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Most Essential Customer Service Skills

Most Essential Customer Service Skills

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Most Essential Customer Service Skills

Essential customer service skills are personal traits customer support agents and managers possess that help them build quality, communicative, and transparent business-client relationships. In this blog, I will take you through customer service skills that are vital to develop.

What is customer service?

Customer service is the process by which a business aids its customers before, during, and after the customer’s purchase of goods or services. For instance, customer service can take the form of explaining product features,  exploring other products the business offers, and advising customers on the appropriate way to consume the business’ commodity.

What are customer service skills?

Customer service skills are abilities you rely on when communicating with customers to assist them. These skills not only help you provide quality customer service but can preserve and even improve your business’ reputation.

The need for customer service skills

Customer service is a key tool for allowing your business to thrive. To positively impact your profit margin, you must acquire essential service skills since they:

  • Impress your customers with how you take on their problems.
  • Assist you on how to gain your customers’ trust and loyalty.
  • Warrant you increase your level of business growth.
  • Help you be relatable and approachable in other business environments.
  • Guide you to build a good rapport with both your customers and agents.
  • Enable you to work out issues thoroughly, not hastily.

List of essential customer service skills

To succeed as a customer service representative, every employee who interacts with customers needs to acquire and hone a specific set of customer service skills. The ability to work effectively, communicate clearly, manage time effectively, and stay organized are among the most crucial customer service talents.

A great customer service representative must have solid product knowledge, good problem-solving abilities, and the capacity to negotiate and move the situation toward resolution, among other qualities. The following are key customer service skills:

Persistence

Persistence is the act of continuing in an opinion or course of action despite difficulty or opposition. To build a good rapport with your customers, you ought to be persistent in serving them by educating, engaging, and reassuring them through different mediums such as texts, emails, and calls as appropriate. Additionally, to be helpful to your customers, you need to be persistent in dealing positively with displeased customers, disoriented buyers, replicated inquiries, and never ending customer queues. Remember, customer service is constant. It will never cease.

Persistence

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels

To build persistence:

  • Eradicate haste in yourself.
  • Keep an open mind about potential solutions.
  • Relax and think through your actions.

Kindness

Kindness is the act of being friendly, considerate, and generous. Certainly, being kind to your customers maintains a cooperative communication environment. Furthermore, kindness builds a foundation of trust in all the activities you carry out with your customers. With kindness, your customer service will have an amiable reputation and attract more customers to your business.

Therefore, to be kind in customer service,

  • Empathize with your customers.
  • Learn to answer questions in such a way that doesn’t blame the customers for their issues.
  • Always be communicative.
  • Tell your customers the truth.

Curiosity

Curiosity is the urge to know more. For instance, if you are having trouble understanding a customer’s issue, always ask more questions. By being curious, you can resolve all your customer’s inquiries easily since you will fully understand deeper what the problem is. Moreover, curiosity builds a better, high-quality help desk.

To develop and support curiosity in your customer service team:

  • Keep in touch with your customers.
  • Learn how to relate with every customer.
  • Have a bank of queries for your customers.

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is excitement to do something. To build a productive customer service team, enthusiasm must be a foundational pillar of the team. Enthusiasm also creates a passionate help desk for customers, ensuring a high built-in customer satisfaction score for your business.

To encourage enthusiasm in your customer service team:

  • Be passionate about every step or action you take, even in minor tasks.
  • Stop procrastinating about work.
  • Approach queries with a can-do attitude.

Systematically approach solutions

A systematic approach is a methodical, precise way of doing something. Applied to customer service, it means approaching every customer’s inquiry with the same thorough workflow, such as identifying the issue, uncovering circumstances around the problem that may have some effect on the solution, and finally pursuing an answer. By following your procedure carefully, your customers will pick up on your trustworthiness and dependability in every interaction.

To be systematic in your customer service approach:

  • Analyze the circumstances of all inquiries.
  • Be thorough at every step.
  • Note every day’s progress for future reference.

Anticipate surprises

Anticipating surprises prepares you to perform any kind of customer service duty, helping build a positive, action-oriented work environment. By expecting surprises, you can withstand the occasional harsh moment when a customer is angry. This leads to establishing a rapport with your customers.

Be a go-getter

A go-getter stays focused and determined to achieve a goal. Certainly, this skill enables you to work through all pressures of the business environment.

To be a go-getter:

  • Focus on what you are doing.
  • Take on new or unfamiliar tasks with excitement.
  • Avoid procrastination.

Time optimization

This is the ability to manage time effectively. By managing your time effectively, you ensure your service-level agreement with your customers, thus leading to good relations.

To optimize your time:

  • Set reminders in your calendar.
  • Keep in touch with your customers.
  • Always be frank.

Time Optimization

Photo by Vie Studio on Pexels

Resourcefulness

This is the ability to find ways to overcome difficulties. By being resourceful, you can come up with different ideas of how to solve problems, thus enabling you to save time.

Subsequently, to be resourceful,

  • Learn more through reading industry-specific blogs and publications.
  • Listen to other people’s opinions.
  • Socialize with agents and customers thus expanding your knowledge base.

Product mastery

Having full knowledge of the product you support means you can help customers at any stage of the support process. By knowing the ins and outs of the product, you can be a deep customer resource that can brainstorm solutions alongside the customer, thus building a good reputation for your company’s support team.

To master the product you support:

  • Know every important step of production of the good or service.
  • Understand how your product is different from competitors’.
  • Exercise your knowledge by producing knowledge base documents for your colleagues and customers.

How to improve your customer service skills

Certainly, there is no downside to improving your customer service skills. Therefore, by working on your responsiveness, actively paying attention, being compassionate, and expanding your knowledge all converge to make you a better customer service agent.

The following are some key ways to improve your customer service skills:

Practice the essential skills

Practicing the skills you want to develop helps you become more comfortable in using them. Subsequently, with enough practice, using them will be natural thus you won’t have to consciously make an effort to use them.

Ask for direct feedback from colleagues

Asking for direct feedback from colleagues gives you a better idea of how your support actions can be improved. Therefore, knowing where you can improve lets you identify the particular skills you need to practice more thus giving you actionable information to improve your future interactions with customers. Furthermore, asking for feedback from your colleagues enables you to track your progress at a regular interval.

Learn from customer feedback reports

Through good relationships and responsiveness, your customers will automatically send feedback to the company. Additionally, this feedback may shed light on new and innovative ways to solve customer service issues, or point out places in the customer support process that stand to be improved.

Photos-by-Brett-Jordan-on-Pexels

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels

Benefits of using customer service skills

You can directly observe the improvement of customer service metrics and overall company metrics by improving customer service skills.

Increase customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value is how much value a customer is worth to your company over the course of the entire business-customer relationship. Customer service skills enable you to satisfy your customers’ needs, hence increasing your customer satisfaction score and more importantly your customer retention. With a higher retention rate, your customers’ lifetime value to the business will increase.

Increase net promoter score

Net promoter score is a metric used to measure the loyalty of customers to a company. Consequently, by asking your customers how likely they are to recommend your company or product and why, you will be aware of issues that the company needs to address. In addition, with high-quality support experiences resulting from good customer service skills, customers are more likely to recommend your company to others and attract new customers.

Improve your brand and company reputation 

By exhibiting and practicing essential customer service skills, you build the best customer service experience possible, thus creating a better brand and reputation for your company.

Conclusion

In summary, essential customer service skills are tools that you can use to deliver the best support experience to your customers. By developing them and practicing them not only in yourself but across the entire support team, your company’s reputation for stellar support will attract more and more customers, helping the business grow.

Try BoldDesk by Syncfusion to see how you can improve your customer service efforts. You can start a 15-day free trial on BoldDesk.com. For more information, contact BoldDesk support.

Willy Smith
Willy Smith
A technical writer and a content reviewer at Syncfusion.

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