What Are the Traits and Skills You Need in Customer Service

Innovations in technology have changed many things about how businesses conduct themselves online. In the past, digital marketing efforts needn’t go beyond putting up a website or having a toll-free number.

Today, though, people expect more from customer service departments. They want service to be quick and efficient. Customers do not like to wait indefinitely—they prefer to have an estimate of how long they would need to wait or get a call-back from a service representative.

Businesses can use technology to augment their customer support services, but they still need to hire people to operate these tools and platforms. Here are things that make you the best person for this type of job.

Accountability

At the heart of it, customer service is about taking responsibility for a business. It means showing you want to see a problem to its resolution, even if another team or area caused the issue.

From a customer’s perspective, the service employee represents the company. So, if they fail to address the business’ shortcomings, it will look like the business does not value customer satisfaction.

Effective Speaking Skills

Customer service employees speak with dissatisfied users or subscribers all the time, so they must know how to choose words and outline steps concisely. Failure to communicate well could cause the customer to get angry.

It is easy enough to deliver an action plan when the issue has a quick fix. This situation only involves clearly outlining the cause of the issue and the solution you will take. However, if there won’t be an easy resolution to a problem, the customer service representative needs to know how to phrase it in a way that satisfies the complainant.

Besides knowing how to speak with customers, representatives must also know how to coordinate with members of the technical team who can help resolve concerns. Knowing how to relay information to people inside the company will result in faster resolutions of problems and improvements in customer satisfaction.

Effective Writing Skills

Customer interactions often occur through telephone conversations. However, a considerable number of people use email or other types of written communication online.

Also, writing and speaking involve different skill sets. In written communication, you need to find a fast yet thorough way of stating your message. You also need to maintain a professional tone and use correct grammar and spelling.

Improper language use could further frustrate the customer reading your response. A customer service employee needs to be a careful thinker who weighs his or her words before hitting send.

Patience and Calmness

Customer service is all about keeping users and subscribers satisfied with your product. Customer service employees need to know how to deal with angry, dissatisfied, or frustrated people. They should be patient and know how to listen without judgment.

If the customer is visibly or audibly angry, the customer care representative must show patience and calmness. At times, customers would seem unfair or unreasonable. Though this might be the case, the representative must convey that they are allies, not adversaries and that they both want the same thing—a resolution to the customer’s problem. Giving in to emotions will cause even more problems in the long run.

Empathy and Perceptiveness

Customer support services must address the “what” or the matter at hand. They must also get to the “why,” the reason it is a problem for a customer. If you understand why a customer would approach you to complain about an incident, the natural solution will often present itself after some analysis. Customers also know if you genuinely care, and this will help them stay calm while you work on a solution together.

Besides getting to the root cause of a customer’s concerns, a service employee needs to know how to sift through a user or subscriber’s words to uncover their opinions of your business. Appropriately responding to customer sentiments—whether stated outright or inferred—will directly affect how they perceive your brand.

Composure

It is common for dissatisfied customers to “attack” brands and companies on social media. If you work for a company and people start criticizing it online, your natural reaction would be to defend yourself or your company. However, reacting negatively to people’s comments on social media can do more harm than good.

When you receive complaints, the best solution is to express that you sympathize with the customer publicly. Then, encourage them to communicate their concerns privately through an email, a call, or a direct message. Brands are constantly under scrutiny online, and anything less than a firm, kind response will receive backlash.

Active Listening

One of the requirements of good customer service is active listening. Listening to customers does not just involve staying quiet and letting them talk. It is interactive—the customer service employee needs to pay attention to the customer’s narrative and refrain from interrupting them as they speak.

Active listening is also about comprehension. Repeating back essential items, asking clarification questions, and showing that you want to fill gaps in your understanding will show customers that you are willing to pay attention.

Active listening brings many positive effects. First, it enables the service employee to gather enough information on the problem to respond in the best possible way. Second, the data they gather lets them create action plans for similar situations in the future. Third, and most importantly, active listening improves customer relationships. It makes customers feel appreciated.

Conclusion

Having an effective customer service team is vital to business success. People expect efficient, high-quality service, and you won’t achieve that by simply adopting tools and software that enable you to speak to customers online.

A business needs to hire customer care employees who will be ambassadors for your brand, people who can lend a listening ear and deliver solutions efficiently. For entrepreneurs and small-to-medium businesses, hiring and training an entire team of customer care specialists might not be viable. In that case, outsourcing could be a great alternative.

CrewBloom is your source for top-notch customer support services in the Philippines. We are a remote staffing agency dedicated to matching businesses with service professionals with extensive, proven industry experience. Request a consultation today to learn more!