Owners, Presidents, Decision Makers, Leaders, Supervisor’s are all looking for one thing in their day to day operations of their business… excellence in customer service AT ALL TIMES. If they and their steam can achieve that, their customers will not go away
So what is this article all out? It’s about giving you, the leader, tips on how to upgrade your customer service to the NEXT LEVEL. So you’re in luck.
When building your team, you must have a clear vision of the bigger picture. Your team members have to possess the right knowledge, technical skills, and personality to be great customer service agents. To determine whether someone is the right fit to work as a customer service agent means looking at the total package. A resume only tells you so much. Nor do social media presence, recommendations of 2 or 3 friends or business associates, or even a face to face interview provide you with a comprehensive evaluation.
From the start, compare how the resume is written to how the person presents him or herself. Are they a caring and empathetic person? Are they enthusiastic? Evaluate not just what they say in response to your questions, but how they say it. Take a close look at mannerisms. Above all as yourself if this is the kind of person you want to represent your company. And, by the way, a Criminal Background Check is very often a good idea. Remember that, when you have an important slot to fill, you don’t necessarily need to hire candidate number one. Onboarding and training the wrong person can prove costly.
Below, we have put together 10 service skills which need to be a part of your customer service program and which your representatives MUST have.
Patience is a core virtue from which many other customer service skills come. Despite the old axiom, the customer is sometimes wrong. It is up to your representatives to help your customers feel welcome, valued and supported no matter what. Even when you and they know they are wrong.
People reach out to customer service when they are feeling at their worst, and they may take liberties with customer service reps that they wouldn’t take with anyone else. Are your representatives ready?
Are your representatives on their best behavior regardless of the customer’s attitude?
Pro-Active listening should figure near the top of any customer service skills list. Without listening, representatives can’t hope to formulate a solution that will leave the customer feeling validated.
Your representative should strive to take a genuine interest in each problem. It’s easy to be reactive and competitive when allowing a customer to rant. Before that happens… listen. Even the smallest information a customer provides can lead to a great resolution, if you hear them.
Communication tops the charts when it comes to most job postings. It also features on every good customer service skills list. An in-person interview for new hire candidates provides an important opportunity to evaluate communication skills.
A well written, well organized resume suggests clear thinking, too. Written communication is a requirement for developing documentation and passing information on to others.
This one is especially critical in B2B interactions. Frequently, representatives encounter customers for whom an existing product or solution is no longer suitable. Customers need to be apprised of their options, and there’s no time to look up detailed specs in mid-call. Only product knowledge can help when options are needed.
Prospective hires should demonstrate some knowledge of your products from the very start, highlighting their research skills.
Customers may not remember everything a rep says, but they’re sure to remember how it’s said. Customer service experts need to approach every problem with a positive attitude..
Only with this mindset are customers left feeling valued and confident that the solutions proposed are the best for them. Luckily, how job seekers describe their accomplishments and their relationships with others can reflect how optimistic they are in general.
Make sure that prospective hires seem positive and enthusiastic.
Customers may not know exactly what they need when they first make contact. Even once reps help them clarify, those needs can still turn on a dime. When someone throws a curveball, representatives must act fast.
Quizzing eager prospective hires on problem solving skills and strategies can help. Knowing when to switch gears and becoming fluent with solutions work best for your customer and your business can lead to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
You must determine the flexibility and adaptability of prospective hires.
Time is money. Customers want to believe they’re being heard, however, reps can only spend a certain amount of time with a customer. When one person gets more than their fair share of time, it delays service to others. Your representatives need to know when and how to hand off issues they can’t solve promptly. Effective time management will naturally increase with experience.
Prospective hires should be able to show you evidence of time management skills.
Being able to discern a customer’s mood is indispensable for any customer service representative. How someone is feeling gives you plenty of insight on how to treat them. This means taking in all the clues: Expression, tone of voice, word choice, body language, and more. An excellent customer service agent extends those skills to phone and email, too – context is key in these encounters.
Prospective hires should be able to read people. Ask them what they see in you and other interviewers.
Sometimes, customers will come at your representatives with accusations or even raised voices. Often times, the frustration customers feel really comes down to worry over the unknown. Customer service pros are the superheroes who put things in context and focus on solutions. Skills in dealing with the public, managing conflict, and de-escalating confrontation can all be very helpful. Your representatives must always be positive, courteous and prepared to resolve customer’s problems.
When interviewing prospective hires, test them. See how they maintain composure when presented with difficult questions or situations.
How can a company achieve a culture of excellence? Everyone has to do two things. First, take ownership. Second, commit to continuous improvement. Your representatives need to be motivated, creative, and open to change.
Assess the eagerness of prospective hires to determine how motivated they are.
Your customer service reps can’t do this alone: Business leaders must set the example. A continuous improvement mindset helps new team members adapt quickly. You, as a business leader, must point the way.
A list of customer service skills list can only be useful if they are applied throughout your company. Skills applicants need most will vary from call to call and even from moment to moment. As a hiring decision maker, you can’t go wrong with the criteria presented above. As a company leader, helping your team acquire and strengthen these skills will lead to customer satisfaction, loyalty, increased sales and greater profit.
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