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How do you know what your customers want? How can you find out what your customers need?

Finding the answers to these questions requires you to listen carefully to your customers. Hopefully, your answers reflect some of the skills we talked about in Listening for Understanding. You will need to practice those skills and give your full attention to the customer in order to communicate with them.

Giving someone your full attention  isn’t always an easy thing to do in the workplace. In many instances you may be called upon to block out multiple distractions, such as taking calls or dealing with other employees while talking with a customer. Although it may be difficult, your main focus should be your customer and what they are requesting. Try not to judge your customer as “bad” because s/he has a complaint or needs further assistance. 

Why do you think employees sometimes judge their customers?

Have you ever returned an item to a business or needed further assistance and felt as though the employee did not want to help you? How did this make you feel?

When you are with a customer in situations such as these, your ability to communicate effectively will make everyone a winner ~  you, the business for which you are working, and, most importantly, the customer.

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This program was developed by the West Virginia State Department of Education, the West Virginia Workplace Education Program, and the Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) V.