11 Key Skills for Customer Service Employees
Great customer service helps you retain your customers and generate positive word-of-mouth for your business. Happy customers provide good online reviews and positive endorsements that can help your business strengthen your brand name.
Customer service professionals are accountable for addressing customers’ issues and ensuring that they deliver excellent service experience. To make your customers happy and satisfied with your services, you need to hire customer support reps with a certain set of skills that truly connects them with the customers.
However, it’s hard for the recruiters to scale these types of skills while conducting an interview. To help you get through this, we have listed these essential customer service job skills that you should look for in every person you are assessing to hire as a customer support rep for your company.
Key Skills for Customer Service Representatives
Every customer who has taken out time from their busy lives to interact with your brand is important. They are persons and want to feel respected and appreciated. Businesses who don’t value their customers tend to lose them someday.
Here are a few good customer service skills that you should have in each representative who is serving your customers.
- Good Communication Skills
- Active Listening
- Positive Outlook
- Positive Language
- Quick Thinking
- Firmness and Flexibility
- Product Knowledge
Good Communication is one of the best customer service representative skills that all the reps should have. Reps must understand what customers says. They should be able to provide the customers with relevant information and potential solutions to their problems. Whether on live chat, email, or social media, it’s critical that they understand the customer’s query and communicate with them professionally.
Good communication skills include not using jargon, especially when it is terminology specific to the organization. Customer support reps should be that comfortable with speaking to the customers that they provide the alternative explanations right away if the one in the first place doesn’t make sense.
Active listening is one of the most effective communication skills essential for your customer support representative. Customer support reps should not make the customers repeat and listen to their queries for the first time. Even if they get the same issue reported multiple times in a day, they should listen to every person on each call and offer the best possible resolution.
They should ask as many questions as required to understand the customer’s issue completely, make notes, and avoid interruptions.
Customer support reps should always carry a positive attitude, even if they are having a bad day. How they react to the customers’ calls is critical. Even if a particularly gutsy and aggressive customer turns out to be pushing their buttons.
Having a positive attitude is one of the most effective customer service skills that are necessary for all customer service representatives. People with a positive attitude are enjoyable to be around, more ready to fix problems and can execute the next essential skill – Positive Language.
Reps working with a positive attitude can focus on solutions and adding a positive language to it lets them speak using positive terms. Positive language is more like a technical communication skill that helps reps share the information with the customers.
For example, if a customer calls in to check on an item that is currently out of stock. Your customer support rep could tell the customer – The product is out of stock and you can’t get it for another two weeks.
And, using a positive language, they can say – The product will be available in two weeks, you can place an order now and we will deliver once it is available.
Did you notice the difference? By using a positive language, reps can provide a solution to the customers’ problems before they even knew they had one.
Reps should be empathetic with the customers and help them understand that they can recognize their emotions. Empathy enables reps to talk to the customers genuinely as a caring individual and not as a robot. They should not just jump into resolving the customer’s issue.
Instead, as ideal service reps, they should recognize how this issue has affected the customer, apologize for the inconvenience caused to them, reassure that they will do anything to make it work. Doing this can transform the conversation from stressful to delightful.
Customers service reps need to deal with both, happy and unhappy customers daily. They usually find themselves on the frontline against the irate and angry customers who sometimes don’t even let you speak. Here, they need the ability to stay calm and listen to the customer first.
Also, customer support reps need to be patient with the customers who struggle in accurately giving the required information and don’t even know how to describe their problems.
Customer service reps surely are not the endless encyclopedias having all the answers to life questions. They also come across issues that they don’t have solutions to. These issues could be something to do with the new products that the reps haven’t had the hang of, yet, or some technical problem that they have no idea how to go about solving it. They are expected to think quickly and come up with something to answer the customer.
It could be anything including passing on the call to a supervisor or a more qualified coworker or asking the customers if they can wait for them to find an answer. Customers appreciate the honesty and the fact that you are trying to find a resolution for them.
Customer service is all about understanding the customer’s problems and fixing them at the earliest. These problems are often related to the company’s products and services, but sometimes, reps just troubleshoot the customer’s problems to get them moving on with their day. Some conflict resolutions can be handling the negative attitude which is one of the most challenging issues for the reps.
Reps should know the right words to use to calm down the customer. They should have this unique ability to deal with other people’s irritations and annoyances day in and day out while keeping a positive attitude. Reps need to stay calm if they get someone on the call who needs extra time to get through the basics. Sometimes reps need to take measures that they don’t usually take to get the issue resolved.
Adaptability is one of the advanced customer service skills that reps should have. Various companies provide their customer support reps with a standard script. While following these scripts, reps need to understand that customers are not made from cookie cutters. All the customers come with their unique problems and reps should be ready to adapt to each one.
Finding reps with strong adaptability skills will not only help you maintain the customer success rate but also, they help you find strong leaders.
Product knowledge is one of the critical elements that can’t be ignored. Product updates and regular process knowledge gives your representatives a true understanding of the products and services that you offer. These product changes if communicated correctly, can affect customers and become key to the success of your company.
The customer support representatives should be able to provide potential customers with correct and up-to-date information. Incorrect information may upset the customers even more.
Product knowledge doesn’t only enable customer service reps to fix customer problems but also it allows them to help customers get the most out of your product, making sure that your product or service offers the maximum value.
Customer support reps should be strong persuaders. They should influence customers to buy your company’s products and services. To make this work, they should help the customers understand how these products are going to be useful for them and how they can improve their lives. Your customers don’t usually know everything about the products and services that you offer. They need someone to help them understand which product would be the best for them, but they will trust only the rep who will confidently recommend one.
Reps should understand and listen to the customers’ issues properly and find a suitable product or service for them and then tell him how it is useful for them.
With all these skills, an ideal customer support representative should have a desire to help the customers and learn more about the company and the product.
You can hire employees with these skills to help and support your customers. This will help you provide customers with the service experience. You can also create chatbots for your business website to help your support professionals serve your customers in a better way.
Appy Pie offers this excellent chatbot builder that helps you create chatbots. These chatbots interact with your customers like a live person and transfers the chat to the live agents for further assistance.