Having the below set of customer service skills will let you outshine most of the other customer service representatives out there. Improve on these and it will assist you in becoming the best customer service representative you can be. Note that each skill rides off each other. You really need to be able to effectively use all of these each time you interact with a customer. The more knowledge and practice that you have, the easier it becomes as it becomes second nature to you.
And here is the customer service skills top 10 countdown…
10. Ability to handle surprises
Some customers may start off the conversation in one manner and completely change in a way that you did not predict. With that, take a moment, listen to their needs again. Be able to think on your feet. Don’t get thrown off. Think before speaking. Cut down on the “umm”s and “ahh”s. Be confident in what you are saying. If the topic is straying, remember to bring it back to the original issue and tackle it from there.
9. Willingness to learn
Be willing to learn and take feedback. This may seem like a no brainer, but people often overlook this. After a job done, ask for feedback. Learn how you can improve. This goes for both negative and positive feedback. Change to correct the negative and improve with the positive feedback. Never take feedback as a personal thing as it is meant to improve how you communicate or interact with a customer.
Taking responsibility to any issues that may come about is important to a customer. It is also one of customer service skills that takes courage and guts. Doing this shows that you care, not only about the customer, but in doing the right thing as well. Should a customer explain that something was not right for them or was damaged due to no fault of theirs, consider the possibilities. Take responsibility should the error be yours.
7. Time management skills
Having great time management is one step closer to great customer service skills. No customer would like to hear, “I have a thousand things to do and yours is not a priority at this point in time.” Every customer would like to feel as if you are providing them with your undivided attention. Giving reasonable time lines to assist is acceptable as long as these are clearly communicated with the customer. These time lines are then to be strictly adhered. Keep to the point to stay on time. While you want to make the customer feel important and talk about what they want to talk about, getting off point will take time away from you to actually solving their problem (and any other customer’s problems as well).
6. Communication skills
Make sure you are able to communicate clearly and quickly to resolve the issues. The last thing a frustrated customer wants is someone who is unable to articulate the solution to their problem. Also, ensure that you have successfully communicated your product in a clear and decisive manner to prevent any misunderstanding with the customer.
5. Phone/email skills
Part of the communication process is to have great phone and email skills. It is so important that it has formed another skill set of the customer service skills listing. Lots of customer interactions now is not face to face anymore and therefore, phone and email skills are imperative to assist with providing excellent customer service skills. Communicating via phone does not allow the customer to be able to see your facial expression or even body language and therefore, tone of voice is extremely important. Tone of voice can be easily misinterpreted and therefore knowing how you sound and how it is perceived is important in improving your communication with your customers. Email skills are even more important as communicating via emails does not allow you to even have your tone reflected. The way an email is written will allow for the reader to assume the tone. Therefore, with excellent email etiquette will allow you to best communicate to your customer without them misunderstanding what you are trying to say.
The ability to truly figure out what they are indirectly trying to get across to you is just as important as listening to what they are saying. Sometime, customers will not directly tell you what they want. It is in these moments that you have to be able to decipher what they are saying and improve your knowledge and/or product to better suit the customer at large.
3. Listening skills
There are people who hear something and others who listen. What’s the difference? Hearing something means you know that someone is trying to communicate with you, listening on the other hand, allows one to be able to truly understand what is being said to them. With that, you are able to better communicate and vocalise to solve and handle customers’ questions and issues.
2. Interpersonal skills
Having the ability to work well with anyone will make providing customer service to your customers even easier. Knowing that everyone comes from a different background and therefore will react differently. Knowing how to interact and change the way you portray yourself to best suit others to make them feel comfortable will be essential in assisting in providing the best possible customer service. This is why it forms as number 2 in our customer service skills listing.
And to top the listing of our customer service skills is patience. Customers love to vent when they feel that they have not obtained value for a service that has been provided. Therefore, it is important to have patience. It doesn’t seem to be a skill set that would be expected in a customer service skills listing. One needs patience to allow the customer to express their frustration and confusion that they feel. Give them the time to allow all their complaints to be heard. Cutting a frustrated customer off will just make them more frustrated. Take time to figure out what they truly want, rather than just simply reply and rush them out the door. Sometimes, they simply want to vent as they have had a frustrating day and the slightest thing has set them off.