This post was originally published by Jenny Boling on lessonly.com.
Despite all the developments in technology, customer service remains largely a matter of human interaction. This means that employee skills and traits make all the difference. And, we believe that great customer service is the holy grail of business. This means that we need to treat people like people, not a transaction or notch closer to quota.
And yes, we also understand that providing flawless service is not always easy.
What we have learned is that excellent customer service skills are rooted in your organization’s detailed definition of customer service. To define excellent customer service skills, think about your company’s key messaging and values. Then, create digital learning material with processes and procedures that encompass those messages and values. You’ll be able to deliver it to employees, track their learning, and, as a result, prepare excellent customer service reps to interact with your customers.
Top 3 important qualities of customer service reps
When you see examples of good customer service skills from your employees, it echoes throughout the company. And if these skills remain consistent, they will become staples. In our humble opinion, these three good customer service examples will ensure your customers have the best experience:
The ability to communicate clearly and succinctly is an essential skill for customer service representatives. You must hire good communicators and commit to training everyone on your customer service team, both in written and verbal forms.
Writing is a crucial skill that enables you to clearly and concisely get your message across in written form. It’s especially important if most of your support is provided via live chat or email tickets.
Verbal skills are of course important as well, especially when most of your support is done over the phone or in person. Verbal and written skills are often correlated — they both require a certain empathy for the listener — but they don’t have to be.
As a customer service manager, you can help speed up the process of encouraging your reps to develop stronger communication skills by having them practice. Make role-playing a mandatory part of the training, and check in on a regular basis to monitor progress. Good communication starts with training and spreads to the phones.
Customer compassion + empathy
The ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes is crucial for a successful customer service rep. Empathy is the ability to understand and connect with a customer’s feelings, even when you cannot fix them. Compassionate people are able to do good over and over again. Business people are so used to thinking about the bottom line, but the bottom line in most customers’ minds isn’t financial; it’s emotional.
Sometimes you can’t give the customer the answer they want, but if you show you care about their problem and strive to steer them in the right direction, the interaction will go more smoothly than if you dismiss them or insinuate the problem is their fault.
Without patience, the service experience turns unpleasant for both the customer and the service rep. When being shouted at, insulted, and rudely rushed are all just a part of your day, it can seem like playing Russian Roulette every time you pick up the phone or greet a customer. But keeping your cool is critical to great customer service. Impatience impedes your enjoyment of life, and if you think dealing with unhappy customers is a pain, just wait until they make your whole department ornery. Instead, breathe. Realize that this person’s anger has little to do with you, but you have the chance to turn their day — and their problem — into something positive.
How you deal with customers can make or break your business. Good customer service skills are qualities every employee who interacts with your clients must develop.
And why should companies value customer service?
Because word of mouth is a company’s best friend, that’s why. When customers are pleased with their customer service experience, they’ll recommend the company to their friends. Eventually, these references that are created from excellent customer service skills, not products, will turn into new business. They’ll also strengthen the credibility of the brand.
Lessonly by Seismic is a training and coaching platform equipped to not only provide customer service skills training but give managers the means to improve learning and innovate within the company. Let us help you train the best customer service reps—get a demo today.