Customers are the heart of all business, and therefore maintaining good customer service is the essence of every business that keeps the blood pumping.
Creating a unique and satisfactory experience for your customers is something that can easily set you apart from your competitors and escalate customer loyalty for your brand.
Moreover, it is not as hard as it sounds since there are quite a few basic skills that you can implement today to really beef up your games for the customer service executives in your company.
Here in this article, you will find a list of top 5 absolutely essential skills required to increase satisfaction and loyalty of your customers, along with add-on tips on how you can develop those skills.
Skill #1: Patience
Customer service may apparently seem easy, but in reality, it can be a very difficult job to handle at times.
At times, customers will come in all guns blazing and may vent their anger of the day on your customer support representatives.
Even at times, they will take a long time to collect their composure and thoughts and communicate what they really need from your business.
In other instances, they may even ask for never-thought-of-before services that your organization does not provide, or at times, price quotes that you cannot provide to the customers at large.
Your support team’s helpful attitude and patience can easily turn around the escalating fearsome scenario and can stop a customer from leaving your brand forever.
Therefore, in order to demonstrate excellent customer service skills, the primary step is patience- on the phone, emails, and in person.
Always remember that whatever the customer may retort and snap, it is most important not to lose your cool or reply by taking their comments personally.
Now the most pertinent question that comes to anyone’s mind is how can you exude patience and make the situation go light?
Well, the first thing that you can do is to make your support reps try to put themselves in the customer’s shoe and understand their grievances from the customer’s point of view.
Do you feel that your customers are overreacting?
It can always be that they had a bad day and need you to help them out.
Therefore, as the very next step, control your self-talk and try to remain constructive and positive because negative feelings can be really addictive.
Hence, instead of saying “this customer is really annoying me” you can modify your thoughts and express it in this manner “this situation is really tough, but I am going to stay calm against all odds and do whatever it takes to solve the issue”.
Not only this positive thinking on your part will aid in solving the problem more effectively, but it will also never again make you feel as angry and stressed as before, after your interaction with the customer.
When you feel annoyed, just remember, keeping your cool always helps you to get through the day with relative ease, and thereby aid you as a customer support representative to avoid potential PR nightmares. This is so, since it can be really a mess for your business, if the social media gets a hold of you blowing your head on any of your customers.
Skill #2: Efficiency
Much like yourself, everyone has things to do, and places to go, and your customers are no exception. Hence, alacrity and efficiency provide your customers what they need and this will make them come back to you for more.
Efficient customer support executives do not just relax and sit back, waiting for their customers to return. Rather they are alacritous in finding ways to raise the bar and anticipate the customer’s needs so that it can be met at the earliest.
Here are certain real-life scenarios, in which your customer support reps should proactively reach out to your customers:
– When there is any change happening in your brand or service that will affect the customer (both positive and negative)
– An unplanned or pre-planned interruption in your service(s)
– A product or feature a customer have been requesting has become visible
Remember, proactively reaching out to your customers and taking care of their interests will help your support teams to resist problems even before they start.
Using an easy to use CRM software is an effective solution, if you need reminders as a support executive, as CRM can provide you with instant access to any customer’s profile and view their past and present interactions with your brand and business, by storing all customer-facing communications in the CRM database.
Therefore, if you are aware what is CRM, it is a software platform and a business relationship building strategy that enables you to anticipate your customer’s needs and thereby help plan and execute your next step.
Skill #3: Active Listening
Developing the ability to listen to your customers facing issues, and thereafter accessing it accurately to find the best possible solution(s) and that too in a timely manner is the primary purpose of all customer service executives.
One of the best examples that we have in hand (as a vendor of an easy to use Cloud based CRM software) of active listening is when someone regrettably expresses that they would like to stop using your service or purchase your offering.
Upon hearing this it is vital to try and figure out if the customers are having any problem that you can fix, which would result in not letting the customers discontinue their business with your organization.
We have often found, at times these apparently tough issues can be easily solved by offering a different CRM subscription plan with modified pricing, which can be done by offering a bit of proactive assistance to the customers.
However, not all customers will always tell you why they are leaving (and they are not required to either), therefore, it is over here active listening comes in.
Hence, attentively listen to our customer’s requirements and fulfilling their requests to the best of your abilities, in a way, which makes them feel that they are heard, will make your customers depart on a high note, which otherwise can create a battleground between your customer support agents and their own.
Here is what the word ‘LISTEN’ as a skill should spell out if it is turned into an acronym:
L = Look and get interested
I = Involve by responding
S = Stay on your target
T = Test your power of understanding
E = Evaluate the customer’s message
N = Neutralize your personal feelings
Skill #4: Memory
No customer ever likes reminding the customer support teams times and again, as to who they are and what are their relationships with the organization, as this lackadaisical attitude on the part of any support team creates an impression on the customer’s mind that you do not value their business or have much respect for your customers.
Moreover, it also takes up valuable time of the customers.
However, if you do not have the best memory, there is no need to panic and fear.
There are several resources, which can provide you a helping hand. For example, using an easy to use CRM software platform you can simply type in the customer’s name or business, and then access their interactions with your organization by finding their information from the CRM database.
Skill #5: Communicate Clearly
In addition to active listening, it is also extremely important that people who come in contact with your customers every day are able to convey the features of your products, services, and business policies to your customers, accurately.
Therefore, by communicating clearly, you can:
– Reduce waiting time, which in turn help improve everyone’s moods while providing support to more customers
– Reduce the number of emails that you send for resolving service cases, saving considerable time each day
– Increase your customer’s interest in your business
– Reduce misunderstanding (since the vaguer you are the more you shall provide space for subsequent misinterpretations)
A well-acknowledged method to overcome misunderstanding with your customer on several issues is to think of how you can explain your products and services to 10 yrs old. Since, using simple and easy to understand language most often helps in not providing room for any assumptions about what they already know about your brand or business.
Have you seen any of these stated skills making a marked impact on your own customers support experiences? Did we miss anything that you may have found invaluable?
If it is so, then write back to us in the comments below.