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Building Trust and Loyalty through Active Listening

Cultivating Customer Relationships through the Art of Active Listening

Shep Hyken interviews Heather Younger, Founder & CEO of Employee Fanatix and author of The Art of Active Listening: How People at Work Feel Heard, Valued, and Understood. She talks about creating a culture of listening to ensure customers feel heard, valued, and understood.

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Top Takeaways:

  • Failing to listen to the customer communicates apathy and rudeness. It tells the customer that you do not care enough to engage.
  • Heather Younger shares her 5-step framework on how to listen better:
  1. Recognize the unsaid. Look at the nonverbal cues. Listen for pauses and voice inflections. Sense what is happening in the environment. If you don’t recognize what your customers are not telling you, you leave blind spots that hinder you from fruitful listening.
  2. Seek to understand. The main focus should be service. Give your customers the undivided attention required to be on the same page. Use techniques like paraphrasing so that the customers know that their verbal and nonverbal message is received properly.
  3. Decode. Pause and reflect. If we respond too quickly, we often don’t solve the problem that needs solving. Responding too quickly often creates a bigger issue than before because we didn’t take the time to investigate, research, or involve a bigger team.
  4. Act. Figure out what solutions the customer is looking for, act quickly, and keep your promises if you cannot deliver the solution right away.
  5. Close the loop. Thank the customer for their feedback, then let them know what actions you took or are going to take. This lets the customer know that they are more than just a number. It also builds trust.
  • Plus, Heather shares the biggest barriers to listening that customer service employees are experiencing. Tune in!


“When you keep your promises to your customers, they feel valued, heard, and understood.”

“When you make a mistake, what you do to resolve it for your customer is an opportunity to show how good you are.”

“The biggest present you could give someone is your presence. Your understanding and undivided attention can be the game changer for your customer’s day.”


Heather Younger is a keynote speaker, a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategist, Founder & CEO of Employee Fanatix, and a bestselling author. Learn more about her new book, The Art of Active Listening: How People at Work Feel Heard, Valued, and Understood.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions and more:

  1. What is active listening?
  2. Why is active listening important?
  3. What are the barriers to active listening?
  4. How can active listening improve customer experience?
  5. How does body language affect active listening?


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