Problem-solving is a key skill for your IT customer service teams, but as a CIO, IT manager, or MSP owner, you know interpersonal skills such as listening are just as critical. When IT professionals have the people skills to develop a good rapport with customers and coworkers and create a positive interaction, the result is more satisfied customers and higher functioning teams. One important aspect of interpersonal communication is listening skills. Here’s why they matter.
Interpersonal Communication Listening Skills: The Difference They Make
Listening Skills Help the Customer Feel Heard
Effective listening includes non-verbal communication like appropriate eye contact, open body language, and thoughtful facial expressions. When you listen well and are a good conversation partner, your customer feels valued and heard, improving the customer’s satisfaction with the interaction. If a customer has to fight to feel heard, they will leave feeling frustrated – even if their technical issue was resolved. Interpersonal communication listening skills take an interpersonal interaction from average to excellent.
Active Listening Ensures Accuracy
Active listening takes the act of listening one step further. As an active listener, you are an active participant focused on understanding rather than just hearing. When you use this technique you get a better understanding of the problem and can identify an accurate solution faster. This is an easy skill to learn; active listening exercises include paraphrasing what the speaker has said, asking for confirmation that your understanding is accurate, and seeking clarification when needed. Take active listening to the next level with other interpersonal skills like appropriate eye contact and attention to nonverbal messages.
Listening Saves Time
It’s tempting for IT pros to multitask at the beginning of a service call. It feels efficient to start investigating the technology while your customer describes their issue – but the problem is that, no matter how skilled you are, if you’re not fully listening it’s easy to miss a small yet critical detail. Interpersonal communication listening skills are an important part of the troubleshooting process. Taking a few minutes to actively engage in the listening process can save time in the long run and give you a better understanding of the problem so you can implement the correct solution more quickly.
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