If you are aiming for excellence, you can never stop learning and polishing your skills. What skills are needed for a great customer service?
There is a long-running debate over which set of skills is more important for a customer service rep, soft skills or technical skills.
A recent survey by Service Strategies concludes that 96% of respondents judged communication skills and interpersonal skills more important than technical skills for the success in customer support. After all, to resolve any technical problem a CSR needs strong communication skills to effectively gather information, analyze it and find a solution which will help the customer.
A set of soft skills every CSR needs to learn:
A customer service rep needs to listen to the customer carefully, pay attention to every detail in order to understand the problem or the question correctly. Getting it right the first time saves a lot of time in the course of your communication. It also helps to avoid frustration on the part of the customer if he has to explain his issue over and over.
- Clarity of language
It is important to explain the information to the customer clearly so that he can understand it. When it’s not a face-to-face interaction, it is quite easy to misunderstand each other. So the language of communication needs to be simple, precise and clear.
No doubt, confidence is something we need in our everyday life, not only in customer service. However, in areas concerned with communication and advice, a confident conversation is of utmost importance, otherwise, the other party will just not hear you.
A customer service rep is bound to deal with different kinds of people. Some of them could be angry or frustrated and thus difficult to manage. Being patient is the key to steering your communication with the client in the right direction.
Customer service field is in a way like a hospital. People come there with a problem and they want you to be understanding of it, to empathize with them. They don’t want to hear reprimands that they cannot do something. They want to be heard, understood and helped or given advice. So a customer service rep always needs to be ready to step into the customer’s shoes and show empathy.
- Team-work skills
There is safety in numbers, so if your company is aimed at providing high-class customer service, training all the employees for well-coordinated team-work is the key to success. A CSR needs to know well the whole structure of the company, who is responsible for what and be able to escalate customer service issues to the right person or department in no time.
Being creative helps a lot in our work-places. If you can think out of the box, finding solutions to difficult customer issues will be a challenging, but an interesting task. A creative rep is never bored at work and rest assured, satisfied with his employment. And his customers, in their turn, are satisfied with the company’s service.
We all enjoy being treated nicely and the customer service field is no exception. It helps a lot if a CSR has a friendly personality and can communicate with customers in a professional, but friendly manner. This will build relationships with your customers that will last for years.
With all the above said, we cannot underrate the value of having solid technical skills. A good rep needs to have strong tech skills to be able to perform well in his work.
A balanced approach to training both types of skills is what gives best results in customer support.