“It takes months to find a customer and seconds to lose one”- Vince Lombardi
No matter how good your goods are if your customer service skills are not up to date, your business can never flourish. If we talk in simpler terms, customer service is the constant support and help your business provides to its customers, both existing and probable. Customer service executives take queries of customers via call, emails, and SMS. The process might sound simple but, the future of the company depends upon it.
It might occur to you why customer care service is so important for a business. It is because most of the customers refrain from shopping from a business after one bad experience. Good customer service ensures that customers stick to the business as it renders them a cohesive experience. Customer service helps you understand what your customers need and you can address them accordingly to give a pleasant experience to your customer as ‘first impression is the last impression’.
To provide your customers with excellent customer services your customer service executives need to hone or acquire the following skills:
Empathy, not sympathy!
The first and very crucial customer service skill an agent needs to have is empathy. Empathy means being able to understand the feelings and situations of another person by putting yourself in their shoes. If you are thinking that why is empathy so important, then you need to know that several customers buy products based on their treatment by the brand. If a customer care executive is empathetic towards a customer issue, then that will make him find a reasonable resolution, and he/she will also be polite and understanding towards the customer. An empathetic agent will make the customer feel comfortable and heard and that will ultimately result in customer satisfaction.
Positivity is a way of life, indeed! Being a customer service executive comes with a lot of challenges. Staying positive and dealing with a customer politely even when they are infuriated is one of the very important customer service skills. Sometimes you receive calls from angry customers and sometimes extremely disappointed, but one needs to deal positively with the customers in both situations. Having an optimistic attitude will help the executive get through any situation without ruining his day.
Willingness to learn
A learned man always outshines. Willingness to learn determines a growth factor of an employee as a customer service professional. Moreover, your product and your company’s policies will change over time, so you need an employee who has a desire to learn and go ahead rather than being rigid.
Learning new skills to work efficiently and deal with customer circumstances also determines the willingness to learn. An executive having this customer service skill will always be willing to go the extra mile to deal with any situation.
Active listening refers to the ability to understand what the customer is trying to convey. Often a customer calls to get a solution to the trouble they are facing. A customer needs to be heard and understood so that the issue can be resolved at the earliest. Active listening is more than just hearing the customer it involves understanding the tone of the customer and trying to get what he/she wants to put forth and offer efficient solutions. Also, if a customer is not heard attentively, that only adds to their frustration. To make your customer feel heard, the first step is to paraphrase everything they said after they are done and never interrupt them while they are talking. It is no surprise that the businesses that consider client feedback are flourishing.
Communication is the key
If you see a business thriving, it is because their customer support has excellent communication skills. Having good conversational skills is one of the most crucial customer service skills an agent needs to possess. Being able to understand what the customer is trying to convey and give back appropriate replies is something that all customer service agents must be fluent with. Imagine someone calling to complain about your product, and your agent says something irrelevant. Things like this will not only infuriate the customer but also affect the rapport of your brand. Therefore a customer service agent should have the ability to communicate effectively.
Are your sales not increasing? Or are they falling? It is probably because of a lack of persuasion skills among your customer service executives. When a customer shows interest in your product, the probability of them buying it is way more than when you approach a customer with the product. But to convert a prospect into a customer is where the need for persuasion skills comes along. Persuading someone does not mean sending them sales pitches or long emails telling them about the goods. It simply means using your convincing power and easiest ways to land a customer, all because of your effective persuasion skills. This is a necessary customer service skill for all customer service executives. No persuasion? No celebration!
If you wait, you are great. Having patience is the cornerstone of being a customer service executive because the number of upset, angry, and disappointed customers you have to deal with is insane. Every time a customer contacts you, they are either frustrated or confused, and to deal with either, the key skill needed is patience. You and your team must be willing to take time to resolve the issue, so neither the customer nor you have to deal with the same problem again. If you focus just on completing the task as soon as possible without the quality work, then you are inviting those tasks over and over for yourself. Take time, have patience, and yield quality results.
Adapt, grow, and flourish
This is one rule you should swear by if you are a customer service agent. You might have scripted replies to certain queries, but what about an out-of-the-script inquiry? Well, that’s where adaptability is needed. Your customer service agent might be very fluent with the carefully curated reply script, but they also need to be smart and adaptable to situations of any kind. Adaptability will not only up the ante of your customer services but will also derive more sales as an adaptable employee indeed gives an impeccable impression of the organization. Adaptability means being flexible and able to deal with un-seen circumstances with ease, and this is one customer service skill that can change the customer service game for your business.
Know what you sell
To help your customers regarding your product, you must have enough knowledge about it. Each customer service executive must learn about the product from a product specialist as this customer’s service skill will come in handy while dealing with customers who pose specific and product concerned questions which sometimes might be related to the specifications of the product (of which not everyone is aware). This customer service skill will be helpful in the long run also. If an agent has the product knowledge, he/she can take ownership and lead the pack.
Time is money
Truth has already been spoken time, is everything! Customer service can be very profuse as you have to deal with so many customers every day. To handle your customers effectively, you need to excel in the customer service skill of managing time. You must be aware the different customers come with different needs. You must know how to prioritize the queries and address the most urgent ones before and look into others according to the priority list. It is the interplay of prioritizing skills, active listening, and product knowledge that helps you manage your time accordingly.
This might seem like a general and very obvious customer service skill, yet it is also one skill lacked by most customer service agents. We all hate to repetitively ask for a solution to a problem, and that’s exactly, what a customer feels when their issue isn’t resolved because of the typical “not my problem” mindset. No one is born with problem-solving skills. They are learned and acquired over time with effort. Those efforts are what makes you distinctive, and an impeccable customer service executive as you will always be able to satiate your customer.
Confidence is like the cream on the cake without, it the cake has no taste. Customers will believe that they are getting the right services if they get a confident reply. Moreover, confidence gives an assurance to the customers about the services they are getting. A confident employee also gives a positive impression of your brand, which increases the credibility of your company. All other skills fall back if a customer service agent lacks confidence. Therefore, keep motivating and boosting the confidence of your employees.
You are truly gifted if you can stay calm under pressure as well. A customer service executive has to deal with a lot of frustrated, angry, and disappointed customers in a day. Dealing with so many situations does exhaust you and makes you feel pressurised as well. But in any situation, you have to stay calm and handle the situation smartly. This might seem a little difficult, but this customer service skill can be learned over time by learning to control yourself and by practicing not to get triggered even in the worst-case scenario. Calming presence is crucial as it will make you do your job efficiently without affecting your mental health and peace.
Responsiveness and making wise decisions is a very crucial skill for a customer service agent. As handling customers is very demanding and tiring you must know how to deal with them and resolve the issue. A good decision-maker will never panic under pressure and only promise what he can. While a person with bad decision-making skills will end up making fake promises which he/she won’t be able to fulfill later. Staying calm and understanding the customer’s concern, and then offering the best solution is what is called good decision making.
If you can multi-task, then you are the perfect customer service agent. Customer service might sound easy, but it is quite the opposite. The jo9b comes with a lot of background work along with handling the customer. Being a customer service executive is a tiring job you have to have amazing decision-making skills, great time management skills, be calm under pressure, and most importantly, find solutions to the customer problem as soon as possible. The job speaks for itself, therefore, being a multi-tasker is a crucial customer service skill.
Let’s be honest being a customer service agent demands a lot from you. Sometimes you will come across customer problems that are easy to sort while other times not. But no matter what, you have to maintain a positive attitude. That is where you need resilience and tenacity. You cannot give up, and you have to keep going like a professional, therefore, it is important to be resilient and thick-skinned.
Sometimes you will have to handle stubborn customers whom you cannot make happy no matter what you offer. It might be a little demotivating, that after doing the best, you still couldn’t satisfy the customer, but no matter what it should not reflect. You should always be cheerful and sound positive even if the customer is being difficult. This customer service skill will not only help you in your professional life but also personal life. So fake it till you make it!
Ability to handle the unpredictable
Although you might have a perfect script for every customer situation, still sometimes you come across a few situations which you never imagined could happen. Such situations require wise decision-making and confidence to handle the situation. Developing the skill to handle surprises is not easy, but it is not impossible either.
Ability to let go
Last but not the least, as a customer service executive you must, have the ability to let go. You need to set boundaries for yourself while also giving them space for yourself. You should never take anything personally said by a customer as it is never directed to you. This ability will help you achieve milestones as it will help you in your personal life too.
Along with these skills, you can improve your customer experience by using IVR. This technology can save your as well as your customer’s time and help them get the desired service.
I love reading and writing. If not with the books, I probably out playing badminton. A fitness enthusiast, I like to indulge mostly in creative chores.