6 Essential Customer Service Skills
Anyone working in customer service knows that it is not an easy profession. Despite the regular challenges that are presented to professionals in the customer service industry, there are ways to position yourself for success. The following 6 skills are essential if you would like to provide your customers with a great support experience.
When working in customer service, there are regularly unexpected hurdles and situations that arise. Without a certain degree of patience, it can become very difficult to keep your customer happy or remain satisfied with your own work. Who knows when your next customer will get upset, or if your computer will crash in a moment of need. Working in a confident and graceful manner, while displaying a high level of patience can make all the difference with your next customer.
When really examining what customer service is, there is no avoiding communicating. Knowing how to phrase and pace what you are saying with both customers and other employees is crucial. Through the use of positive language, it is possible to persuade customers and create a perspective through which they view your company and it’s culture. Additionally, it is useful to be able to ‘read’ your customer, and appropriately communicate information to them. Everyone responds to situations differently, and if you can account for how someone may react, you can properly assist them.
Knowledge of the Product
Being that customer service is mostly about problem solving, it should come as no surprise that it is critical to understand the products or technology you are utilizing better than anyone else. If you are selling coffee, you should know about every bean and brewing method that you offer. Similarly, if you sell a piece of software, you should understand the highest levels of its functionality. Knowing your product inside and out will make the customer service experience much smoother, and will leave your customers feeling satisfied and assisted.
Efficiency is the name of the game. Situations arise when there are a whole mess of customers that need help, but you only have so much time to assist. By being able to get your customers what they want in a time sensitive fashion, yet knowing when enough has been done or you can’t do anymore, you will be benefiting both your company and your customer. A great customer service employee knows when they have reached their knowledge limit, and another team member has to be called in. No one wants their time to be wasted, not you, your team members, or your customer.
The ability to multi-task is essential when working in customer support. There are often multiple plates spinning, and without the ability to manage it all in real-time, things fall through the cracks and customers become upset. What happens if you need to assist multiple customers at a time, or if one customer is placing an order while another one is requesting information? The more moving items you can elegantly handle at once, the more well equipped you are to handle customer service.
An Open Mind & Will to Learn
The final essential customer service skill involves an open mind and will to learn. No matter the industry you are in, or the profession you occupy, one should never lose their willingness to learn. By remaining open to concepts and changes to process, you will become much better at what you do. If you have no interest in getting better, there is someone else who does, and they will come along and take your customer.