Customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of every great business. In turn, this requires high customer service from its employees. You might think that what makes your company successful is a great product or an effective management team—but nothing will stand without good customer service.
Of course, your excellent product or service may keep them happy for a while—but it’s only a matter of time before someone finds something wrong and makes that known. What are you going to do when those instances occur? Dismiss the customer and move on. No, that would be bad business. You’ll try hard to solve the problem, so you don’t lose that customer—and potentially many more. So it’s important to cultivate top-notch customer service skills in your customer support agents.
But what are the best ways to do that? Before jumping into that, let’s understand why customer service is so important.
Why is Customer Service Important?
Customer service is a key part of your business. When you provide excellent customer service, customers are more likely to tell others about their positive experience with your company, and they will be more likely to return in the future.
Customer service can also improve your and your customer’s overall experience. By proactively addressing issues before they arise (such as ensuring that all orders are placed on time), you’ll increase retention rates and make it easier for customers who have had issues in the past to get back on track with one another again!
Also, providing good customer service can give you an advantage over competitors who don’t offer the same level of care or attention to their client’s needs.
What are the Principles of Good Customer Service?
When you think of good customer service, you probably imagine a nice person doing it. This could be correct. However, other customer service characteristics are required if you want to provide excellent customer service to your customers. These include:
- Teamwork – It’s not just about one person doing their job well; it’s about having a team working together as a whole unit. This means that each staff member needs to know how to do their tasks and work with others in the team on those tasks.
- Communication Skills – Communicating effectively with your customers can help them get what they want faster than if they had to deal with someone who couldn’t explain things clearly or wasn’t very good at listening and communicating clearly!
- Self-Management – If you’re looking for someone who can manage themselves well, then this should be a requirement for any customer service employee you hire (or don’t hire!). A great manager will be able to delegate tasks, set goals, and monitor progress towards those goals, which is something that all employees need to feel valued and productive within an organization where everyone has responsibility.
- Accountability – Accountability means taking responsibility for your actions, good or bad. This is important for any employee dealing with customers because it shows that they have integrity and won’t try to shift the blame onto others when things go wrong.
- Proactive – The best customer service representatives can anticipate customer needs and solve problems before they become big problems. A good customer service representative should be able to address product and service issues with customers productively and professionally.
There are many more different principles of good customer service, but they all boil down to the same thing: making customers happy. That doesn’t mean you have to bend over backward or do whatever they want, however, it means you must listen carefully and respond when someone has a complaint or problem with your company.
10 Key Customer Service Skills
A good place to start when providing excellent customer service is with your support team. It’s essential to hire people who have certain customer service traits and are genuinely devoted to helping your customers succeed — and pay them well.
Finding the perfect hire for the customer support team is a challenge. No checklist of job experiences and college diplomas adds up to the ideal candidate; instead, you’re looking for customer service qualities that cannot necessarily be taught.
Here are the top 10 customer service skills that every support professional should strive to master:
1. Problem-solving skills
If you can’t solve a problem, what good are you? Your customers will expect your support team to have the skills to help them with any issue they may be having. Their first instinct is not to call their IT department or the company directly but to contact your support team. They want answers fast, and they want them from someone who knows what they’re doing.
A good customer service representative will anticipate customers’ needs and go the extra mile to fulfill them manually—while also educating those customers about how they can do this themselves in the future.
2. Ability to communicate clearly
When it comes to communicating clearly, you should do a few things. First, make sure that your tone is friendly and upbeat. This can help the customer feel more relaxed during the conversation and will be much easier for them to understand what you’re saying. Second, if possible, use active listening techniques such as asking questions about the problem at hand or clarifying their concerns so that they feel like they were heard rather than just talked at by an employee who doesn’t know how best to help them solve their problem (and isn’t interested in doing so).
Thirdly, don’t be afraid of asking customers for feedback—it’s always helpful! It shows that you care about their opinion on how things could be improved for both parties involved in this interaction to come out better than before, which ultimately leads to greater customer satisfaction!
3. Product and service expertise
Product and service expertise is vital to the company. A good customer service employee should be able to answer questions about the products or services they sell and provide information about new products or services that might be coming out soon. This can be useful for them in their job and customers who may want to buy something new from them if they have any questions about what it does or how it works.
Product and service expertise is also a valuable asset for employees who are likely responsible for helping customers find solutions within their organization’s offerings whenever possible—and this includes both internal employees (such as call center employees) and external partners like retailers who work with large companies sales teams on behalf of their clients’ needs.
4. Effective listening
Listening is an essential part of customer service. It’s not just hearing; it also understands what you’re being told and how this information affects your life or business.
Listening is a two-way process: You’re not just listening to what someone says; you must also be listening for clues about their feelings, needs, and motives. If you don’t understand these things, your ability to respond will be limited because there won’t be enough information available to respond adequately (even if there were, it would probably come across as insincere). Effective listening requires paying attention both verbally and nonverbally; if someone speaks loudly while speaking directly into your ear (this happens often), then chances are they’d rather see themselves as being heard than speaking directly!
5. Taking responsibility
As a customer service employee, you are responsible for your actions. You are accountable for what happens in your department and how it impacts customers. You should take ownership of your role in the company and be honest about any mistakes you make or know about.
Taking responsibility means being a team player by working with other employees on projects or initiatives that benefit the company as a whole—not just yourself or coworkers personally (e.g., if they’re doing something wrong). It also means communicating effectively with customers when they have questions or concerns—and not taking things personally!
A good communicator will listen carefully before responding to understand what’s going on from their perspective; this way, there won’t be any misunderstandings later down the road when they need everyone else’s help solving problems together.
6. Time management
Time management is one of the essential skills that you can learn to improve your customer service performance. It’s also one of the most challenging skills to master because it requires you to manage your time effectively and track how much each task takes so that you don’t waste too much time on any one thing or person.
One way to manage your time well is by keeping an eye on what activities are taking up most of it at any given moment, especially if they’re repeatable ones (like answering emails). Another way is by only doing things that need more than 15-30 minutes worth of work at once—you’ll find yourself spending less overall by focusing on fewer tasks at once!
7. Positive attitude
One of the essential skills for any customer service employee is a positive attitude. A positive attitude can help you solve problems, build customer loyalty, and make your reputation in the eyes of your customers. A good attitude also helps to build trust with customers who may be skeptical at first—and they’ll feel more confident when they talk to someone who has a friendly face!
So how do you get this? First off, try not to take negative comments personally or let them affect how you act towards others around you; instead, focus on being grateful for every person who has ever spoken up about something positive about yourself or your company (even if that’s just because someone thinks it’s cute). This will give them confidence in their judgment because they know there isn’t anything wrong with what they’re saying—it’s just another way everyone loves their personality!
8. Willingness to improve
Customer service employees should be willing to learn, change and grow. This means they accept feedback and are open-minded enough to try new things. They should also be helpful to adapt their skillset to meet customers’ needs better.
An excellent example of this would be a customer service representative who has been trained on what it takes to resolve an issue but then decides that they need additional training to reach their full potential as an employee within the company (or industry). The same goes for other skill sets like communications or interpersonal relations – if someone doesn’t feel comfortable using those tools, it could mean better results down the line!
Kapture’s learning management system is web-based software that you may access at any time. It helps you to build, administer, and track online employee education and training programs. It provides a one-stop shop for both pre-and post-training needs and can be used to instruct learners both locally and remotely.
Patience is essential for every customer service representative because customers don’t always grasp what you’re saying. If you’ve ever tried to explain something fundamental and necessary to someone who has never heard of it before, you understand how tough it can be to communicate clearly with someone who doesn’t have the same background knowledge as you.
When dealing with challenging situations, such as furious customers or having your job threatened by an angry supervisor, patience is also essential. Patience is helpful in these instances because it allows you to retain your cool while keeping solid communication skills, allowing both parties to stay on track and handle the problem effectively without becoming wounded (which may discourage them from being repeat customers).
Being able to control your emotions is essential for several reasons. It’s one of the first things you learn as a child, and it’s something that we all need to function daily. However, it’s also essential when working with customers because they can get frustrated or angry when they feel their service provider is mistreating them. A good customer service employee will know how to respond appropriately when this happens—and not just how to respond but how not to respond!
This means that self-control is one of those skills that will help make people feel valued as individuals while also allowing them access to any given situation without becoming overwhelmed by emotion or frustration (or worse).
Evolve customer service
Customer service is essential, but it doesn’t mean you should rush through inquiries. Instead, efficiently handling them means minimizing effort and maximizing results.
One way to do this is by using artificial intelligence tools, such as chatbots and virtual agents to handle customers’ fundamental questions. Then you can use human customer service agents for more complicated issues that require their expertise.
To further streamline the process, a multichannel approach can be used. Kapture provides omnichannel customer support solutions that help companies make their customers’ experiences efficient, no matter their channel.
Our solutions are designed to help businesses improve the customer experience, increase revenue and reduce costs. We offer live chat, FAQs, and knowledge management system for your website. You can add an email response option or use our automated chatbot to handle basic questions.
Connect with our product team at Kapture to learn more about our omnichannel ticketing system dashboard and how it can help you transform your customer service processes.
About the Author
|Chandan is a Content Writer at Kapture CRM who enjoys writing about various niches that help businesses achieve their mission and vision.|