Good Active Listening in IT Customer Service

a man sitting at a table talking to another man.

Active listening in IT customer service makes the difference between a good customer experience and a poor customer experience. It’s really that simple. People who listen well gain the respect of others, gain more complete information, and solve problems faster. People who interrupt and talk over others are annoying, unhelpful, and take longer to solve problems.

Active listening in IT customer service means you listen intently for meaning, you demonstrate you’re listening through verbal cues and body language. When you use active listening techniques, you ask relevant questions to gain a deeper understanding of what the other person is saying. It means you listen in a way that makes the speaker feel respected and dignified.

Here are five ways you can be a better active listener in IT customer service (or any other type of customer service, for that matter):

#1: Focus entirely on the speaker to understand and remember what they’re saying. Pay attention to their non-verbal cues.

#2: Give verbal and non-verbal cues to show you’re listening.

#3: Don’t do anything else while the speaker is speaking, such as checking your phone or looking around the room.

#4: Stop talking. Don’t interrupt, talk over, or finish sentences for the other person.

#5: Take notes to help you remember what the speaker is saying. I keep a notebook with me most of the time to take notes on phone conversations and to write down ideas that come to me. You can use a notebook, a tablet, or a piece of scrap paper, but take notes.

Active Listening in IT Customer Service

One of the most common reasons companies ask me to speak with their teams is something related to improving listening skills. In order to succeed in your career, you must learn to be a good listener to end-users, customers, bosses, co-workers, and, frankly, everyone else. You don’t have to agree with what you hear and you don’t need to like what you hear. You just need to hear it! Active listening in IT customer service allows you to make an informed decision about what to do.

Oh, and by the way, a great way to practice active listening skills is with your spouse or partner, other family members, and friends.

The Dalai Lama said it well. When you talk, you hear only what you already know. When you listen, you gain new information.

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