Most businesses will deal with customers on a daily or weekly basis. With this comes the need for good customer service. Customer service skills are skills that some people are born with, and some people need to take the time to master them.
Being good at customer service doesn’t necessarily just mean being a “people person”. It’s much more complicated and requires a set of skills to be used in harmony to support people. These skills need to be used to fix problems and sort out negative situations; everyone dealing with customers needs to be prepared to deal with anything that is sent their way. Customers tend to react well to good customer service and it’s one of the easiest ways to build up a positive reputation.
The more positive your team react to something negative, the more positive a customer is going to feel
But what are these skills? We have compiled a list of some of the most essential skills to help your business prosper in customer service.
Patience is virtue. It’s absolutely essential in everyday business, let alone customer service. Patience is one of the biggest fundamentals to customer service as customers who turn to customer service are going to be feeling negative or disappointed, and it’s important to be patient without getting aggravated by their issues.
You may come across an issue that cannot easily be resolved, and in this situation it’s equally as important to stay patient
Things take time to be fixed, but eventually they will be; if you’re seen getting angry along the way, it can make customers feel even more negative or unhappy with your services. You must remember to work patiently alongside your co-workers and the customer to get the issue resolved.
Good at Listening
When it comes to dealing with customers, you need to be able to listen to them. You need to be able to completely understand their issues and problems in order to figure out how to resolve them.
Without completely absorbing what they have to say, you’re not going to be able to fully satisfy their needs and solve their problems
The team also needs to be aware of what’s happening around them. They need to listen to reviews and feedback customers have given them over time and determine what the best course of action is. Customers leave reviews and feedback for a reason and it’s important to remember that what you’re doing is for your customers and you want to provide them with the best service out there.
Clear Communication Skills
Once you have listened to and studied your customers issues, you need to then have the ability to clearly communicate the solution or any available information. You need to be able to clearly tell the customer why something happened, what the solution is, what to do next, and so on.
If you lack clear communication skills, the solution will more than likely seem complicated and impossible
The less simple a solution (if the customer must complete it) or answer is, the more likely a customer is to leave negative feedback and stop using your services.
Another significant factor to having clear communication skills is to ensure that everything you say to your customers is 100% accurate and you have disclaimed everything you need to. You need to tell your customers the truth and disclose everything they need to know about any certain issue or solution. It’s no good missing out parts or not telling customers things because it will effect your business in the long run.
It’s imperative all members of your business team has acquired knowledge of the services/products your business provides; whether it be a basic or extended knowledge.
Think about it; a customer calls with a problem and the team member dealing with it doesn’t even understand the problem or has never heard of the elements that build up the problem. Therefore, the team member cannot provide the help the customer needs; which ultimately reflects badly on the business as a whole.
It’s critical that everyone understands the ins and outs of the services and products
Without a clear understanding, there is absolutely no way you can help a customer with an issue regarding the services. Failing to help a customer, inevitably, lowers your businesses credibility and discourages people from continuing to use your services.
Can Handle Anything
Customers are going to throw everything possible at you. They’re going to surprise you with new complaints and you’re going to need to know how to deal with such complaints.
As a business, it’s always a good idea to go through and pinpoint things that could potentially go wrong and that customers could get angry with. This way, you can come up with ways to deal with it already. However, there are sometimes going to be customers who go outside the box and have complaints that your business never covered.
When it comes to it, you need to be prepared enough to do what it takes to find a solution and fix the problem
You’re going to need to be able to think on your feet and do what you can to help the customer with their new problem. If you can’t help, it’s best to map a chain of people in a higher position than you and pass it on to them to try and help.
If a customer surprises or shocks you with a completely new issue, you need to be prepared to go above and beyond as you usually would. You’ve got to think on your feet and do what’s best for that situation; even if it is a new one.
A Calm Presence
Having a calm presence is always beneficial when dealing with customers. Remaining calm during tough situations is probably one of the best underlying traits for good customer service skills.
To remain calm ensures everyone in question is calm
It prevents anger from getting in the way of solving an issue. The more you can prevent a customer from pulling their hair out, the better. However angry a customer is, you need to make the effort to remain calm and listen to their situation with a composed mindset prepared to help them resolve their anger. Angry customers can be frustrating and aggravating but the more angry you get, the more negative the business looks.
It’s all about being able to breathe through a tough situation and deal with things in a calm and collected manner. This will reflect positively on your own team and ensure that the customer feels satisfied with the service they received.
Having empathy and being able to understand a customer’s feelings is such an important factor. It enables you to truly show care and concern for a customer and their issues; which makes them feel important and special.
The more important you can make your customers feel through empathetic feelings, the better
Showing you care gives them the impression that they’re all that matters in that minute and you’re really focussing on them and solving their issues. When you can see that people are truly caring for you, you react well; it’s just human nature. It’s in human nature to like those who help us.
So, do you want your angry customers to like your business and favour your services again? Be empathetic! Show you care and they’ll reward you back with their continuous payment into your service/product.
Even if your business doesn’t deal with complaints often, you’re most definitely going to make contact with customers and all these customer service skills still apply. It’s still extremely important to deal with all customers with respect and care; even if they’re not complaining.
It’s all about giving customers what they expect. They expect a business that will quickly solve the issue, with a polite and friendly attitude.
Most customers want businesses to treat them with respect and to remain calm in any situation
Therefore, if you have team members that disrespect customers or show them little to no friendliness - it’s going to reflect badly on the business and give the customer a bad experience with your business.
You’re essentially aiming for all experiences customers have with you to be positive. So, even if they are suffering from an issue with your services/products, you need to turn the situation around and make it positive again. It’s your job to be there to resolve it all.