In our last post, we talked about important customer service skills (communication skills) that your team should have. The truth is that, for you to achieve excellence in your customers’ experience, customer service cannot simply be a department in your organisation. Customer service should be the culture.
Every member of your staff is a potential customer service representative whether that is their role or not. Your staffs are your brand ambassador, therefore, it is best that they develop these important customer service skills. You never know where your next client will come from.
4 Important Customer Service Skills
Communicating with empathy is a crucial element to deepening customer engagement. Whether a customer comes to your team with a particular issue or concern, expressing empathy builds trust and a foundation for relating to one another.
Here are examples of how customer support reps can engage in empathic communication:
- Show, don’t tell. Use a personal anecdote to relate, rather than simply saying, “I know how you feel.”
- Listen and ask questions rather than immediately launching into an impersonal canned response.
- Clarify the customer’s point of view by reviewing what they’ve communicated: “If I understand correctly . . .”
- Validate a customer’s concerns and affirm the need for a solution.
- Apologize to dissatisfied, distraught, or concerned customers and assure them that you’re there to help.
- Thank customers for their time, patience, and business.
Last but not least, customer support teams need to be authentic to showcase empathy effectively. There’s a reason 83% of consumers say they prefer speaking to live agents over chatbots. It’s not enough to parrot empathetic responses; customers are looking for honest representatives that can speak clearly, avoid jargon or clichés, solve problems proactively, and showcase a human touch.
Human touch and empathy are becoming even more important than before the pandemic, so your staff should work on further improving your responses to make sure they come across as sympathetic and considerate.
Flexible, creative thinking is not just a soft skill that would be nice for employees to have; it’s one of the most sought-after skills on employers’ hiring checklists. Every customer is different, and the ability to handle surprises and shifting customer moods builds a solid foundation for top-notch customer service.
There are several ways to cultivate better adaptability in the workplace:
- Train agents to adapt their communications based on how internal channels interact. They need to identify the differences between a message that requires a quick Slack to a team member and one that merits a formal email to a manager.
- Incorporate role-playing activities during customer service training to expose teams to different scenarios that may arise during a customer exchange.
- Establish a transparent chain of command to help with customer escalations. Clarify which channel to use for immediate assistance and how to best share customer information about the issue, whether it’s detailed snippets from the conversation, a transcript of the entire discussion, screenshots, and/or a recording.
- Encourage teams to talk through unfamiliar problems and ask questions.
- Search for innovative solutions to customer complaints and invite suggestions.
- Adopt new customer support technologies as a competitive advantage.
To be continued…
Credit: Grammarly business