16 Customer Service Skills That Every Employee Needs
It’s your first day on the job or you have finally started your dream business venture. Whatever the situation, it’s imperative for any business, whether small-scale or industrial, to remember that customers are their greatest commodity.
Even the smallest mistakes while handling a customer may cost you big. Therefore it’s imperative to have diligent employees in charge of dealing with customers.
A great customer service is an important factor that will determine the future of your business. Let’s talk about the 16 most important traits that will help you achieve a satisfied and happy customer.
There’s a reason why patience is a virtue. It is understandably one of the most difficult traits to muster. Customers come may come in confused or frustrated so it’s very important to hear them out.
Sometimes a customer may ask irrelevant questions, but it’s vital the service giver maintain their composure.
Always remember that it’s quality over speed. Don’t rush the process, hear your customer out. There’s no point of service if the customer’s problem isn’t solved.
Closely related with patience, the only way to pay attention is to listen. Listen to your customer. Whether it’s a distressed customer or a customer asking a simple question, it is important to hear them out.
Remember the customer may not have the same level of knowledge about a product as you. It’s important to observe the terms and language they use.
Try to read in-between the lines. Never scroll through your phone while they’re talking and repeat the essential terms they use.
3. Clear Communication Skills
Keep in mind that you have to get to the heart of the problem and solve it. Therefore, clear communication between both the representative and the customer is indispensable.
Try to understand what the customer is trying to relate and clearly explain the situation. Oftentimes miscommunication results in major mishaps. So when trying to relay important details, keep it simple and to the point.
4. Knowledge about the Products
This does not mean that you need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the product. Rather having a working idea about how the products should be enough.
This will not only allow you to help customers but will also allow you to empathize with their situation. Take interest in how the product is used and figure out the possible difficulties a customer might face while using them.
An outline of the most common problems faced by a customer will help you deal with them swiftly and efficiently.
5. Ability to Use Positive Language
This plays an important role to create a good image of the company. For example:
– Negative language: The stock has finished so the product is unavailable.
– Positive language: The product will be restocked next week so you’ll be informed as soon as they are available.
The subtle change in the language goes a long way to make the customer feel valued.
6. Acting Skills
Representatives face many kinds of people but they should always maintain their composure irrespective of customer behavior. Imagine yourself in the customer’s position and think how you’d like to be treated. Practicing in front of the mirror also helps. Work those cheek muscles!
7. Time Management Skills
There is a limit to how much a time a certain customer can get. Learn to recognize your limitations. When you realize that you’re not suitable enough to solve a problem, refer them to a professional. This will save both of your time.
8. Ability to ‘Read’ Customers
A rough idea about basic human psychology will be an immense help. It’s incredibly useful to be able to detect subtle changes in the mood, behavior and the personality of the customer. It is also important to identify bad customer service scenarios. This will help you to deal with them better.
9. A Calming Presence
Having a calm composure will soothe the customer who is distressed. This will also let the representative think about the solution better with a clear head. Staying cool under pressure is an important quality of all representatives.
10. Goal Oriented Focus
Though it may be a strange skill, it’s a vital one. A guideline to help employees understand business goals while allowing them the freedom to deal with customers are proven to give the most favorable outcomes.
Without any instructions, employees are left floundering when dealing with customers, leading to further confusion.
11. Ability to Handle Surprise
Life is unpredictable and this is no different. It’s inevitable that you’ll at some point face unexpected situations. Thus, it’s helpful to have a guideline for yourself on how to tackle this.
Who? Decide who you should approach in such a situation. This will prevent you from being stuck with handling a customer.
What? Determine what information must be relayed to your higher-ups so that they have a clear picture in order to solve the problem.
How? Ensure you have the means to contact the person who you intend to refer the customer to. It also helps to have access to the other team members responsible for a product.
An employee of integrity is a company’s greatest asset. The best customer service is provided by those who are unafraid to break the ceiling when the situation called for it.
Going out of your way to provide excellent service will pay in the long run. However, laziness and shortcuts will get you nowhere so develop a good work ethic.
13. Persuasion Skills
Oftentimes customers wish to know more about a product rather than report a problem. Therefore being able to persuade them why the product is best for them (if it truly is) will be beneficial for the company.
14. Closing Ability
No, I am not talking about ‘closing sales’ or anything like that. This means ending the conversation with the customer appropriately. Only end your conversation after you have solved all your customer’s problems.
The worst you can do is to give a half-hearted solution to a problem and move on to the next customer.
Treat the customer’s problem as your own and then solve it. You need to assure the customer that you care about the problem and are willing to solve it.
This is more of an inherent personality rather than a skill. Being able to practice customer empathy goes a long way.
Listen to them and try to explain the situation even if you are unable to solve them. This will greatly assuage the customer’s distress and give them a great experience.
16. Willingness to Learn
Congratulations! You seem to have this skill if you’ve read this far. In this ever-changing world, having the willingness to learn will be beneficial in the long run. It’ll help you quickly adapt to unexpected situations.
This is one of the reasons why most services ask you to communicate customer feedback regarding their service. This enables them to fix any mistakes and improve their services in the future.
The above-mentioned customer service skills are supposed to give an outline of how you should deal with customers. However, experience is a better teacher than articles.
Don’t be discouraged if every day is not as successful. Put on your best face and greet your customers. Happy Business!
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