1.How do hearing and listening differ? (5 points) Hearing is purely physiological activity while listening while listening also involves the psychological processing of sound.
2.What is the “cocktail party effect”? What can you do to minimize this effect when dealing with a customer? The cocktail party effect is several conversations going on at the same time. To minimize the effect I would make a conscious effort to listen to what the customer is trying to tell me.
3.What are three major elements that complicate listening? Give customer-service related examples of each. The elements that complicate listening is the internal elements within the listener’s mind, environmental elements surrounding the communication, interactional elements that arise especially from listener self-centeredness and self-protection. To start with, internal elements involve the use of words at a level that the hearer can hear, and the most importantly, can understand. Talking loudly and nonsense or meaninglessly can totally deviate your customers from doing business with your company.
4.What happens when people experience communication overload? People who experience communication overload tent to get stress out. Describe at least three ways we respond. How can this be a problem in customer service?
5.What do we mean by environmental and internal “noise”? Give examples of each as they might be found in a customer service situation. Environmental noise is sometimes called physical noise, which means anything that is external to both the sender and the receiver that disrupts the sending or receiving of messages. Examples of physical noise include a stereo playing loudly, a cell phone ringing, loud machinery.
6.How do “gatekeepers” complicate the listening process? Gatekeepers can be useful and necessary but can also cause us to miss or distort some messages we may need. What can organizations do to minimize the number of gatekeepers between customer and top management? Organizations can develop a clear policy on the situations that need their direct attention and make all lower level position able to address them instead of using gatekeepers.
7.What are self-centeredness and self-protection as they relate to listening? Give and example of each in the context of customer service. Both affect the listening process that tends to orient listening behaviors toward biased interpretations of messages. An example is if a salesperson feels particularly strong about selling a certain product, for whatever reason, she or he may literally not even hearing the customer’s request for a different product. Another example, sometimes we engage in conjecture by listening to ourselves, by anticipating what might be said, instead of what the customer is actually saying.