5 Must Have Skills
for Being Stunning at Customer Service
You might have the best product among your competitors, but if your customer service is poor, people are going to complain a lot and, eventually, you’ll lose customers. However, it’s not impossible to turn things around in this department.
Obviously, this transformation from mediocre to god-level will not happen overnight. Change requires time, commitment, and more importantly, dedicated support professionals to bring about a meaningful transformation.
It is important to understand here that customer service executives have the most important part to play in determining the quality of service you provide. This is why it is essential to build and nurture extraordinary customer service skills. Even with so much hype around automation and self-service, these skills are still relevant today, and will continue to remain so in the future.
Automation can only save you to some extent. After all, more than 75% of the consumers choose to interact with real people for their inquiries. In this article, we are going to teach you some must-have skills for being stunning at customer service. But that’s for the later part. First, we are going to see what customer service is, and why is it so important.
Customer Service and Its Importance
Customer service is nothing but the support you offer to your customers - both prospective and existing. It helps these customers have an easy, convenient, and enjoyable experience with your company. Providing great customer service is also essential to keep a check on the retention rate.
In order to solve the issues faced by the customers, executives help them through in-person, phone, email, chat, and social media interactions.
A business phone number is one of the most useful tools which a small business can have in its arsenal. Many customers and investors would prefer to speak to another person instead of reading information off of a website. Additionally, a business phone number can be useful for marketing purposes to provide another call to action for potential customers. For more information, this resource details everything you need to know about how to get a business phone number.
However, customer service is a much broader domain than traditional telephone support. Moreover, it’s changing every second with the advancement in technology. For example, what analogue and traditional phone lines used to do in the past is now done through VoIP phone services.
VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) transmits voice using the internet, which is the complete opposite of how analogue phones work, i.e., through cables, and offers many more capabilities than analogue phones. And it can do it all for less than half the cost. If you consistently reduce interference and audit your systems, then VoIP call quality will leave a good impression on your customers. Switching to VoIP is not a skill, but definitely something that’ll improve your customer service.
Furthermore, it is also essential to know that around 86% of the consumers stop doing business with a company because of a bad experience. So, businesses should approach every support interaction as an opportunity to retain and up-sell. According to some studies, companies in the United States lose over $62 million annually because of unsatisfactory customer service. Moreover, seven out of every ten customers claim that they spend more money on businesses that provide them with great customer service.
All the facts and stats point us in one direction, i.e, customer service is the cornerstone of a successful business. Because of this, it is crucial that you leverage it as an opportunity to delight customers and engage them in exciting ways.
5 Must-Have Customer Service Skills
In order to deliver good customer service consistently, you’ll need to align and work on the entire organisation. However, the support team is a good place to start this turnaround process. You should focus on hiring highly skilled individuals who truly want to help customers have a good experience.
It can be a little challenging to find these talented individuals, mainly because no college degree, course, or diploma adds up to the perfect candidate. Instead, customer service requires qualities that one can’t teach another. These candidates love one-on-one interactions with people. They love solving problems. More than anything, they are highly approachable.
Here are five skills that every customer service executive should try developing:
1. Problem Solving Skills
You’ll often find that customers do not diagnose the issue before reaching out to customer support. They leave it to the support rep to initiate the process of finding the source of the issue before they can navigate to the solution. So, the executives not only need to understand what went wrong but also what action the customer was ultimately after. This is where the problem-solving skills of the professional kick in to do the job.
For example, if some is reaching out because they had issues in resetting the password, their ultimate goal will be to log into the account. A good customer support interaction will not only help the customer reset the password manually, but also take an extra step to help them log into the account. A good customer service rep will also educate them about the process so they never face the same issue again.
The customers who reach out to executives for support are, most of the time, confused and frustrated. This is why patience is a vital skill for customer service professionals. When you listen to and handle customers with patience, they get a feel that you are there to alleviate their frustrations.
Closing the interaction as soon as possible should never be the goal of the customer service department. They should be willing to give extra time to understand each of the customer’s needs and problems.
There are a number of reasons why it is essential to truly listen to the customers when interacting with them. Good customer service professionals should not only pay attention to the experiences of customers, but they should also pick up on any feedback customers offer them.
Being attentive here means that you have to pick up on issues, even if the customer is not saying it directly. For example, customers might feel that your dashboard isn’t laid out or positioned properly, but they won’t say it outright. In most cases, people won’t say, “Please improve your design,” but they might say something like, “Where is (specific function)? I can never find it in the dashboard.”
You have to understand here that the UX of your software needs some work. Being attentive provides you with important feedback that can help the business in the long run.
4. Self Control
One of the essentials of good customer service is maintaining self-control. You need to have the ability to handle surprises and help angry customers out without losing your calm. Apart from this, you should also treat every customer interaction separately, regardless of how bad the previous one was. After all, each customer comes their own issues, and these have nothing to do with the frustrated customer from the previous call.
5. Clear Communication Skills
The customer support team of any company lies on the front lines for solving the problems in a product. They act as two-pronged bullhorns. On one hand, they are the voice of the company to the customers and have to reduce complex concepts, details, and information into easy to digest terms. On the other hand, they represent the needs of the customers to the company. They gather feedback while interacting with the customer, which can later be used to improve the product.
The key to a successful interaction with customers is to have sharp and clear communication skills. It is so important because even the smallest miscommunication can result in frustration and disappointment. Good executives leave no doubts in customers’ minds.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Develop your interpersonal skills with our series of eBooks. Learn about and improve your communication skills, tackle conflict resolution, mediate in difficult situations, and develop your emotional intelligence.
On a Concluding Note
As Seth Godin once wrote, customer service means different things to different organizations, but things aren’t going to end well for the companies who simply see customer service as a “cost-cutting race to the bottom.”
You should always focus on providing the best customer service to the people who decide the fate of your business. Put out the best team possible and gather individuals who’ll go the extra mile for customer satisfaction. Try to develop these skills in your customer service team and, over the course of time, you’ll find that customers are more connected to your business. And, as a bonus, you’ll better understand their needs.
About the Author
Saket Aggarwal is an engineer turned B2B SaaS content strategist and technical writer who helps companies streamline their product marketing efforts, create manuals/SOPs, build demand generation, and increase leads.