What is your immediate reaction when receiving a call from someone who is obviously working off of a script on the other end? When they jump right into it as soon as you say Hello without allowing you a word in otherwise? Do you wait patiently until the person has finished speaking before you begin speaking? Do you interrupt them mid-sentence? Or, do you wait for them to take a breath and use that opportunity to interject and get in a few words? These calls are generally not enjoyable for either party, much is left unsaid and quite often you hang up feeling the call wasn’t successful.

Gone are the days of picking up the telephone and allowing our own discomfort to fill the voids of silence during conversations with our customers. Instead we need to ask key questions to allow and encourage them to do most of the talking. This allows us to gain invaluable knowledge of their concerns, and to understand the broader picture of their needs which in turn helps us to serve them better. Our primary role during the conversation is to listen attentively.

We have learned that there is a time to talk and a time to listen, and it is often in our silence that opportunities appear.