Customer Service Blog

Contacting vs Connecting during Covid

Seems we’re constantly reminded these days of the importance of ‘reaching out’ to others (can we please stop using that melodramatic cliché?). I agree that’s it’s helpful and therapeutic to communicate with customers, friends, and family during isolation. However, I believe even more important is whether we actually listen during those brief encounters. The research says we don’t. That’s a problem; particularly for people who are already feeling isolated.

University of Texas researchers concluded that the longer couples were together, the less likely they were to listen well to one another (I’m pretty sure my wife, Lydia concurs). Once we think we know someone, when they speak we mentally get ahead of them, drawing conclusions. We don’t listen; we wait. Fortunately, as I share in my Trusted Advisor programs, to be stronger listeners we merely need to say two words: “Sounds like…” Those words force you to paraphrase your understanding of what the person just shared. So, next time you Zoom/ phone/ text your customers, friends, or family, remember those words. They’re the difference between contacting and connecting.

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