Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why It Pays to Listen

Being a good call center agent is not all about being a good English speaker. The main focus of our profession is managing an effective two-way communication between our customers and ourselves. The process of information relay determines the success of each correspondence or transaction. Although we have been given a script and the proper training, the actual process involved hinges on our ability to “listen and speak” as we get our information across. These abilities are interchangeable. Given that there are exceptional speakers and listeners who are born with the exact skills needed to become excellent communicators, those of us who may not have been granted such gifts by birth right always have the chance of developing them provided the right training and education.

During our training, most of us may have focused more on harnessing our speaking skills. However, good speaking is rendered useless if we do not know how to listen well. Hearing and listening should not be equated, for they are different. Most people capable of hearing may not know how it is like to listen, and those who may be devoid of hearing ability may uncannily have an unusual knack for listening—which is understanding with their minds and hearts that is. For call center agents, listening involves not just hearing your customer out but understanding his needs. Doing so enables you to respond properly and communicate in a way that best serves his and your interest.

Nonetheless, sometimes in a desperate need to end the day, as we are already frazzled by stress, it is a common mistake to just speak like a phone recorder, droning on without even noticing that we are talking at the same time as the person on the other end of the line. Once this happens, no exchange of information takes place, hence the process is botched. By this, we are hampered from meeting our goals. And when our goals are not met, we lose a potential customer, thus we fail to serve our purpose.

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