Do You Have 15/15 Of These Customer Service Skills?
Good customer service is important in any industry. Customer service not only provides value in helping forge strong relationships with customers, it creates positive endorsements from loyal customers that can also help strengthen your brand.
Research shows that 97% of customers will tell others about a positive customer service experience, and 70% would offer repeat business to a company that has excellent customer service.
See below for the 15 most important customer service skills necessary for obtaining superb customer service status – do your customer service skills make the cut?
Great service beats fast service every time. When dealing with callers who are contacting customer service because they’re frustrated or confused, it is important to stay calm and make sure you take the time to fully understand their concerns.
Attentiveness is massively important in providing great service to your customers. Being attentive means having the ability to really listen to what your customers are saying. Watch the language and terms they use to describe their problems to better understand the connotations of their feedback.
Clear Communication Skills
When it comes to important points that you need to relay clearly to customers, keep it simple and leave nothing to doubt. Make sure you are getting to the problem at hand quickly and explaining things well enough that there’s no room for miscommunications that can lead to frustration for both parties involved.
Knowledge Of Your Service Or Product
“Knowing the product that you support inside and out is mission critical for anyone in support. Having that solid product foundation not only ensures you’ve got the best tricks up your sleeve to help customers navigate even the most complex situations, it also helps you build understanding about their experience so that you can become their strongest advocate.” -Elyse Roach, Product Specialist
Ability To Use Positive Language
Language plays a key role in persuasion and the general perception of you and your company. Positive changes in conversational patterns can go a long way in creating a happy client base.
An example from business consultant Gregory Ciotti proposes subtle differences in language:
- Without positive language: “I can’t get you that product until next month; it is back-ordered and unavailable at this time.”
- With positive language: “That product will be available next month. I can place the order for you right now and make sure that it is sent to you as soon as it reaches our warehouse.”
Make sure the language you’re using doesn’t appear negative, which can put off customers and harm your brand.
Time Management Skills
Though time should be spent helping a customer fully, it is important to do so in an efficient way. If you come to realise there is an issue that you cannot solve, don’t spend the time going above and beyond for a customer who you ultimately cannot help. Instead, find someone who can better address the issue and pass the client over to them. It’s a better use of everyone’s time, and a good support professional should recognise that.
Ability To Read Customers
The ability to read a customer is part of the personalisation process because it takes knowing your customers to create a personal experience for them. It is also essential in avoiding miscommunications that can lead to loss of a customer due to confusion or discontent. Look and listen for subtle clues about mood, patience level and personality of a customer, and reply in a similar manner. This helps to keep all customer interactions positive.
Ability To Keep Calm Under Pressure
It is the job of a customer service representative to be the “rock” for panicked or disgruntled clients. The best customer service reps know they can’t let a heated customer force them to lose their cool. Staying calm under pressure is the best way to show that you can competently and collectedly solve problems for your customers, which will further establish a good relationship between you and your clients.
Ability To Close Out
Being able to conclude a conversation in a way that solves the problem and leaves the customer satisfied is incredibly important for good customer service. Getting a customer to confirm satisfaction lets you know that the customer feels assured their issue has been taken care of, and it helps guarantee that they won’t call about the issue again. Having closing ability shows that you care about getting things right, that you’re willing to keep going until you get it right, and that the customer is the one who determines what “right” is.
Ability To Expect The Unexpected
The ability to handle surprises is particularly valuable when facing a situation not defined in your company’s guidelines, or if a client is reacting in an unanticipated way. You should be able first and foremost to think on your feet, but there are ways to prepare for the unexpected.
Consider who you’ll defer to in matters over your head and create a plan for who your “go-to” person is for different situations when you don’t know what to do. Preparation here is key; with it, you can handle any curveballs thrown your way.
A lot of the time, enquiries to customer service resources are based on curiosity regarding your company or products from people who aren’t yet clients. Use persuasion to convince interested customers that your product is right for them – in customer service, you’re as much a salesperson as an advocate for the brand, so being able to balance the two and think on your feet is a great way to increase your customer base.
Good Work Ethic
This one’s self-explanatory. A good work ethic is invaluable in customer service, as it proves to both you and your clients that you’re dedicated and capable of completing tasks, ensuring that any issues will be solved as promptly and efficiently as possible.
Empathy comes into play when you can’t tell a customer what they want to hear – it’s an unfortunate reality most businesses face at some point or another, but if you can speak to your clients with care, concern and understanding, it can soften the blow of unfavourable news and help lead towards a better outcome down the line.
Maintaining a cheery persona, especially when faced with potentially rude or angry customers, can be an arduous task, so having some ability to act can come in very handy. Just remember that you’re always going to come across people who you’ll never be able to keep happy, so take it with a grain of salt and respond with a smile. #fakeit’tilyoumakeit
Willingness To Learn
“Those who don’t seek to improve what they do, whether it’s building products, marketing businesses, or helping customers, will get left behind by the people willing to invest in their skills.” -Gregory Ciotti, business consultant
A willingness to learn allows your company to grow with you. If you’re open to new experiences, new methods and new ideas, you’ll become more adaptable, capable of handling any and all tasks that come your way.
Master This List, And You’re Sure To Keep Customers Satisfied. A Happy Customer Is A Repeat Customer, So Take A Deep Breath, Use These 15 Customer Service Skills To Your Advantage And Build Your Empire.
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