12 Essential Customer Service Skills To Keep Your Customers Happy

12 Essential Customer Service Skills
Excellent customer service is critical to customer retention and acquisition. It's the holy grail of business. Without a reliable customer support team, you risk customers leaving or making the switch. Having it feels like you have access to the secrets of success right in front of you.

Think about this:

Companies in the U.S. lose over $62 billion every year solely because of poor customer service. But if you play your cards right, 7 out of 10 customers will upsell after receiving excellent service.

Enhance customer experience by employing the right people and training the team you already have. Read on to uncover the critical customer service skills that will keep consumers satisfied doing business with you.

1. Positive Delivery

First impressions matter, and with most customer support done over calls, it is easy to be misconstrued. Positive and calm energy throughout the call helps keep the customer experience at bay.

Such tone and attitude can only be achieved if the customer support representative is empathetic and has a heart of service. With this kind of upbeat delivery, you will expect happy customers to return more often.

2. Self-Control

Irate customers are inevitable. Every day, representatives get a few calls to learn to bite their tongue and keep it together.

To practice this skill, you can watch controversial videos you feel strongly about. Try to keep a straight face and control your words and emotions. Self-control is as crucial as controlling how your customers' queries get into your head.

Not all customers are the same; you will encounter their differences every day and how you react to them plays a crucial role in any service you will be providing.

3. Ability To Communicate Clearly

Your ability to communicate verbally and written are vital factors for good communication. Everything must be clearly communicated for your customers to have a satisfactory experience. It's essential to get your point across in a clear, concise, and respectful manner: no mumbling, no confusing jargon, and no lengthy explanations.

Customer service representatives should deliver straight-to-the-point answers while remaining patient with those who need more hand-holding assistance.

Good communication is where good relationships start, and you want nothing but the best relationship with your customers.

4. Product Knowledge

Customers expect representatives of your business to know your product like the back of their hands. Now it can be challenging when it comes to technicalities. Yet, your team must stay up-to-date with product changes and how the products work. For this reason, research becomes essential.

Some responses customers are most annoyed about are "I don't know" and "It's not available right now." Such words are void of hope that your customers will get the help they need. As such, representatives should learn to find out the solution or someone who has the solution.

If a product is not in stock, or service is temporarily unavailable, let the client know when he can have access. While it's important not to give false hope, knowing what to expect in terms of a timeline can decrease customer anxiety.

5. Attentiveness

Customers can tell, even on the phone, that the representative isn't paying attention. Sure, after many calls, it can be tough to stretch your patience and give your client 100 percent attention, but it's a must.

Being attentive is a good listening skill, and listening isn't only about hearing what the customers have to say. You should go beyond that and include comprehension or understanding in being attentive.

The last customer and the ones in-between should receive the same alertness and good listening skills as the first customer. If attention is withheld, customers become even more irritated, especially when they have to keep explaining the same thing without getting the right answers.

To ensure your support team maintains attentiveness throughout their working hours, determine proper call volume distribution, give enough breaks, and ensure zero distractions.

If you handle a remote customer service team, distractions can be tough to manage. Using a service that offers versatility like group paging, taking calls on any device, receiving calls on-the-go, and other related features can boost customer service efficiency.

6. Time Management

On the one hand, it's essential to be patient and attentive. On the other hand, large call volume demands a quick response time. Plan the number of time representatives can spend on researching answers, responding to emails, handling customers who need a little more TLC, onboarding clients, and other vital tasks.

Make every customer feel valued and prioritized. Please leave them in the back burner and reap enormous consequences. As it is, 83 percent of online consumers will abandon a purchase if they don't receive efficient customer service.

7. Quick Decision Making

It's essential to take responsibility for all the decisions you make while on the job. But, you can't take too long before making a decision.

How do you deal with customers who ask for discounts? How about angry customers? Quick thinking, along with problem-solving skills, goes hand in hand to empower your decision-making ability. It's vital to resolve the issue efficiently and quickly without escalating the problem.

However, it's also essential to keep decision fatigue in mind. When handling a customer support team, consider if faulty decisions are caused by overburdening your staff.

8. Willing To Go The Extra Mile

When people go the extra mile, these are the stories people love to share. The same goes for customer experience. When customer support representatives go beyond compliance to be authentic in offering help, customers share the experience with others through raving reviews.

Going the extra mile also gives a boost to your support team. Your team members are most likely to feel more motivated.

9. Closing Ability

Start well, finish well. Ending the call while leaving problems unaddressed can lead to frustrated customers. Strive for customer satisfaction and ensure that the issue at hand is taken care of. If not, give an assurance that the problem will be taken care of.

Practicing a good closing ability doesn't only give your team the peace of mind they deserve before going home; it also makes you all more efficient in finishing tasks.

10. Willing To Learn and Improve

Unrealistic expectations will only backfire, decreasing your team's productivity. But, your team members must be willing to learn from their mistakes, stay accountable, and be willing to get better.

It's essential to keep abreast of company and product knowledge, stay up-to-date with any changes or revisions in products and services, and know who to call for problems that the customer service representative cannot fix.

11. Empathy

The ability to understand the feeling of others is called empathy. Good customer service skills require you to understand how your customers feel to respond to their queries and concerns in a more effective way.

Although there are times when you find yourself not being able to give your customers the answers they're looking for, you can still empathize with them. They will appreciate it.

First, acknowledge their concerns by listening attentively to them. Understand how they feel and reiterate what they told you, so they know that you're listening.

12. Adaptability

When you work in public, you will encounter customers from different walks in life. A good customer service representative must handle different personalities that come together with different personal concerns.

Mental flexibility should be present for adaptability to exist. You will need it to respond to a variety of situations in whichever your customers will take you.

What We Can Take Away

A reliable customer support team can have significant advantages for your business. With every customer service call is a chance to acquire and retain customers, upsell, and foster loyalty.

Neglecting the improvement of your customer support can lead to harmful consequences as well. There's time to brush up on the customer service skills listed above, though don't expect significant changes to happen overnight.

Such skills are intertwined, and when applied, they will have positive effects on your customers, team, and business.

AUTHOR_NAMEAbout the Author:
Irfan Mehmeti is tech blogger and digital marketer with 5 years of experience within the tech and digital marketing industry who writes for key tech publications. He lives in the Republic of Kosovo and is certified for content marketing by Hubspot Academy. Aside from tech and digital marketing, Irfan’sd weekends are very sportive as he cheers for his favorite football club Chelsea FC and hoops basketball with colleagues!
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