In today's business world, customers – and customer feedback – are crucial for a company's success, so it's vital that you bring the best customer service to the table. Great customer service is responsive, quick, knowledgeable, and intuitive. You need to be aware of customer trends and habits, know the most common causes for complaints and, more importantly, you need to react professionally to every situation.
So knowing what's important in the role could be helpful. Right?
If you want to stand out from your competition and provide an excellent customer service
, however, there are certain skills you will need to possess. But what exactly are they and how can they help you improve your interaction with your customers?
To help you get the most out of your customer service team and make sure they're always prepared to face clients, here are what we consider to be the top 10 customer service skills that every employee needs.
Patience is possibly the most vital skill you can have. Yes, it's a skill, because you need to be able to use it at times when you really don't want to!
As a customer service representative, dealing with difficult customers is part of your job. Sometimes people will make unreasonable demands, fail to understand your point, or simply be frustrating. It doesn't matter how impatient or tiresome they are, you need to be able to remain calm and patient, and not allow them to rattle you.
2) Being able to focus
One of the most important skills that someone in a customer service job
should have is the ability to focus. You need to pay close attention to what your customer is saying – which is not always as easy as it sounds, especially if you're constantly attending to calls. You might drift off and forget to really listen, which can be a bad habit. Instead, try to focus on the key points of your conversation and note down all the details you might need.
3) Excellent product knowledge
Whether you work in sales or customer service, you need to have thorough knowledge of your company's product or service. Without this, you won't be able to help your customers well. Not to mention that you don't want to keep the person on the line waiting while you're hunting for the necessary information.
You can read more about the importance of product knowledge and how exactly it will help you and your team on the Yonyx
4) Good communication skills
It may sound obvious, but good communication skills
are essential in a customer service role. You should be able to communicate clearly, explain the necessary information to your customer, and more importantly, leave no room for misinterpretation or misunderstandings.
This will reduce the time and energy spent with talking to customers - and lead to better outcomes.
Furthermore, communicating well with your team - and your manager! - will help the world go round that bit more smoothly every day...
5) Positive attitude
Having a positive attitude is one of the most underestimated skills in the world of customer service. For example, instead of saying that you won't be able to release a product to the customer by Monday, simply tell them they will get it by Wednesday. Some customer service representatives are naturally able to avoid negative words like "can't"
, or "unable to"
– and definitely "no"
- and you should try to avoid them as much as possible, too.
Just like being patient, empathy is crucial if you want to succeed in this role, not to mention that you'll be able to serve your customers better if you understand where they're coming from.
For example, if a customer calls you about a product malfunction and how it delayed their work, instead of offering empty platitudes, try to empathise and keep your tone sympathetic. This will help you connect with your customer on a more personal level and allow you to help them better. The ability to read the customer plays a vital part here as well.
If you're wondering how you can teach empathy to your customer service team. Hiver
has some great ideas you may want to take a look at.
7) Time management
While it's a good idea to focus on your customers and spend time with them, you need to keep an eye on the bottom line. If they are taking too much time and just can't get to the point, you need to try and (gently) bring the conversation back on track.
But the fault may be with you! So make sure you're organized, that you are proactive in what you do and have a system - often, a To-Do list is enough - that keeps you on track.
If you'd like to learn more about customer service, why not take a look at how we can help?
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Excellent problem-solving skills will enable you to handle a wide range of issues in a creative way. You will be able to identify root causes, think critically, and propose effective solutions that satisfy the customer and produce outcomes that align with the company's commercial needs.
Customer service often involves dealing with unexpected situations, and being adaptable will allow you to adjust your approach according to the customer's communication style and preferences, as well as the situation in hand.
10) Conflict resolution
We've left this till last, but you'll never get away from it!
Uou will encounter many tense situations, created by a number of problems, like poor service, product failure, non-communication, and - dare we say it - unrealistic customer epectations!
Skilful conflict resolution involves actively de-escalating these situations, empathizing with the customer's perspective, and offering fair and satisfactory resolutions that help maintain customer loyalty.
Remember that these skills are not only essential in any customer service position, but also for anyone in a customer-facing role or business environment. So constantly honing these skills will lead you to smoother and more successful outcomes in a wide variety of roles.