Customer service is still the 6th most important and common job in the United States. In any organization, the customer service department plays an important role as it helps customers to reach out to the service/product providers for any questions, queries or technical difficulties. It becomes absolutely necessary to adopt customer service skills by all members of the organization to keep the image of the company to the core and build relations with the customers.
That being said, there are many skills that the customer service representative is trained to perform in order to provide excellent customer service. At the same time, there are multiple tools and software used by these teams to make sure that the team is able to handle tough customer experiences and manage customer details in the most orchestrated manner.
In this blog, we are going to learn about the 6 keys to improve customer service skills and time-saving tips using different tools. Before we move on to learning more about these skills and tips, let’s talk about some basics.
What is customer service?
It is the service that is provided to the customer’s post-sales of any service or product that helps them learn more about the product, ask questions, identify needs, set expectations and receive technical help to use the product/service efficiently and build relations.
Where do we use customer service skills?
Customer service skills are useful in every industry such as hospitality, real estate, information technology, telecom, etc. These skills can be acquired by both training and experience. In fact, these skills not only helps an individual professionally to outperform but also personally to develop soft skills, personality and endurance to cater to any situation. In other words, it refers to the art of providing information and help that your customer can understand in very easily and accurately.
Which tools are important for customer service?
Having product or service knowledge is just not enough. You have to arrange these facets in an appropriate manner to manage the activities and transactions of your customers internally and externally. The documentation one of the keys to open doors to the latest information about the product and customers. There are tons of tools and software that you can use to manage your customer services such as virtual phone number, customer relationship management software, email service, and service portal. These tools will allow you and your customers to create effective communication channels and manage information in the best way possible.
Keys to improving customer service
- Be an active listener- Everyone likes to talk about themselves or to express their feelings and they always need someone to listen. Its human nature. Therefore, the first skill to acquire in customer service would be the ability to listen to the customer’s problem and questions very patiently and the last thing you want to do is interrupt. 50% of the problem will be solved only if you listen carefully and put yourself in the customer’s shoes to understand what he is feeling.
This will help calm the customer and gives him the confidence that you are here to help because they feel invested in you after expressing their concerns or questions. On the other side, you will be able to identify the root cause of the problem. 89% of the times it is observed that customer doesn’t actually have a problem but just don’t know how to go about using the service/product or he is just frustrated because of any other matter but the product. Your job is to lend an ear and acknowledge.
- Impart soft skills- While you are answering queries and questions of your customer, it will be very impactful when you use soft skills. This helps you express your motive to truly help the customer and build a rapport with them. It helps your customers to build confidence and faith in what you have to say. Use of words like that’s great, I appreciate, that’s wonderful, I am sorry to hear that, with all due respect, let me help you, I would love to help, etc. This is called the use of power words to boost customer confidence and helps you send out a very strong message that you are actually trying to help them.
- Regular product/service training- In today’s world, we are living in a very diverse society suffused with many changes happening almost every hour. You will see product and service providers altering their product, marketing style and changes to their plans, branding, pricing, etc very frequently.
Hence, it is very important to keep up with these inevitable changes and keep yourself up to date with the latest news about your product and service. In every organization, it is advised to conduct once a month product and service training besides on job knowledge distribution. This will ensure everyone on the same page including the new employees. In turn, regular training sessions will help deliver greater customer service experience.
- Instance experience training- As mentioned above, the customer service skills can be either attained by training or experience. However, how about experience training? It is interesting and one of the most effective concepts in modern customer service delivery. Instance training allows representatives to share their unique experiences about a situation and how to handle them. There are various ways to conduct these trainings. A couple of them are short classroom sessions and case-by-case documentation.
If your organization is smaller and it’s easy to gather teams in one room then you should do a classroom session where every individual will share the most unique scenario that he/she has faced during the week and what he did to deal with it. This will help learn and grow together. You will find that you are able to able to narrow down the solutions, build team bonding and bring leadership within the team. The second method is to create a knowledge portal if you are a large team. All customer service representatives will be able to share their scenarios on the go while they are documenting and use it wherever necessary.
- 24/7 rostering- When you have your customer service working round the clock. It makes a huge impact on your customers. It adds value to your service. Keeping the customer flow of inquiries in mind, every organization must design a roster to work 24/7. If you don’t have sufficient staff or have financial trouble then you must have a virtual phone system that will receive calls on your behalf and route them with professionalism.
This system will also allow you to check for voice messages when you come in the next day. The other tool is the support portal, please be sure to have an email address where your customers can send their questions and queries and your email system is set to auto-reply them with appropriate message.
- Use of technology- By making sure that everyone has an up to date computer systems and software that will boost the productivity of the customer service department will help them save time. As mentioned earlier, using tools such as CRM, Virtual phone system, email and support portal will definitely arrange your works at a commonplace.
In the end, it is very clear that the customer service professionals is expanding and we need all the help we can get to keep our customers happy. For a simple reason that the competition is growing heavily and consumers have alternatives than ever before. It is said that one happy customer is equal to 10 new customers and one unhappy customer is equal to 10 lost potential customers.
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