When it comes to providing the best possible service to your customers, the people you hire will make all the difference. Many customer service managers make the mistake of hiring new reps without much discernment and end up with a staff that is just “doing a job” rather than serving the customers.
There are certain customer service skills that every employee must master if they are forward-facing with customers.
Without them, you run the risk of finding your business in an embarrassing customer service train-wreck, or you’ll simply lose customers as your service continues to let people down.
To ensure you get the best possible people for your customer service positions, we have some basic skills your customer service employees cannot be without.
In addition to good listening skills, customer service representatives must have the ability to communicate thoughts and information clearly and concisely. Customer service staff may need to communicate with customers through a variety of venues: in person, on the phone and through email or written correspondence. It is very important that the people who come in contact with your customers daily are able to convey your policies and products to customers efficiently and accurately.
Customer service representatives need to be able to listen to a customer’s problem, accurately assess the issue and find the best possible solution. Good listeners typically make some of the best customer service employees because they are most likely to understand what a customer needs quickly and accurately.
Patience, as they say, is a virtue, and one that anyone that deals with customer service issues must have. Managing one customer’s question while simultaneously responding to another via email can be enough to make most throw down their headsets and never look back. Handling customers with care is a special and important quality to have regardless of your role.
The faster you resolve a problem, the happier your client will be and the lower the cost per call will be. And while you shouldn’t rush through a customer’s problem, there should be a level of efficiency to quickly get to the root of the issue by determining the best solution.
Be sure that everyone on your team is familiar with the company’s customer service policies and automate what can be automated.
Thirst for Improvement
We all can get the tendency to be complacent when we do the same job over and over. You want your employees to be hungry and step up their game helping customers. Do your part by offering training, resources, and incentives to help with customer service.
The best customer service rep’s always have a creative solution to the toughest problems in their back pocket. Irritated customers, no-show products, slow-going troubleshooting… all of these tough situations call for creative solutions from time to time. Being able to come up with a creative solution that will satisfy a customer, while costing the company as little as possible, makes the difference between a good service rep and a great one.
When dealing with a difficult customer, it can be challenging to stay positive. But it is an absolute must for good customer service representatives. You can also remind yourself that the person on the other side of the phone isn’t actually upset with you. They’re upset with the company or brand that you represent. Instead, smile, stay upbeat and remind yourself that you’re there to serve the customers and make them as happy as possible.