Quality customer service has always been a key revenue driver. While businesses can require basic must-have skills from their agents, we believe that to stay current and meet the increasing demands of customers, you need a talented, more customer-focused team. According to this study, companies in the U.S. lose over $62 billion annually due to poor customer service. This is your chance to up your game and engage potential customers in new and exciting ways.
To be successful in every customer support interaction, we believe the following are the best customer service skills:
1) Extensive product knowledge
By “extensive,” we mean a deep understanding of how products work, not just what they are about. This way, when customers encounter unfamiliar and complex problems, customer service agents can help and solve them because they already know how to navigate them.
Product knowledge also requires problem-solving skills. Customers often expect representatives to have detailed information about products and services, so the entire team needs to be well-informed. This strong understanding of a company’s products and services instills confidence in customers and reassures them that the solutions provided are reliable.
It is essential to provide training for new customer service agents, particularly during the onboarding process, to bridge the gaps in product knowledge. It may also take time for team members to build up more profound knowledge, which could take months or even years. However, learning about products can be a continuous process to continue providing the best support. Many businesses today use intelligent tools to help close these gaps.
2) Excellent communication skills
(Bonus: proficiency in other languages)
The ability to clearly and concisely convey a message may be more challenging than it seems. When customers are already frustrated with experiencing complex problems, they don’t need another complicated solution. Every solution should be communicated as simply as possible, with detailed or step-by-step explanations.
You also don’t want to keep your customers on the line for too long. Customer service representatives need to be able to break down the complexity of such problems in plain language, especially when technical assistance is required. But it doesn’t stop there. Multilingual agents are a great advantage to the company and put it ahead of the competition in today’s digitally connected world. According to a survey conducted across 29 countries, about 75% of consumers are more likely to repurchase from the same brand if their customer service is available in their native language. Having people who can interact with customers from around the globe is one of the best ways to win customers. They will be able to communicate effectively and more comfortably and will appreciate your team and brand for that!
For businesses with many international customers, hiring multilingual agents and very fluent English speakers is incredibly beneficial.
3) Creativity and resourcefulness
These two skills are not easy to come by. Sometimes, with customers, it’s about more than just problem-solving. Creativity and resourcefulness refer to having a more conversational interaction and creating a warm and friendly atmosphere before providing the solution the customer needs.
Additionally, agents talk to different types of people every single day, so dealing with each of them may require a unique approach. Being creative and resourceful allows agents to find new ways to meet customer needs and provide excellent service.
4) Empathy and active listening
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. In customer service, this means putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and understanding their perspective. It also means showing genuine concern and care for their needs.
On the other hand, active listening is the act of fully concentrating on what the customer is saying and not interrupting or thinking about a response while speaking. These skills are essential for building trust and rapport with customers and providing them with a positive experience.
5) Adaptability and flexibility
In today’s rapidly changing world, customer service agents must adapt and be flexible. This means being able to handle a wide range of customer issues and challenges and being able to adjust to new procedures or technologies as needed. It also means taking unexpected situations and finding creative solutions to possible problems. Being adaptable and flexible allows agents to provide the best possible service to customers and maintain high efficiency.
Final Thoughts on the Top 5 Customer Service Skills
In conclusion, these are the five best customer service skills essential for success in today’s customer-driven market. Having a team with these skills will improve customer satisfaction and retention, boost revenue, and set your business apart from the competition.