Improving Your Listening Skills
Photo by Davi Sommerfeld

When chatting with customers face-to-face, it’s easy to show you’re listening to their concerns and ready to help. Mix eye contact, a smile, and maybe a nod or two in with a helpful conversation, and Bam! Rapport established! Those smiles and nods don’t work as well over the phone, but letting callers know you’re paying close attention is just as important as connecting with customers in person.

The next time you’re on a phone call with a client or potential customer, try using these three easy tools to let ’em know you’re listening:


When a customer has a lot to say, paraphrase it back in your own words. Restating will show the customer you’re listening closely, and help you fully understand the customer’s needs. Restating is a must when taking down a custsomer’s contact information — always repeat telephone numbers, addresses, and any numerical information customers give you over the phone, and confirm street names, city names, or any easily-confusable words, to be sure you’re able to get in touch with the customer. When it comes to typing phone numbers and email addresses, one slip of the finger could mean a lost sale!


When customers share personal info, consider it a chance to connect! Whether it’s a mention of a marriage proposal or just an off-hand comment about next weekend’s plans, always acknowledge a personal revelation, and ask a question or two get to know your customer better. People do business with people they like, and who doesn’t like a bit of attention? Show your customers you care by taking the time to engage in a little friendly chitchat when you have the chance.


There’s no simpler way to show you’re listening than to use your caller’s name. Try repeating names as soon as they’re given to you. A simple “Thank you, Shelly!” is a great way to get the job done. People love hearing their names for all sorts of reasons, and when you address a customer by name, you build rapport and show you’re paying attention.