Listen with the intent to understand

From the course: De-Escalating Intense Situations

  • Course details

    Nearly every customer service professional has encountered a livid customer. These individuals may yell, curse, or forcefully disagree with a policy that you must enforce, but can't control. Such situations are unquestionably tough, but—with the right approach—you can consistently de-escalate the tension. In this course, instructor Myra Golden shares strategies for defusing intense situations, providing practical approaches that can help you calm angry customers. Myra goes over what often causes situations to escalate, and shares practical steps you can take to prevent an escalation. She also provides tips that can help you reframe conversations, manage expectations, handle customers who ask for your supervisor, and more.

    Instructor

    • Click here to view Myra Golden’s instructor page

      Myra Golden

      Customized Engaging Digital Customer Service Training and Instructor at LinkedIn Learning

      Myra Golden is an author, trainer, and keynote speaker.

      For over 20 years, Myra has been helping companies improve the customer experience through her customer service training workshops. She has a master's degree in human relations and a bachelor's degree in psychology, helping her to understand the challenges of developing the best customer experience as it relates to the psychology of the employees.

      Myra has helped McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Michelin, Frito-Lay, Vera Bradley and many others improve the customer experience through her training. She was named one of the top 10 customer service bloggers by Huffington Post, and she is the co-author of Beyond WOW: Defining A New Level of Customer Service.

    Skills covered in this course

  • Why you've been unsuccessful with angry customers

    - There are two ways you can listen to a customer. You can listen with the intent to reply. Listening with the intent to reply is listening for your opportunity to direct the customer where you think they need to go. You're listening with the intent to control the interaction. The other way to listen to customers is to listen with the intent to understand. With this level of listening, you seek to understand the other person, you don't interrupt or make assumptions. Your only focus is understanding the customer's perspective. Let's watch the difference between listening with the intent to reply and listening with the intent to understand. - Hi, I'd like to check the status of a shipment. - Shipping details are available on our website 24 hours a day, do you need the web address? - I've already tracked on your website, my issue is the package shows delivered but I don't have it. - Tracking number? - Yes, hold on. TY3729. - The package was delivered yesterday at 3:06 p.m. and left on the front porch. - Right, the thing is I did not receive the package. I'm wondering if it was left on the wrong address? - The employee heard track and automatically replied with a wrote response. He was so focused on reading off the tracking details that he missed the customer's question about the package being left at the wrong address. Mistakes like this happen a lot and it's usually because we're on autopilot and listening just to jump in and reply. If we make a pattern of listening to reply, customers may become frustrated and that can lead to a situation that escalates. Let's try this again. - I'd like to check the status of a shipment. - I'm happy to help. Do you happen to have the tracking number? - Sure, TY3729. - Awesome, thank you. So it looks like the package was delivered yesterday at 3:06 p.m. and left on the porch. - Yes, but I did not receive the package. I'm wondering if it was left on the wrong address? - Ah, so it looks like we need to research a missing package for you. Don't worry about it, I'll take care of that for you right now. - Awesome, thank you. - Here, the employee didn't make assumptions and his focus wasn't on getting his point across. The focus was on seeking to understand the customer. The problem with listening with the intent to reply is it's not real listening. It's listening just enough to get your point across, selectively hearing only part of what the customer says, so you miss things. And when you miss things, you're more likely to have an interaction escalate.

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Contents