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Summarize the customer's opening statement. Before you attempt to handle a customer's request, make sure you understand what the customer wants. Recap what the customer said without repeating it verbatim. You could say, "You received your order, but we sent you a blue jacket instead of white?" This way the customer will clear up any confusion before you go on, "No, I received a white jacket but I wanted blue." If it is a short request, such as a call to place an order, incorporate the summary into your assurance statement, "I'll be happy to take your catalog order."
- Renee Evenson, Customer Service Training 101
As Renee Evenson states, repeating the customer's request helps prompt the customer to clarify anything you may have misunderstood, which makes your conversation much more efficient. In addition, it quickly and confidently shows the customer that you have taken charge of the request and are "on the case." If you are not currently using such confirmation/clarification statements regularly, challenge yourself to use at least 10 this week to see how they can make a positive contribution to your conversations. Also, consider that you don't have to use them only with customers - they can also be very valuable when working with colleagues.
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