People pay a lot of attention to customer service skills. Especially after the pandemic, customers now expect more from the help they get. Things like understanding and patience have become just as important as having technical expertise or being persuasive.

It’s clear that the set of skills needed for customer service is always changing. You can never be sure you’ve got everything you need to provide customers with excellent support while also keeping operations running smoothly and costs under control.

The Core of Customer Satisfaction: Elements of Customer Service

Good customer service is when a business and its employees offer helpful and timely support to people who use or buy its products and services. Effective and efficient service is often:

Proactive

Instead of waiting for customers to reach out to you, it can be useful to offer assistance or suggestions before they ask or reach out to them first if you’re aware of an issue.

Personalized

You need to know your customers and what they want so you can provide them with great customer service. You can get useful information about what your customers need by asking them questions, using social media, and sending out polls.

Convenient

Offer your customers multiple ways to reach out for assistance, which would allow them to choose their preferred means of communication. You can help customers in person, over the phone, or online via email, chat, or social media direct messages.

Competent

It’s important for you to have a good understanding of your company and the products and services it offers. This way, you can help customers effectively whenever problems arise.

Read more: 5 Traits That Indicate a Motivated Employee

Insider Tips: 10 Skills for Transforming Customer Experiences

Let’s explore the key characteristics that contribute to creating a happy and satisfied customer experience.

1. Patience

Staying calm is important in providing great service. When your day involves dealing with angry, rude customers, it can feel like a gamble every time you answer the phone. Being impatient makes tough situations even harder. It also takes away from your enjoyment of life, and if unhappy customers bother you, imagine how it affects your whole team.

When you find yourself in high-pressure situations, take a moment to breathe. Remember: the customer’s frustration isn’t personally about you, but you have a chance to help solve their problem and ultimately make their day.

2. Empathy

Empathy means understanding how someone feels and seeing things from their point of view. But why is empathy important in customer service? Research shows that 70 percent of buying experiences depend on how the customer feels they’re treated.1

Empathy is the cornerstone of customer experience because it involves more than just transactional interactions. When you prioritize understanding and addressing the emotions and needs of the customer, you build stronger connections and loyalty. Instead of focusing on financial gains, empathetic agents see the people behind their problems. You acknowledge that they seek not only solutions but also validation, respect and a sense of being heard and understood.

3. Problem-solving Skills

You’ll inevitably encounter numerous unexpected situations. So, it’s useful to have a plan in place for how to handle them. Consider asking yourself the following questions to help you effectively manage these situations:

  • Who? Decide who to reach out to when faced with such a situation. This will help you avoid getting stuck dealing with a customer issue on your own.
  • What? Figure out what information needs to be shared with your supervisors so they understand the situation and can help solve the problem.
  • How? Make sure you can reach the person you want to refer the customer to. It’s also useful to have contact information for other team members who handle the product or service.

Read more: Six Traits Managers Look for in a Model Employee

4. Interpersonal Communication Skills

This might sound obvious, but many customers have trouble communicating with customer service agents. In fact, 33 percent of clients say that communication skills, in which questions are answered quickly and clearly, is the most important skill for a customer service agent.2

Mumbling, getting distracted, or using unclear language can make things more confusing. Keeping communication straightforward and easy to understand helps make sure information is right and gets across quickly. In this way, customers are more likely to leave the interaction with a positive impression of the agent and the company.

5. Self-control

In a fast paced world of call centers, you might encounter an angry customer one moment, a confused customer the next, or even a seemingly patient customer who later criticizes your company on social media.

In a world where a negative social media post can impact customer decisions, it’s important to consider that 54 percent of people research products on social media, while one in three consumers say that it’s their preferred way to learn about brands.3

Customer service can be stressful, but you must keep your cool—even if the customers don’t. You need to stay calm, positive, and professional, even if you’re being attacked or if a customer gets personal. When customers lose their temper, there are usually few consequences for them. But if you lose control, it can damage the relationship permanently.

6. Active Listening

Effective listening means taking the time to genuinely understand a customer’s problem and letting them know you’re paying attention. Often, simply rephrasing the issue in your own words and confirming with the customer if you’ve got it right is all it takes to make them feel understood.

7. Time Management

A small delay in getting back to a customer can have its consequences. People want quick and efficient service, and if they don’t get it, they might go somewhere else. There’s a lot of competition out there, so if customers feel ignored, they won’t hesitate to explore other options. With fierce competition in the market, companies can’t afford to lose customers due to poor time management.

When interruptions occur, it’s easy to feel flustered or frustrated. It can be tempting to let the phone ring a few more times or leave an email in the inbox for a while. Research shows that 90 percent of customers consider an “immediate” response important or very important when they have a customer service question, and 60 percent of customers define “immediate” as within 10 minutes or less.4

That’s why time management matters. It helps you to promptly attend to customer queries, so they spend less time in queues or on hold. Also, it frees you to take other tasks during your shift without feeling overwhelmed.

8. Products and Service Knowledge

Even if you don’t have to know everything about the product or service, just having a basic understanding of it should be sufficient. This will help you assist customers and understand their concerns better.

Show interest in how the product is used and try to anticipate any problems customers might encounter. Having a list of answers to frequently asked questions or common issues customers face will help you address them quickly and effectively.

9. Using Positive Language

Positive language is important because it helps create a good image of the company. Let’s see a few examples:

  • Negative language: “We can’t offer that service because it’s not included in your package.”
  • Positive language: “We’ll gladly provide that service as an add-on to your package.”
  • Negative language: “We can’t process your request until tomorrow because our system is down.”
  • Positive language: “We’ll address your request as soon as our system is back up.”

See how a small change in the way we say things can make a big difference? Using positive language helps customers feel valued and shows your commitment to providing solutions.

10. Closing Skills

No, we’re not talking about closing a sale or anything like that. This is about leaving the customer feeling satisfied. That means making sure you’ve fully addressed all their concerns before wrapping up the conversation. Rushing through or providing a half-hearted solution might leave the customer feeling unheard or unimportant. It’s important to take the time to make sure that the customer’s issues are resolved to the best of your ability and that they feel taken care of before moving on to the next task or customer.

Read more: What Skills Are Needed to Be a Good Office Manager?

LOOKING TO TAKE YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS TO NEW HEIGHTS?

When you partner with Spectra360, we go beyond just finding you any job—we focus on highlighting your customer service skills and experiences to match you with employers who are seeking candidates like you.

Our approach ensures that your skills are emphasized effectively, increasing your chances of landing a rewarding position in the field. We provide personalized support every step of the way, granting you access to a team of dedicated professionals committed to helping you succeed in your career.

Reach out to us today so you can confidently pursue your professional goals and excel in the customer service industry.

References:

  1. “Customer Experience Industry Statistics • Gitnux.” Gitnux, gitnux.org/customer-experience-industry/.
  2. Lovell, Susan. “Top 10 Customer Service Skills for 2023.” Quality Assurance and Training Connection, qatc.org/2023-spring-connection/top-10-customer-service-skills-for-2023/.
  3. “How Social Media Is Affecting Consumer Behavior.” LinkedIn, linkedin.com/pulse/how-social-media-affecting-consumer-behavior-popcommunications-efyef/.
  4. Dick, Jon. “Live Chat Exposes a Fatal Flaw in Your Go-to-Market.” HubSpot, 19 Jan. 2021, blog.hubspot.com/sales/live-chat-go-to-market-flaw?__hstc=238111519.4b2632a5b3967a3957f47c3c5942141d.1710755908711.1712749695818.1712761735859.3&__hssc=238111519.1.1712761735859&__hsfp=1327651118.
Share This