Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stop Driving Your Customers Crazy - Part 3

Crazy-Maker Number Three: You don’t listen well enough.

I will admit it. More than once a client has started a sentence saying, "But I told you . . .”
When I was young and immature, those words waved a red flag in front of me and I wanted to argue their validity. As I got older and wiser I recognized that often a client tried to communicate but I missed the message.

Hearing is a physical condition. Listening is a learned skill. The easiest way to be a better listener is to stop interrupting. Do clients the courtesy of allowing them to put their complete thoughts into works and you’ll gain a better understanding of their message.

Single task when you talk to clients on the phone. Don’t read emails while they’re talking because you’re sure to miss something. Don’t type emails—they can hear the keys clicking.

And as an addendum . . . if you’re discussing something complicated take notes. Type the notes, send them to your client and insure you all have the same common understanding.

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