4 Key Skills for All Frontline Employees

A frontline employee or someone who deals directly with customers is one of the most important representative of the business. The manner in which frontline employees engage and handle customers is what creates the first impression about a company and impacts brand image. It is imperative for a business to ensure that frontline representatives excel in all the necessary customer service skills in order to offer better experience and create positive brand perception. These skills have to be applied right from the moment of interaction which would include saying hello with a smile.

Here are the four most essential skills every frontline employee should have.

Excellent Communication

The interactions that front desk representatives have with customers on a daily basis is what sets the tone of the business. One cannot have second chances to make the first impression hence front desk employees cannot compromise or put to chance their first interaction with a new customer. Being able to listen and understand the needs of customers and having the ability to effectively communicate with them is essential for success. Displaying enthusiasm and positive energy during every interaction is important for healthy communication.

Exhibiting Patience

As the job itself suggests, one of the most important skills that is required for a customer service employee is to be patient. When your job description requires you to deal with a number of different kinds of people, you have to be ready to face all kinds of situations. Sometimes you have to deal with inquisitive customers whereas at times you have to tackle angry, disappointed customers who might blame you for all the stress they have faced.  It is imperative to remain calm at all times and patiently deal with the customer in order to work towards solving the complaint. Remember that showcasing patience amidst difficult situations is key!

Showing Empathy

During customer service training, it is vital to focus on training employees on the skill of “empathizing”. If customers believe that company representatives truly understand their feeling or distress, then they are able to build an emotional connection and trust with the company. To be able to look at a situation from the customer’s perspective is an extremely valuable quality that enables front desk employees to provide quality service throughout the customer journey. Having the ability to use the right words, tone and body language is important for demonstrating empathy.

Being Proactive

Being one step ahead to assess what your customer’s next demand or query might be is always an added advantage. It is never a good idea to wait until a customer is stressed or agitated for a business representative to offer assistance. Being proactive is a key skill for those working in customer service. Reach out and offer assistance before they come to you! For instance, if there are any changes to your service hours during the holiday season or if there are any updates to your software that clients might be using, reach out to them on their preferred channel of communication and tell them. After reaching out and explaining the situation to them, ask them if they have any questions or there is any confusion that needs to be clarified. Tell them on how they can reach you and always ask them for feedback.

4 Tips On Handling Angry Customers

No matter what business you are in, you will always have some customers who are angry, irritated and annoyed with you. Customers can be angry because of various reasons and as a first step it is important to identify what is causing them distress. The way a business handles an angry customer and the complaint will determine if the customer will stay or forever abandon the company for a competitor. Amongst several tips for dealing with angry customers, here are a handful of tried and tested methods that work in coping with a tense situation.

Acknowledge the Issue

When dealing with an unhappy customer it is important to keep in mind that the customer is not personally angry at you but is merely displeased with the quality of the product/service they acquired from you. To drag ego in the middle of such a situation will only make it worse. Your customer just wants you to admit there is a problem and needs your promise to resolve it. Making excuses or arguing with the customer will send a message that you don’t really care and will eventually make them leave your business. It is best to always listen to the customer with attention and patience, acknowledge there is a problem and keep the communication open.

Put the Customer First

Showing empathy towards a disgruntled customer is necessary. This will prove to them that you actually care about their discomfort. Listen to everything that the customer has to say and then politely address the different aspects of the overall complain. Tell them you understand their situation and would feel the same way if it had happened to you. Focus on using the right tone of voice, body language and words that would help calm down the distressed customer. Make them feel they are important and your priority.

Target the Root Cause

Customer complaints should be seen as an opportunity to find out what’s lacking, what your mistakes are and how this can be fixed. Get to the root cause of the problem to eliminate the issues completely. Develop a strategy and take steps to ensure the same problem doesn’t occur again. Keep your customers in the loop and inform them about the steps taken to improve your products and service. Customer service training should also be conducted regularly by organizations on how to handle angry customers and difficult situations.

Stay in Touch

One of the most common mistakes that businesses make after fixing an issue for a customer is failing to follow up. Get in touch with customers and ask them if they are happy with the solution that was offered. Get detailed feedback and suggestions from them on what else can be done. Ask them if anything needs to be changed or fixed. Ask them what makes them happy and what their expectations are from your company. Based on what they say, amend your processes and focus on personalized offers for them. Such a demonstration is in an indication of individual attention and helps in retention of customers.