For any business, great customer service skills are not easy to gain, although not impossible. Every employee in a company should have some level of customer service skill as each is an ambassador whether employed as a customer service agent or not.
The customer service received by customers in a company is one of the reasons why many remain loyal. Everyone wants to be treated specially and with love, some look forward to being treated right in a company due to several reasons, and getting it right may mean you just made that person’s day. And without great customer service skills, that can’t be done.
Recently, there’s been a great deal of research around customer service skills and on how to understand if customers are truly being satisfied by the quality of service received from different companies.
Hence, most organisations urge their customer service representatives to improve their customer service skills. Without further ado, here are some of the most important Customer Service skills worth emulating.
Customer Service Skills to Keep Handy 1. Heightened Speaking Skills
A customer service personnel must be a persuasive speaker to the highest level. This customer service skill is very valuable to the production of great customer service.
Think about how a sales representative talks, how they get around turning absolute strangers into loyal clients, how they placate a customer to ensure he stays happy irrespective of whatever perception the prospect has about the company. A sales agent has to speak with every confidence and sobriety so that his communication is extremely effective.
Bottom-line is, as a representative, a customer service skill to be equipped with is how to speak with a polite tone yet firm and friendly.
2. Don’t sympathise but empathise
As a customer service representative, you should not sympathise but empathise with clients. When a customer is aggrieved, you should think as though you are the aggrieved one and how you would want to be addressed in such a situation should form your customer-centric approach.
According to psychology today, emotions are more important to customers than facts. The truth is that, many customers want to know you understand the issue at hand and that you will be patient enough to resolve it within a short period. With Customer Relationship Management software, you will be able to respond speedily, in any form the client prefers, be it through social media, emails or calls.
3. Have a positive attitude
Irrespective of a customer’s aggressive attitude, especially one laced with anger, irritation and frustration, a customer service personnel must be able to maintain a positive attitude at all times. When an aggrieved customer calls with every bad language that exists in the world, your thought should be that it is nothing personal towards you but a reaction due to what she is experiencing or has experienced.
Read this blog post to learn how to deal with angry customers via email.
Ensure you replace the “cants” “may not” and “possibly not” with “we will do our best”, even in situations where the problem occurred due to an act of God (such as storm, rain, flood ) that you simply can’t control. Evade statements such as “we do not control the rain” or “we can’t do anything at this time”, and replace it with “we will do all we can”, although it may take a while”. Then thank them for their continued patronage and loyalty.
4. Excellent Communication Skills
Not every customer service representative has the ability to communicate effectively. Customers will ask questions and want to know more about products and services. Whatever a customer desires, a customer service representative should be able to answer any and every question at the speed of light, without a second thought. He or she must be able to pay unwavering attention to each customer per time.
If you worry about your communication skills then you may consider getting theoretical and practical training. You would do better if you go through a short training so you can provide longer customer service than keep the lack of skill hidden and deliver for only a short period, because, as articulacy is to a legal practitioner so is excellent communication skills to a customer service personnel. None is separable from the other.
5. Patience and Self-control
In a customer service position, you never know how your day will look like. You cannot determine the types of customers who will call and what their problems will be, so you must be well trained to exercise self-control when the need arises.
A customer service representative should be able to take in many negative behaviour and words at various times and be mentally prepared for the worst. That way, when you get the worst reaction you will respond with a smile and focus on rectifying the issue at hand rather than fume up and respond harshly.
Still need a reason? Words spoken cannot be taken back and these are consequences of an uncontrolled temper, actions, decisions and reactions based on anger are usually irreplaceable, so your best bet is to remain calm and positive at all times.
6. Time Management
As a customer service representative, you must be able to work with the time you have for office hours. If you receive over a hundred emails in a day, you must be able to prioritise effectively and resolve issues one after the other, within a short time frame. You should also remember that rushing an email to be sent to customers is one of the worst mistakes that can be made because once the ‘send button’ is used, the message cannot be recalled and that will mean you cannot right your wrong.
For easier time management, invest in software to lessen your hard work or get the supervisor to escalate the matter to the management so that you are efficient while delivering flawless service. In a world where social media sites are the next best thing, where customers would rather communicate online than place a call or send an email, you must be able to manage various platforms effectively so that your output yields better results for the company.
If only we have the power to see the heart of others, then we will know who to pay attention to and who to ignore, but since we have no such power, we must try to respond to every message, call and comment as quickly as possible, proffering the right solution with the right tone; which usually takes a whole lot of time.
The most important customer service skills have been listed and explained but that’s not the end. Various other skills were not mentioned but are equally important. A customer service representative must be able to serve at all times and therefore take on the attitude of someone ready to serve all and sundry and not act as a leader giving instructions. With this list of great customer service skills, you will be able to carry out your functions effortlessly.
Do you have other important customer service skills not mentioned here? Feel free to spill it in the comment section below.
Ayo Oyedotun is a professional blogger and freelance writer. He reads, writes and talks about business. You can follow him on Twitter @Ayo_Oyedotun[http://twitter.com/#!/Ayo_Oyedotun] or read Business Owners’ Bible[http://woculus.com/].
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