Kevin Stirtz’s Amazing Service Rule# 15:
Don’t interrupt your customer when they’re talking to you.
We all know listening skills are fundamental to working with and getting along with others. They’re so basic it should be a given that we’re all excellent listeners.
But we aren’t, are we?
In fact, most of us are lousy listeners. We focus on what we want to say. We react. We defend. We justify. We race ahead of the other person to formulate our response. And we interrupt them.
Sometimes we listen but what they say prompts more questions. We want to help but we need more details. Often we’re so eager to help we rush forward before they’ve had a chance to finish.
So we interrupt them.
Or worse, we disagree with them. Maybe we feel the need to explain or defend. We might even disregard what they’re saying because we don’t respect their opinion or their judgement.
No matter what the reason, interrupting someone is rude. Sometimes you have no choice, as in an emergency or urgent situation. But usually we have a choice. And when we choose to interrupt a customer before they’re finished speaking it’s because we’re focused on our needs, not theirs. We’re trying to accomplish something we want.
When a customer is speaking it’s not just an opportunity for them to explain something. They might also be venting. Interrupt that and you could make a bad situation much worse.
We all think and speak at our own pace. One of the best ways to connect with your customer, and give them a positive experience is to match their pace. If they talk slower then you normally do, then SLOW DOWN. Don’t expect them to speed up to your pace. They won’t. Or if they do they’ll feel uncomfortable and pressured.
The opportunity to speak and be heard without being interrupted is a rare gift these days. Most often we have to fight to be heard. It’s a battle.
And yet it’s a simple, easy thing to do for someone that pays huge dividends. As humans, we all want to be acknowledged and accepted. We want to be heard. When we are heard, we feel better about ourselves and about the people who gave us that opportunity.
You want more loyal customers?
Give them the opportunity to talk without being interrupted. They’ll love it and you’ll stand out because nobody does that anymore.
The article was written by Kevin Stirtz