Good Business Practice – Understanding Client Needs

In a customer/client-focused organisation, employees listen to the customers for their input and feedback in order to ascertain what they consider is important about the products supplied or the way service is delivered.

Improvements can then be made resulting in the organisation gaining a competitive advantage over other firms as customers will be happy to become long-term clients.

Active listening – Listening is an important skill in communicating with others, as you are able to understand and interpret what the other person is saying. To fully understand the message being conveyed, it is important that you ask questions to clarify the meaning. It is also important to clarify that the other person understands your message. If the client has written or emailed the business for information, it may be necessary to phone them to clarify their needs.

Non-verbal signs – Body and facial expressions are often used when communicating. It is important that your body language is not conveying something different to what you are saying.

Making use of correct questioning techniques – Questioning is an important tool used to obtain feedback and clarification of a message, to ensure that the receiver understands what the sender is saying. There are three main questioning techniques.

Open questions encourage the sharing of information and usually require longer answers, e.g. for what purpose are you purchasing this product?

Closed questions are usually asking for a yes or no answer, and do not encourage any further discussion, e.g. Would you like to purchase this product?

Reflective questions are structured so that the person answers in a particular way, to make their needs clear, e.g. Why does this product interest you?

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