Customers are the lifeblood of your business.
Accordingly, failure to attract and retain them will be the death of it.
Indeed, companies in the US lose approximately $1.6 trillion on customers who switch loyalties to alternative providers.
Can you afford to sacrifice your business’ revenue through poor customer relations? We’re guessing the answer to that question’s a resounding ‘no’!
In which case, you need to start prioritizing the customer experience.
Thankfully, a solid grasp of a few key customer service skills can have a disproportionately positive effect. Are you hoping to improve your relationship with customers, enhance retention levels and ensure the success of your business?
Well, we want to help!
Keep reading to discover the customer service skills that’ll make it happen.
Join Our Small Business Community
Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.
First thing’s first:
Knowledge of the product/service.
Everyone who works for your customer service department must know the business inside out. Don’t, and you risk upsetting anybody who calls for assistance.
It makes sense. After all, customer service is about problem-solving. A customer has an issue that they want to be addressed. These problems come in all shapes and sizes, meaning insight into the product/service is essential.
Imagine yourself as a customer in need of help. There’s an assumption that calling that number or sending that email will provide an answer! Failure in that regard sends all the wrong messages of ineptness, which is a recipe for losing someone’s trust.
By contrast, a speedy and knowledge solution creates an impression of expertise and professionalism.
Again, put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
Any problem with your product or service is a hindrance. The fact that there’s a problem will have already raised doubts in the customer. Your customer service department must be able to salvage the situation.
Solving the issue in a timely manner is the best way to do it. People are busy! They don’t want to struggle to resolve an issue they didn’t want in the first place.
See it as your duty to improve the situation as quickly as humanly possible. Of course, high levels of insight into the business will enable that to happen.
3- Calmness and Respect
Let’s face it, customer service isn’t an easy job.
You’re in the front line, in the firing line against the high emotions of upset customers. You need to be able to stay calm under pressure.
Remember, they’re not angry at you personally (even though it might seem that way!). They’re annoyed by the situation; you just happen to be the lucky individual on the other end of the phone.
Staying calm is essential to dealing with matters effectively.
Hard is can be, make sure you’re respectful too. Make it clear that you’re trying to help; it’s far harder to be angry with someone who’s being calm and affable!
The ability to listen is a rare skill to possess these days.
More often than not people are more willing to talk about their own issues!
However, strong listening capabilities are crucial for success in customer service. For one thing, it’s the only way to understand and resolve a customer complaint/issue. You must be able to tease out the cause of a problem in order to find the solution.
For that, listening to what someone is saying is of vital importance.
More than that, though, the customer will appreciate the simple phenomenon of being heard. It’s a sure-fire way of getting someone on-side.
Be mindful that there’s a level of entitlement that comes with being a customer. They’ve given you their money and time, which makes it your responsibility to solve their issues!
Listening’s the first step to becoming a strong communicator.
And communication is another vital skill for your customer service team.
For one thing, it’s a component in efficiently and effectively handling complains and concerns. A customer doesn’t want to listen to you talk their ear off. They’ve got in touch so you can solve their problem.
Communicating that answer can be easier said than done though, which is why you need this as a skill. Remember, you’re an expert in your business, but they most definitely are not! Complex matters must be summarized in simple lay terms and instructions.
Customer communications software (aka CCM software) can be helpful in this endeavor.
As we’ve already noted, customers can be a pain to work with.
They have an issue and expect you to help. They’re often angry and frustrated and generally aggrieved with the situation. Moreover, they can sometimes be more than willing to express that frustration to a customer service rep!
Staying calm and treating them with respect isn’t easy. However, the capacity to empathize will be a mighty help in your efforts.
It’s about putting yourself in their shoes and seeing where they’re coming from. Sometimes, just making the effort can reduce the animosity you can feel in response to a difficult customer!
More importantly, it’ll give you’re a better shot at understanding the cause of the problem itself. Knowing that, you can more easily handle it.
Patience truly is a virtue as far as customer service goes.
With everything we’ve just said about difficult customers, you can understand why!
Patience is a great foundation for your attempts to stay calm. It’ll help you weather the storm and remain positive when working with a challenging individual.
It helps prolong levels of unflappability! Those long calls and interactions are rendered far easier as a direct result.
Time to Master These Key Customer Service Skills
For your business to succeed it must prioritize the customer experience.
Fail, and you’re on a one-way ticket to a host of financial and reputational struggles!
Thankfully, some good old fashioned customer service skills can take you a long way. Hopefully, this post has highlighted 7 of the essential skills to master in your endeavors to improve customer satisfaction.
Would you like to read more articles to facilitate the success of your business? Be sure to check out the marketing section of the website.