The cost of people switching from a company because of poor customer service is worth US$47 billion in South Africa. That alone should be enough to ignite you to improve your customer experience.

Here are the 8 customer service skills that every professional should seek to develop, and every leader should look for when hiring new team members.
 
#1 Patience

Patience is crucial for customer service professionals. This is because many customers who reach out to support are often confused and frustrated. Being patient goes a long way in helping customers like you are going to alleviate their current frustrations.

If you deal with customers on a daily basis, be sure to stay patient with them, but also be sure to take the time to truly figure out what they truly need. Remember great service beats fast service every single time.
 
#2 Attentiveness

Behind every customer service call is a real human who has a question or concern that needs to be answered. The person needs to feel understood, heard and served. The ability to truly listen to customers is crucial to providing great service.

You have to be attentive to pick up on what your customers are telling you without directly saying it.

When dealing with customers do the following:

  •  Approach each conversation with the goal to learn something and focus on the speaker.
  •  Ask clarifying questions.
  •  Finish with a quick summary to ensure everyone is on the same page.

#3 - Ability To Communicate Clearly
 
The ability to clearly communicate, both verbally and in writing, is essential in customer service, especially if you are speaking to someone who has a different native language.
When it comes to important points that you need to relay clearly to customers, keep it simple, customers want an explanation, but they don’t need to know all the details. Ensure you leave nothing to doubt. Always end the conversation with the question “is there anything else I can do for you today?

#4 Knowledge Of The Product
 
The best customer service professionals have a deep knowledge of how their companies’ products work. After all, without knowing your product from front to back, you won’t know how to help customers when they run into problems.
 
#5 Ability To Use Positive Language
 
When attending to customers’ problems, using positive language takes the stress away from the situation. Words are powerful and they can create trusting relationships with your customers. Verbs should be used positively.

For example, let’s say a customer contacts you with an interest in a particular product, but that product happens to be back-ordered until next month.
Responding to questions with positive language can greatly affect how the customer hears your response:

  • Without positive language: “I can’t get you that product until next month; it is back-ordered and unavailable at this time.”
  • With positive language: “That product will be available next month. I can place the order for you right now and make sure that it is sent to you as soon as it reaches our warehouse.”
 
#6 Measure & Analyse Customer Feedback
 
The best way to see if your customer service is working is to ask your customers. You can do this using survey. Here are some questions you can ask your customers after a customer service interaction:

  •  How long did you have to wait before being connected to a call centre agent?
  •  Based on your recent interaction regarding (insert incident), how satisfied or dissatisfied were you with our service team member?
  •  How courteous or uncourteous would you say our service team member was?
  •  How knowledgeable or unknowledgeable would you say our service team member was?
  •  How effective or ineffective would you say the service team member’s communication was?
  •  How much did you feel our service member wanted to assist you?
Once you understand which areas you excel at and which ones you need to improve, you can focus on specific skills.
 
#7 Empathy
 
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. A support rep’s ability to empathize with a customer and craft a message that steers things toward a better outcome can often make all the difference.
 
# 8 Willingness To Learn
 
You have to be willing to learn your product inside and out, willing to learn how to communicate better (and when you’re communicating poorly), willing to learn when it’s okay to follow a process — and when it’s more appropriate to choose your own adventure.

Those who are willing to learn will always be ahead in life be it customer service or selling you always need to improve where ever you can.

You also need to ensure your customer service reps have the right tools in place to provide excellent customer service. BluWave Service - a companion product to BluWave CRM - is the simple and effective solution for managing all your after-sales processes. Strengthen the bonds you have with your existing customers and ensure continuous company growth with this powerfully efficient software.
BluWave Software

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