Some of the skills needed for customer service career are simple and should be duly taken note of. Customer service career is one great ambition which prides on human relations for profit ends.
Customer service is the practice of supporting customers before, during, and after their purchase. Someone providing customer service helps the customer navigate how to use the product or service and troubleshoot any errors or defects that may arise. When a business is hospitable and puts customers first, the response is positive.
Customer service plays an important role in attracting and retaining customers. Businesses can leverage good customer service to boost sales. Empathy, good communication, and problem-solving are core skills in providing excellent customer service.
Whether you are a restaurant owner or waiter, a technology start-up founder or UX designer, delivering good customer service requires a human-centric approach. Though it can vary by industry, here are some common examples of good customer service attributes:
- Speed: Customer receives a quick response and positive engagement.
- Multi-channel communication: Customer service is available on multiple platforms like telephone, social media messaging, or live chat.
- Personalized: Customer service is tailored to each customer.
- Proactive: Answers, such as FAQs and product information, are available without the need to contact the business. Any other needs or desires are anticipated and addressed.
Skills Needed for Customer Service Career
Beyond a business’s bottom line, strong customer service skills can yield benefits internally. Good customer service can improve a company’s sales and brand reputation, and that is why it becomes important that you master some of the cogent skills needed for customer service career as illustrated below in this article:
Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s emotions and perspective. Delivering a good customer experience requires tapping into their headspace to fulfill their needs. It means reading cues and anticipating what they want.
The outcome of empathy can look like treating customers kindly when they enter your restaurant, allowing for refunds within 30 days, and assisting them in their decision-making process.
Being able to solve problems is key to customer service. If a customer contacts the business with an issue or complaint, the employee needs to figure out why they are experiencing the problem and how to fix it. Solving the problem at hand may require you to be patient and respectful as they explain the problem. You should possess adequate technical knowledge to help the customer resolve the issue, and help them prevent it in the future.
Communication can occur in many forms, through various channels, penetrating customers through in-person interactions, the instruction manual, and social media copy.
Effective communication is utilizing clear and concise language when educating customers on products and company policies, so that they feel confident making a purchase and feel that they’ll be supported even after the purchase.
When speaking with customers in person, body language should be positive, refraining from mumbling or crossing the arms and looking bored.
Every conversation requires a listener and a speaker. Listening to a customer’s questions and concerns and responding in a way that makes them feel heard paves the way forward to a solution. The use of verbal cues like “mmm”, paraphrasing, and clarifying with questions, are all part of the practice of active listening.
As a customer service professional, you’ll want to be familiar with technical and industry knowledge to help customers make informed decisions and troubleshoot any issues. Representatives should be up-to-date on all product specifications, the purchasing process, product or service usage, and company policies.
Plus, technical knowledge is helpful if you’re trying to upsell a product or service because you’ll be able to list out the features of the newest edition.
A good practice for businesses is to list out FAQs on the website to empower customers to find the information without contacting the support team.
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Patience comes in handy when dealing with customers, especially if they are angry, resentful, or rude. A heated argument with a customer can diminish your brand reputation, especially given the star rating systems on Google Maps, Yelp, or Glassdoor, where your business might be listed.
Practicing compassion can help you deliver a positive customer experience. Your presence and actions can lift someone’s spirits instead of making a bad situation worse.
Tenacity, the ability to remain doggedly persistent throughout a difficult situation, is a quality often overlooked but very important in customer service. Along with patience and developing a thick skin when working in customer service, tenacity is required to get the job done thoroughly and accurately.
Customers appreciate it when service professionals walk them through the process when they need help. They are more likely to continue doing business with you if you have ensured customer satisfaction.
Customers want to be able to reach a business on nearly every platform. Their channel of communication might change depending on the situation. That means your customer service needs to be adaptable. Sometimes, the same customer will contact a business through different channels each time.
Integrating customer information with a customer relationship management (CRM) system helps to streamline inquiries from multiple channels. It also helps to be accommodating to the different backgrounds and personalities of your customers.
Resourcefulness is a useful customer service skill in problem solving. Finding innovative and quick ways to solve the problem can decrease time with each customer so that you can help more customers in a day.
It requires being familiar with different departments within a business and referring customers if needed. Developing creative approaches to problem solving is a skill that can be sharpened while on the job.
Maintaining a positive approach to customer service can be difficult if your customers are frustrated with your product or service. A rule of thumb is to stay calm and try to meet the customer where they are, to empathize with their situation and why they might be upset.
Driving customers away with a negative attitude will only cause more pain for the business, as it can lead to a poor reputation and a decrease in sales.
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