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Five Tips for Improving Your Customer Service Agents’ Active Listening Skills - SelectVoiceCom - Blog

Five Tips for Improving Your Customer Service Agents’ Active Listening Skills

Working in a call center involves a lot of . “Thank you, Captain Obvious,” you’re probably saying now.

But listen.

While call center agents need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively, it is ultimately their active listening skills that will make a customer happy at the end of the call.

Active listening isn’t as easy as it sounds, however. If it is, everybody would be doing it.

It’s easy to tell an agent to pay attention to what the customer is saying. But it’s quite another thing to tell an agent to pay attention to what the customer is saying.

If you want to make meaningful connections with your clients, you need to ensure that every call center agent is doing the latter.

Here are effective tips to improve your customer service agents’ active listening skills.

1. Set up an environment where agents can easily maintain focus

Providing agents with a distraction-free work environment not only helps them maintain their focus on every call, but it also improves productivity on many levels.

A good first step is to invest in good quality headphones that produce great audio and effectively filters out background noise.

Is the ventilation system noisy? Do office chairs squeak easily? Are door hinges making quite a racket every time someone enters or leaves through the door?

Minor adjustments can alleviate all these.

It also doesn’t hurt to remind employees to speak in lowered voices when they’re on the floor.

By addressing issues concerning workplace acoustics, you can make it easier for agents to give customers their undivided attention.

2. Train agents to detect emotions

As is the case in every conversation, words alone don’t tell the whole story.The emotion behind them offer more context, which could go over the heads of those aren’t paying close attention.

Since call center agents don’t have the luxury of seeing the facial expressions of their customers, they can be trained to recognize emotions through speech patterns.

When customer service representatives can detect even the subtlest of emotions from their customers, chances are they will always respond appropriately and accordingly.

3. Train agents to stop anticipating the customer’s response

Some customer service reps fall into the habit of anticipating what customers are going to say especially if the issue sounds like something they’ve heard before.

When agents get it wrong (and it happens more often than not), callers tend to lose their train of thought. As a result, time is wasted. And call an agent lucky if the caller doesn’t feel offended about being preempted about what he was about to say.

4. Remind agents to always ask for clarifications when needed

Agents should not hesitate to ask for clarification if the customer has said something unclear or a tiny bit of info that needs further explanation.

When important information is missed, chances are it will take a long time for the caller’s issue to be resolved. Asking whenever necessary eliminates that obstacle.

5. Have representatives take notes

Customer service representatives will do well to take notes of all important details when the customer is speaking.

Why? Because it helps to have key points to refer to when agents are taking stock of the customer’s issue.

Note-taking also gives agents helpful reference points to go back to as they navigate their way towards a resolution.

What’s Next?

By following the tips mentioned above, your call center agents will undoubtedly make significant strides in improving their listening skills when taking calls.

Practice makes perfect, so it shouldn’t hurt to always remind your employees why active listening is an essential skill in the workplace.


Publish Date: January 8, 2018 5:00 AM

2021 Buyers Guide Automation


Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.


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Powered by Auraya's patented ArmorVox engine, EVA is a voice biometric extension that provides secure and seamless identification & verification capabilities for Amazon Connect. EVA provides delightful customer experience by removing the friction of providing PINs, passwords or secret information in order to prove caller identity. EVA comes standard with active and passive modes and a simple yet powerful agent interface. This allows for personalised self-service and a more friendly and efficient experience when interacting with an agent.

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UniCloud™ is an intuitive platform that allows Enterprises to deploy and manage their Unified Communication (UC) and Contact Center (CC) services with ease and entire provisioning can be completed in seconds using this comprehensive tool supporting digital transformation. The latest release 7.0 of UniCloud™ is a multi-tenant platform that transforms the delivery, management, and integration of collaboration and contact center solutions, for both Cloud and On-Premise deployment models.
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Emmersion offers automated assessments to quickly and accurately test speaking, writing, and grammar fluency in 9 languages and counting. We help contact centers improve CSAT scores by screening for top talent and retaining top performers.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

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