It's been said, "You can talk yourself out of a customer, but you can never listen yourself out of a customer." What does this saying mean?

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The saying means that there is a high risk of losing a customer by talking too much, but there is no risk of losing the customer by intently listening to them or listening too much (if there is such a thing).

The phrase points to the importance of listening rather...

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The saying means that there is a high risk of losing a customer by talking too much, but there is no risk of losing the customer by intently listening to them or listening too much (if there is such a thing).

The phrase points to the importance of listening rather than just talking when engaging a customer. For instance, a salesperson who talks a lot about the product, its benefits and why the customer should buy it may likely not make the sale. However, the salesperson may take the time to listen to the customer and adequately respond to their concerns. By understanding the customer and addressing the customer’s concerns, the salesperson may then get an opportunity to pitch the product as a solution, and not just an opportunity to make a sale. When one listens, they get a chance to understand and respond sufficiently and appropriately from a point of knowledge. The phrase implies that one cannot do too much of listening but rather accentuates the need for it.

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There is a difference between hearing and listening. Effective customer service skills include having effective listening skills. Listening requires focusing on what is communicated from the customer with an open mind and great amount of attention. A powerful way to connect with a customer, especially an irate customer, is to just listen and knowing when to respond with the appropriate verbal acknowledgments.

Good listening involves paying close attention on how the customer is communicating the problem by listening to the tone of the voice and the language (non-verbal/verbal). Sometimes an empathetic acknowledgment to a customer complaint can come across inappropriate because of the timing of the apology. All you hear is how upset the customer is and you are trained to be empathetic and give an apology. However, rushing in an apology before the customer has fully explained their discontent may come across as rude or robotic. This is what happens when you only hear what the customer saying and not listening to the customer to know when to chime in an apology. This is when the loss of a customer could be the end result.

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