5 Ways to Be a Better Listener—in Life and in Business Image

5 Ways to Be a Better Listener—in Life and in Business

By Riana Upton

There’s a reason why we’re groomed to be good listeners since Kindergarten. It’s a way to foster relationships in our personal lives and comes in handy with our customers. 

At Gainsight, our mission is to “Be successful in business by being Human-first.” You’d be surprised how the basics of listening that we’ve grown up learning can also be applied to our customers. After all, behind every click, call, or email, humans are there trying to get their job done.

Below, we’ll explore five ways you can be a better listener so your customers feel heard and how Gainsight CX can help you put these into practice.

You Asked, We Listened: See Gainsight CX in Action

If we learned anything in 2020, we can plan all we want, but in the end, we need to listen to our customers to pivot and keep up with the times. Gainsight’s customer experience solution has made strides in the last year, and you’re invited to check it out. We’ll show you how to better listen to customers, act on their feedback, and analyze their sentiment to drive real change. 

Join us on January 28th for a live Gainsight CX demo to demonstrate how you can put the best practices from this blog post into action. Click here to register today.

5 Best Practices to Be a Better (Customer) Listener 

1. Ask the Right Questions at the Right Time

We’ve all felt the disconnect that happens when you’re having a conversation and someone asks an irrelevant question. Maybe you already covered the topic, or perhaps it’s entirely from left field—either way, it shows they aren’t listening and can throw an entire constructive conversation off course. This same jarring experience can happen to your customers. When it comes to asking customers the right questions, you need to make sure you’re sending the right survey type through the right channel.

Gainsight CX provides many survey types for you to choose from so you can ensure that you’re asking the right questions. Whether the situation calls for NPS, CES, CSAT, a multiple-choice question, or a custom question, you can build the right survey for the task in Gainsight’s Survey feature. For more on best practices on when to ask the right questions, check out the following:

2. Put What You’ve Heard Into Action

Is there anything more satisfying than when you recommend a tv show to someone and the very next day they go, “I just started watching that show you recommended!” That’s because they’re putting what they heard into action. It shows they were actively listening and value your recommendation. You can do the same for your customers by going beyond surveys and implementing their feedback into your product. 

Taking feedback from the source up the chain to Product and Engineering is a common challenge for companies. Sometimes it can feel like customer comments are disappearing down a black hole. Gainsight CX provides many ways for you to make sure the right information gets to the right people. CX Center is our command center for B2B CX. It provides a centralized location for customer experience data so stakeholders can see an aggregated view of customer sentiment and identify what matters to customers using advanced Natural Language Processing. 

This one-stop-shop for customer insights can be incredibly useful for product-focused teams. They can get to the root cause of product friction and pinpoint key areas for improvement. It’s also helpful for customer-facing teams as they iterate on adoption and onboarding strategies. 

3. Close the Loop

Piggybacking off the previous best practice of putting what you’ve heard into action, one of the simplest ways to be a great listener is closing the loop! We’ve all been doing this one since we’ve been interviewing for jobs. You know—that “thanks for talking with me” email that you send post-interview. Closing the loop with customers is a tenant of proper customer experience strategy because it prevents advocates and at-risk customers from falling through the cracks. 

Gainsight CX provides the means for you to follow up with these types of customers and gather insights on the NPS and sentiment of companies as a whole. Gainsight’s Journey Orchestrator allows you to automate important touchpoints in the customer journey. As part of these automated programs, you can trigger your Customer Success Managers’ tasks to follow up based on survey responses. 

If a customer responds with a high Promoter score on their NPS survey, CSMs can reach out and get the customer involved in advocate activities or upsell opportunities. If a customer responds with a low Detractor score, the CSM can follow up with them and help them get back on track to success. Following up is one of the most important ways a company can use survey responses to influence future business!

4. Don’t Interrupt!

Nobody likes to be cut off. In your product, this applies to when a user is executing a workflow. Timing your surveys is an integral part of a good customer experience strategy because you want them to fit seamlessly into user workflow. The better you time your surveys, the less of an interruption they’ll be. For example, if you bookend a workflow instead of triggering an in-app survey right in the middle of it, you’re not only going to be less disruptive, but you’ll get better results.

With Gainsight, you can reach your customers through many channels and tailor this to the workflow. Using Gainsight PX, you can trigger in-app surveys to come up after they’ve completed a workflow. This is a meaningful way to capture sentiment at the source, useful for new feature releases or product enhancements. Or perhaps you’re onboarding a new customer and want to see how their process is going. Using Journey Orchestrator, you can trigger an email to go out when they’ve reached specific milestones. 

5. Go Into Important Interactions with a Plan

If you’re too focused on what you want out of a conversation, you risk missing out on important information along the way. Most discovery meetings will have a list of questions prepped beforehand to ensure you walk away with the best insights. You can apply this same practice to your customer experience efforts and survey outreach by planning out important moments in your customer journey and creating outreaches that map to them.

With Journey Orchestrator, you can ensure that every outreach remains consistent and follows best practices. You can use CX Center, your single source of customer experience data, to make meaningful adjustments to your Journey Orchestrator programs to ensure you’re reaching out at the right time with the right message.

Listen to, Act on, and Analyze Feedback With Gainsight CX

When your customers know you’re listening, they’re more likely to speak up. Following these five best practices will ensure your customers feel heard, and your customer experience will be better because of it. 

The right tools can also help you be a better listener. Join us on Thursday, January 28th, for a live demo of Gainsight CX to see how you can operationalize the best practices in this blog post. You’ll learn how Gainsight’s Surveys, Journey Orchestrator, CX Center, and more will ensure your customer feedback won’t fall through the cracks. Click here to register and during the live demo, let us know what your priorities are in 2021—we’re all ears!

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