Top 20 Customer Service Skills You Must Have
All you need for your company’s success is a great product, right? NO! Every successful business knows customer satisfaction is one of the deciding factors for success. Hence, the interaction your customer service rep has with your customer is of utmost importance. For the best results, you must train your representatives to exhibit certain skills. Or you can hire a person who already possesses such skills.
In this blog, we will list some of the necessary customer service skills you must look for. If you are aspiring to become one yourself, you must work on improving these essential skills.
Why is good customer service a necessity and not a luxury?
Did you know that great customer service can increase your revenue? It plays a significant role in improving customer retention rates. Satisfied customers enjoy buying products from your brand/organization. You do not need to spend your money on finding new leads. Apart from this, the following are some ways in which it helps your organization:
- Improves brand recognition.
- Builds customer trust.
- Reduces employee turnover rate.
When you want to work as a customer service rep, understand that what you do is essential for the organisation’s growth. The organization’s growth also provides you opportunities to grow.
Top 20 Customer Service Skills.
As a representative of an organization, you will be talking with customers all day long. So, you need to be able to convey the crucial details with clarity. Your communication skills must serve as the bridge between the brand and the customer. For the most part, the interviewer will be testing your communication skills. They will also see if you can handle difficult situations by giving you case scenarios.
Communication also includes your ability to understand the customer’s needs because miscommunications are a major cause for customers losing interest in your product.
Patience is important to a person who deals with customers from diverse backgrounds. The customer might be impatient or even rude. But that doesn’t mean you must adopt the same tone. You must try to de-escalate the situation at hand. For that to happen, you must be patient and listen to what the customer has to say.
A customer calls you because they need help. Hence, dealing with those issues with patience goes a long way in retaining the customers. Furthermore, if a customer requires additional time, give it to them. Do not be quick to end calls.
Empathy is not only one of the crucial customer service skills but also an essential life skill. The ability to put yourself in others’ shoes is kind of a plus point when it comes to customer service. You must be able to understand the feelings of disappointed customers. Even if you are unable to solve the problem immediately, you must be able to convey that you understand their situation. It will quickly take some pressure off the customer.
You must not only place business as the top priority. Your answers must consider the customer’s emotional standing. At the end of the day, it is not all about the numbers but about the satisfaction of the customer.
4. Computer skills:
Almost all companies use software of some sort to help streamline customer services. It may be a simple Excel sheet to maintain customer records. Or a more advanced CRM tool to manage all customer data. As a CSR(customer service representative), you must have an experienced hand at the functions of such tools.
If you are a fresher, the organization is going to look for basic technical skills. These technical skills are not advanced coding skills but a moderate knowledge of using a computer.
5. Listening skills:
Try to be as attentive as possible during a call. Most customers expect the representative to hear what they have to say. Do not rudely interrupt customers with technical procedures. Allow them to communicate their problem clearly before going for the solutions.
Listening to the customer also provides useful insights and feedback on your product. Feedback from customers is the base for innovative ideas and developments. Also, you must understand that your customers might not be experts in your product. Therefore, attentively listening to the customer is the only way to understand their grievances.
6. Problem-Solving Skills:
Wondering why you need problem-solving skills? The customer may not always be straightforward with what they want. They simply might not be able to understand the core of the issue. In that case, you must be able to pinpoint the issue by looking for the symptoms. The CSR must understand the problem and resolve it by understanding the technical level of the user.
Just because you have procedures to follow doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to be creative. It is a natural talent that you can cultivate over time. Find new ways to interact with the customers to leave a good lasting impression. Creativity also helps you find quicker solutions to user problems.
8. Ability to adapt:
Adaptability is one of the primary customer service skills. If you are a person who is able to adapt and overcome an issue quickly, you are suitable to work for the customer service department. You cannot expect the kind of queries you get during the job. Sometimes you might also get an issue with your product that your organization hasn’t identified yet. In that case, you must either find a new solution or divert the call to an executive who usually does.
9. Optimistic tone:
A small change in the way you speak will greatly reduce the customer dropout rate. You must sound like a person who will be able to help the customers in every way possible. A positive tone helps the customer better understand the various options available.
Undoubtedly, you will be facing tough customers. Some customers always rudely deal with CSRs. In such cases, you always have to keep your cool. Compartmentalising your emotions is a skill that needs nurturing. Most CSRs gain the skill because of the regular interactions they had with such customers.
The efficiency of your customer service depends on your determination to get the work done properly. Negative interactions with organizations are usually the result of customer service personnel who valued only their time and not the quality of the call.
Having the interest to learn new things is essential for good customer service. When you are representing the products of an organization, you must understand the functions of the said products. On the job, you will have plenty of time to improve your interpersonal skills as well. Ultimately, everything depends on your willingness to learn new things.
13. Time management:
As a CSR, the time you spend is directly proportional to the organisation’s resources you use. You will have to do multiple tasks at the same time. The only way to manage time is to schedule all your tasks. So that you do not miss out on the tasks, you need to complete.
Also, you must value your customer’s time. Most customers feel frustrated when the CSR takes a long time to get to the point. Having a CRM tool will save a lot of time by automating the majority of tasks.
You must take responsibility for your customer’s action. If the customer you handle dropped out of the service, you must be willing to identify the causes. Taking responsibility for your actions is one of the most important customer service skills. It improves the amicability in a workspace and prevents wasting time.
15. Goal-oriented approach:
Most representatives feel like they have to solve the issue at hand as quickly as possible to avoid negative feedback. But you must understand the goals of customer service. The primary goal is to increase revenue by saving the customers for the future.
Hasty actions only leave the customer unsatisfied and sometimes irritated. Hence, every CSR must focus on improving customer satisfaction by politely providing solutions. This, in turn, aids in boosting your revenue.
16. Persuasion skills:
Imagine you have a customer who bought something from you. Now the customer is contacting you not for an issue but knowing more about another product from the same organization. So you need to have the skills of a sales rep to persuade them into opting for the product. Your words must serve as the inspiration for them to make an additional investment.
17. Stress management:
Attending multiple calls from a different set of people on the same day is bound to be stressful. But you must never carry your stress onto the call you connect to. Instead, you must be able to handle your stress healthily. Simply put, you must maintain the customer satisfaction rating stable throughout the day.
As a CSR, you will be sitting in front of a computer and attending calls all day long. Do not assume that is the only thing you will be doing. You are responsible for creating a report on customer interaction. Furthermore, you must also update the status of the query/complaint on the system. You will be doing all of these while answering the call. Hence, multitasking is one of the essential customer service skills.
It doesn’t mean that you have to sound happy when a customer is facing a huge issue. It simply means that no matter the circumstance, you must always put up a happy face. Your voice must have ups and downs to connect well with your customers. The cheerfulness in a conversation plays an important role in improving the NPS.
20. Understanding accents:
Consider a streaming platform that works all over the world. So the customers for that brand come from a variety of backgrounds. They also speak in various accents. You must be able to convey the message as well as thoroughly understand it. My tip: Watch tonnes of foreign-language movies.
Ultimately, the customer always expects the customer service personnel to listen to what they are saying. Even if they do not get an instant solution, politeness in the conversation helps retain valuable customers. Be more empathetic and work on your articulation.