I have recently been practicing not interrupting. In the process of practicing this, it has come to my attention that I am not the only person who does it. Amazingly, many people interrupt when their customer is talking. Do you want to know the top five reasons not to interrupt when your client is talking? Read on.
1. Your customer is handing you a gift when they talk to you, especially if they are complaining. They are telling you what you can do to improve your business. If we can just keep silent long enough, we’ll learn what it is that we can do to enhance our product or service, delight our customers instead of upsetting them, and turn them into excellent references, which will increase sales. So, help me out here, but why on earth would we not want all that? One reason might be that we aren’t very humble. See no. 2 below.
2. It shows humility. Swallowing our pride is difficult, but if we can do it, readily admitting our faults (and our organisation’s), we can realise the above benefits. Most people are attracted to humility. But most of us don’t display it. We’re too busy letting everyone know how wonderful we are!
3. To not be rude. It’s not acceptable courteous behaviour between humans to interrupt. Don’t we teach our children not to do this? Didn’t we get taught this ourselves as children? But, you say, I have a brilliant comment to make which is, a. clever, b. humorous, c. clarifying, d. all of the above. Of course you do. We all do. But if you want to be polite and civil, wait until the person speaking is finished.
4. To not be impatient. You want to have your say and be as efficient as possible in the conversation. Tell me, how does that go for you at home with your spouse or children? Should you treat your customer with any less patience than your family? People want to be heard. People, all people, even an angry client, deserve to be heard and respected, simply because they are persons who have the dignity of being human.
Impatience has been the cause of all kinds of problems in children which manifest themselves in various ways when those children become adults. You don’t want your customer to grow up to resent you, do you?
5. To show that you value what the person is saying. That’s being wise. The person who is talking could have an insight that will make a huge difference in the quality of your customer service.
Listen. Value what’s said, and don’t interrupt. Please.
It’s not acceptable courteous behaviour between humans to interrupt.
AdvantageCS is the developer of Advantage – subscription, marketing and membership management software for publishers, who use it to manage their digital subscriptions, entitlements, magazines, bundles, e-products, conferences and events, membership and donations, payments and customer service. A privately-held company, AdvantageCS has been serving the publishing industry since 1979.
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This article was first published in the Publishing Partners Guide 2020, which was distributed with the January / February issue of InPublishing magazine.