You will likely lose your customers due to poor customer service; it doesn’t matter how much great your services/great are. If we say CSRs (Customer Service Representative) is the face of your company, it won’t be wrong because they are the primary POC (point of contact) that build your brand. In this digital era where public opinions play a crucial role in your company’s reputation, you should avoid customer service failure and ensure that the essential skills for Customer Service Representatives are met.
Skills for customer service representatives that you should look for
When it comes to becoming a good customer services representative, having good communication skills is the key. As a CSR, you should know what your customer wants to communicate and how you can assist him/her. Pronouncing, employ a clear, upbeat, and positive tone, and speaking softly but a bit loudly will help you communicate more positively and clearly with them. Don’t forget these skills in phone communication too; they are equally important for it. Similarly, if you write an email, use correct spellings and grammar and choose good words that convey a similarly clear and positive attitude.
In the customer service industry, representatives require specific tools that help them to assist customers. An aspiring customer service representative should be familiar with other tools outside of the traditional Microsoft Office Suite. For instance, as a CSR, you need to be familiar with LiveChat and other similar tools. If you want to become a customer service expert, having good computer skills can help you a lot.
Like communication skills, listening skills are also important. Listen carefully to know what your customers exactly need and how you can help your valuable customers. Show that you are listening to them through your responses. Don’t hesitate to ask again if you don’t understand the question to ensure you understand the other person.
When we talk about essential skills for customer services, workload management might be included in the top five. As a customer support agent, you need to meet various deadlines to meet constantly. If you are not good at workload management skills, you can focus on different areas and improve these skills. These areas include time management, multitasking, meet deadlines effectively, maintain productivity, set realistic goals, and maintain your performance.
Ability to empathize
Every agent should have this skill, but it will be honed over time. If someone has been in the customer service industry for a while, these skills can erode from him/her. You should make yourself able to listen carefully and involve yourself in what your customer is trying to tell you. If you are not listening to your customer and following your company’s policy, you may miss essential consideration that you need to be considered for high-quality customer service. In other words, empathy is all about the ability to understand and feel the emotions of others and of all your skills. If you have the ability to empathize, you can win the trust of unhappy customers because they feel that there is someone who can understand and feel what they say.
If you think about the most persuasive speaker in your company, he/she may be a salesperson. Persuasion is an important skill that can also be helpful in customer service. You have seen that most good reps turn the problems into the solution-means your loyal customers turn into your evangelists. They usually don’t be persuasive to turn the problems into solutions. Good customer services help them to get the job done without being persuasive. It is said that around 74% of consumers say that due to positive service experiences, they have spent more with the company. It is a lot more effective, so ensure that your rep speaks with confidence, a good voice of tone, and offers enthralling arguments that lead to high streams of conversions.
Ability to use positive language
When your customers contact you, they have a problem. Similarly, when you have pain, you go to the doctor. No one goes to the doctor when he/she is feeling well. The problem sometimes comes with frustration, negativity, and anger, but you need to stay positive. If you have such a situation, empathize with your customer and keep your conversation as upbeat as possible. Use positive language because when you show a positive attitude, it helps to steer the conversation towards a positive solution. Only focus on the solution and thank them for their understanding and patience. The language of your support agents in their language has a strong impact on the customers, especially when they are using non-voice support channels. For example, if you have logistic issues and you are unable to deliver the package to your customer on the expected date, update them in a positive way.
Self-control is probably one of the essential skills for a customer service representative. The agent should handle the entire situation calmly; even the situation get worsen. Strive to remain positive and don’t lose your cool, even when you have a difficult customer who is not using positive language. Self-control will keep you prevent from saying inappropriate words. Keep in mind that when your customer gets upset, don’t take it personally. When he/she is angry or frustrated, then staying calm is more important. You should try to tone down the conversation as possible as you can.
Product knowledge may seem like it is given, but it is a key element that can’t be overlooked. You should conduct regular training for your rep and give them product updates regularly. It will help them understand your product and new changes in the product that can affect your customers.
Your customer service representative should give updated and accurate info about your services or products to truly help them. If you are not able to do the same, you will probably upset your customers. Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a survey of over one thousand adults, and 70% of people are annoyed when the support representative can’t help them or information is wrong.
Basic performance skills
To maintain professionalism, sometimes you have to put on a mask of concern and sometimes friendliness. But this doesn’t mean you are trying to deceive your customers, but it is vital to know how to do all this. For instance, if a customer is not behaving positively and irritating you, you must know what to do in this situation. In this situation, it is not appropriate to show him/her you are irritated. If you have some basic performance skills, it can help you present some facts and information more cheerfully. Make sure that your responses convey what you mean to say and help you do your job well.
When it comes to customer service, taking responsibility is probably a big part of working in it. It means you are able to say sorry whether you have delivered a poor-quality product or your shipment is late. You have to apologize to your valuable customers even when the problem was not at your end because it always makes your customers feel better when they hear an apology.
If someone shouted at you or rudely behave with you, it might seem like playing Russian Roulette; you pick up your customer’s phone. But you should not lose your cool and greet them, which might be critical but have patience. The University of Toronto conducted a study that concluded that impatience makes the worst things even harder. For instance, when you can’t keep your cool while talking to an unhappy customer, impatience makes the situation worsen. If you think dealing with an irate customer is more than a pain, then wait until they make your entire department grumpy. Instead, take a deep breath, understand his problem and realize that his ire has little to do with you. But you can turn their problem into a positive solution.
Employee Engagement Trends Report published a report in 2015 that concluded that customer service representatives are among the least engaged of your workers. If your CSRs will check out, it means your customers will do the same. You can’t stop your customers from moving on to other companies or your competitors. Only 43 percent of customers see companies as more helpful. So it is necessary to be present and turns your attention to your customers’ problems. Be attentive and give them timely responses and make sure to reduce the customer service response ratio.
How a CSR find a practical solution for each query to ensure higher FCR (First Contact Resolution rate) on the first contact? If a CSR candidate knows it well, he can be a great customer service representative. He/she should be intelligent enough to find a viable solution and know all about your offering. Moreover, a CSR should know how to resolve queries at his/her end without escalating them to the team lead or other upper management.
Either you want to watch your CSR career take off or watch the levels of customer services soar, don’t hesitate to put these essential skills for customer service representatives into practice.