Customer service executives work in direct contact with the customers of a company, answers their questions, provides necessary information, performs adequate research and handles complaints. These executives are the main customer contact channel and this necessitates the reason for high levels of specific customer service skills.
Certain consumer service skills are considered very essential for every business like communication skills, computer skills, people management skills and knowledge management skills.
Apart from this, an executive needs to possess certain specific skills which can brand his customer service as excellent. Good customer service skills help a company to exceed customer expectations and are considered as one of the core success factors for every business.
Listening and attentiveness
Listening habits have become a rare skill in today’s world. People speak at different speeds, some never get to the point and some take very long to get to the point. But if you have a customer, then he truly deserves to be heard and to be paid attention to. Customer is the king and every business has a variety of customers dropping in.
Listening skill does not mean merely hearing the customer’s viewpoint, but it implies active listening accompanied with verbal and non-verbal responses. This kind of attentiveness provided to the customer signifies that you care for the customer. Simple expressions like nodding your head, changing facial expressions according to customer feedback, maintaining an eye to eye contact and making quick comments agreeing with your customer can signal to the listener that they are really important to you.
Patience and tactfulness skills are very vital whenever you are faced with uncomfortable situations. When you find yourself at a receiving end, it is highly essential to be patient and handle the entire situation with tact. Defensiveness cannot help in such circumstances as this might further annoy your consumer.
The appropriate action would be to go a step further to please your customer and follow-up with him even after the interaction. This can help in satisfying him and ensuring customer retention. Moreover, this happiness and experience can also bring new customers to your business.
Empathizing skills can go a long way in the creation of a positive and reliable effect. Empathy implies your ability to relate to the customer and to his feelings.
Your customer should sense that you can actually understand his feelings and what he is going through. You cannot walk an extra mile for every person you interact, but you can at least let them know that you can put yourself in their shoes and appreciate their viewpoint. A skilled customer service representative should try to empathize with the customer and try his level best to resolve the problem.
Negotiation skills and positive coaxing
Every customer service representative should have excellent negotiation skills. Each customer visiting your store will try to negotiate for the price of a product and suggest all kinds of discounts and offers to bring down the cost. Sometimes, both parties try to stick to their set price.
In such cases, you should ensure that your customer does not feel ripped off. Your negotiation skills should take charge and the customer will ultimately have a feeling of having grabbed the best deal. This is possible only if the customer’s needs and requirements are properly addressed and communicated.
Problem solving skills
Customer service is all about sale of products/services and problem solving. The essential skill that a customer looks forward in you is a proactive problem solving. You should have the tact to find the problems in your consumer experience and methods of patching them.
There can also be some instances of reactive solution to problems. This involves converting a dissatisfied customer into a happy one, within limits of your authority. Solution to problems, before and after their occurrence is at the core of excellent service.
Effective and efficient customer service skills can help the business grow by leaps and bounds. These skills have the capability of not only retaining your consumer but also fostering further growth by the induction of new customers to your business. All the skills discussed above are an essential trait to define the question of what are good customer service skills.