remember when probing for clarification is that you should never interrupt the customer while they're talking.

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1. Ask open-ended questions

Whena customer asks for help it's always a good idea to ask open-ended questions because usually when the customer calls their first thought may be just the tip of the iceberg. 

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We've established that empathy is important to CSMs but it should be clear that you can be vocal with your support and empathy. Regardless of whether you're talking through video or an in-person meeting. 

Do everything in your power to make your customer feel seen and heard. 

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One of the biggest threats to active listening is the many distractions that can be found in everyday life -- your phone, email, and corporate messaging platforms. 

You should give your customers your full attention. 

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5. Let them 'get it out of their system'

While listening to a customer sharing their issues, sometimes it's an instant reaction to jump in and begin your defensive strategr. However, instead of doing so it would be better if you let them say their piece so that they can get what they're feeling out of their system.

Afterwards, you can start to calmly discuss a solution with them. 

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3. Summarize well

After any discussion that you have with a customer, it's up to you to send out a summary of notes. It's helpful to take down notes while the customer is listening so you can repeat what you've understood from what they've said.

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RELATED IDEA

  1. Ignore internal and external distractions (thoughts and sounds).
  2. Listen to the content of their speech and their specific wording
  3. Listen to the context of their speech. Keep in mind the circumstances and themes and how they relate what’s being said.
  4. Listen to the tone of their voice. It conveys the speaker’s feelings.
  5. Listen for the emotions the speaker is likely experiencing so they will feel understood.
  6. Pay attention to their body language and make appropriate eye contact.
  7. Provide small verbal encouragements and don't fight silences.
  8. Ask open-ended questions to encourage elaboration and further your understanding of the big picture.
  9. If you need them to slow down or want specific info, ask close-ended questions.
  10. Offer affirmations that the person has made valuable and important choices.

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Effective communication

... is imperative for every successful business. Poor communication inevitably causes misunderstandings, confusion and conflicts that hinder productivity and professional relationships.

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Difficult customer conversations

Some conversations become difficult due to several factors.

  • It could be due to differences in people's expectations.
  • Miscommunication can contribute to misaligned expectations.
  • Emotions often steer people's conversations. Your customer may have a bad day or get confused.

Most tough situations can be avoided by understanding your customer's expectations and aligning them with the business's goals.

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