With the large amount of competition out there, strengthening your customer service skills is extremely important when trying to generate repeat customers. It’s important to make sure that your customer service representative(s) has the right skills for handling your customers’ needs. Managing expectations is one of the most important aspects to maintaining a healthy & rewarding relationship with clients. Consistently having positive interactions leads to a calmer work day and a higher level of productivity.
What skills should you be looking for in a customer service rep?
- Empathy, patience and consistency.Some customers will be irate. Others, full of questions. And some just plain chatty. You must know how to handle all of them and provide the same level of service every time. Exude empathy on the irate, patience on those with questions, and consistently strive to deliver excellence.
- Honesty. There are no guarantees. As with most things in life, there are too many factors at play to make any major promises. Your customers will appreciate your candidness and ability to tell it like it is.
- Adaptability.Every customer is different. You should be able to handle surprises, sense the customer’s mood and adapt accordingly. This includes having a willingness to learn as providing good customer service is a continuous learning process.
- Clear and constant communication.Ensure you convey to customers exactly what you mean. You don’t want your customer to think they’re getting 50% off when they’re actually getting 50% more product. Use authentically positive language, stay cheerful no matter what and never end a conversation without confirming the customer is satisfied. Then, be available almost all of the time. It’s critical that your clients know they can gain access to you as needed. Hopefully just knowing you’re available and ready to jump on a request as needed will be enough so that your client’s won’t abuse your generosity with time.
- Work ethic.Customers appreciate a rep that will see their problem through to its resolution. At the same time, you must practice good time management skills and not spend too much time handling one customer while others are waiting. Stay focused on your goals to achieve the right balance.
- Knowledge. Ultimately your customers rely on you for knowledge of your product. Stay informed enough to respond to most inquiries and know where to turn if the questions become too detailed or technical for you to answer. But don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” either. Customers will appreciate the honesty and your efforts to find the right answer.
- Thick skin.The customer’s always right, right? The ability to swallow one’s pride and accept blame or negative feedback is crucial. Whether your team works directly with customers or looking for feedback on social media, they’ve got to keep the customer’s happiness in mind.