You feel you and the customer have come to some agreement, or resolution. You think it's clear what you have said you would do (or the company), and what the customer should expect.
The problem is, and this applies even more to angry emotional people, often they get it wrong, or don't "hear" what the agreement entails. That can lead to more conflict and frustration for everyone down the road.
The Solution? Summarize The Conversation
It's a simple technique used either in the middle or at the end of a conversation, this involves doing a quick recap of the critical parts of the discussion. Summarize the important details, particularly any specific commitments you and/or your customer have made during the conversation.
Summarizing shows that you’re paying attention, but there’s a more important reason to use it.It’s not uncommon during conversations for both parties to believe that they understand what’s being said in exactly the same way. If misunderstandings aren’t caught, serious problems can arise. Summarizing allows you to confirm with the customer that both you and he or she understand what has been said in the same way.
Summarizing verbally can be accompanied by providing the customer with a takeaway—a written summary of the conversation. If you can get the customer to explain his or her understanding of the conversation, or the agreements and committments, you are even better off.
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