Every good husband knows that when his wife comes to him with a problem, usually she is not looking for a solution but a sympathetic ear. This need doesn’t apply only to wives. Everyone wants to feel like they’ve been heard and understood. Recently my brothers and I were having a closely contested golf match and there was confusion over our high-stakes bet of $5. We were on the last hole and I stated what I thought the bet was. As my brother started to explain how I was wrong, I responded by saying “It’s okay.” But he wanted to keep explaining and hearing me reply again “It’s okay” was not making things better. Your customers are the same way. You may be able to solve their problem immediately. But don’t. You will probably only make them mad. When a customer has a problem, initially they don’t want to hear “It’s okay and we’ll correct the problem.” Instead, your customers want to tell you all about their problem and how it’s affected them. They need you to listen, and they need to feel like you understand just how inconvenient, costly, frustrating, or irritating this problem has been. Just listening to your customer will in many cases solve the problem. A sympathetic ear can be better than a solution mouth.