Excellent customer service is not a trait that is easily acquired. It takes practice and hard work. From response times to communication skills to product knowledge to meeting customer expectations to time management, there is a good deal that goes into good customer service.
And of that quick list, having only one of these skills is not enough. Just having good communications skills, for instance, is not enough if a customer is calling with a question about a product or service. Solving the problem for a customer cannot be done with positive language alone, but with appropriate knowledge.
The customer experience needs to be well-rounded, which means your customer service team should also be well-rounded. Simply put, each member of the team needs to be able to cross off each item of your customer service skills list.
And if you don’t have this customer service job skills list in place, it is time you create it. If you have not created such a list before, then you have come to the right place. Since each business is unique, and each customer base is unique as well, it can seem overwhelming to decide on the most important customer service skills.
But don’t worry, there are best practices in place that will benefit every customer service team, regardless of industry or type of customer. Here are some of the most common skills to list for customer service that can help increase customer satisfaction and improve your business.
The word “communication” is often misconstrued to mean “well-spoken.” This is only part of the meaning. Remember, communication refers to speaking and listening, not just one or the other. You might have a customer service team of great speakers, but sometimes it’s a customer’s turn to speak, and your team needs to be able to listen.
This is important because there are times when a customer makes a phone call because they have a question, or even a complaint. It is important that a customer service representative hear them out entirely. Sometimes, this means putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, not just trying to quickly figure out a solution to what they are saying.
First and foremost, customers want to feel like they are being heard, which means having good listening skills. And customers also want to know that their situation (whether calling to book an appointment or ask a question) is being taken care of, which means having good speaking skills.
One or the other won’t cut it. Your customer service skill list needs to include communication skills, and it needs to be a well rounded definition of the term.
Not every customer conversation is the same. Even when a customer is calling about something that another customer already called about, this shouldn’t imply that the conversation is going to unfold similarly. Remember, each customer is unique.
A top skill for any customer service list would be to make sure the answering team is adaptable to any type of call. If a customer is angry, a customer service rep needs to understand restraint and patience to let them vent. If a customer is not understanding the answer to a question, a customer service rep should try and explain it differently.
There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to interacting with customers, which is why customer service reps need to be well-versed in many different approaches and be able to shift when the conversation calls for it.
Let’s face it, some customer calls take longer than others. This is the nature of having a customer service team in place. But the trick is knowing how much time to alot to a given call. You might just think that you listen until the customer is done speaking, but this is not entirely accurate.
Listening to and understanding a customer’s concern, request, or complaint is crucial. You should never rush them through. But once their point is made, your team should provide them with a solution to their problem, or let them know they will receive an answer shortly.
Knowing how much time to give each caller is a customer service skill that cannot be taught, it must be learned from practice. The fact of the matter is that people know when they are being rushed or moved along, and customers don’t want to feel this way. They want to feel heard and understood.
A seasoned and skilled customer service rep will be able to achieve this, and not tie up the line for too long. It is a balancing act to be sure, but when done right it is an exceptional customer service skill.
Willingness to Learn
While it is preferred that a customer service rep be confident and have the appropriate answers to a customer’s questions, they should not be a “know it all.” Accepting the fact there are things you don’t know is important for a customer service rep to be aware of.
The inability to learn new tasks or demeanors (or anything else) is a bad customer service skill and should be listed accordingly.
The Customer Service Skills List Goes On
The “complete” list of skills to list for customer service could go on and on. The list above is not necessarily complete in terms of leaving nothing out, but it provides a baseline standard you should focus on.
If you have customer service reps, then you should consider implementing some sort of training so that their skill levels increase, and your customer satisfaction skyrockets. On the other hand, you should consider partnering with a professional answering service.
A professional live answering service is already trained in the ways mentioned above, and more. We understand the importance of customer service, and make sure nothing slips through the cracks. From positive language to timely responses to product knowledge, our answering service professionals can get the job done.
Call or schedule an appointment today, and improve your customer service.