Shoaib Pervaiz (February 24, 2016)
For customer service representatives, there are certain skills which are required for them to be able to perform well and go the extra mile. Without these skills, companies are at risk of losing their customers and finding themselves in tricky and embarrassing situations.
Customer service representatives have a tough job since they have to represent an organization by interacting with its customers. They have to know the strengths as well as the weaknesses of a company’s products and services, and try to sell those to customers while also troubleshoot every issue related to them. It is thus significant for organizations to ensure that their customer support staff have a few key skills to professionally handle customers.
Listed below are some of the skills that can make support representatives into support superstars!
The first and foremost ability that customer service representatives should have is to gain complete knowledge of the products and services which they are going to talk about with their customers. Without complete product knowledge, a customer service representative will never be able to completely satisfy customers, and will not be able to take control of a situation which demands specific answers about the product or service. Customer service employees should be rigorously trained on the details of different products and services, their specifications and unique selling points.
Patience for customer service representatives is essential, because customers often contact them when they are frustrated, angry, and agitated. Hence, customer service representatives have to deal with a lot of customers who demand for answers right there and then. Overwhelming as it sounds, patience is the key to handling agitated customers throughout the day. Patience is an important ingredient for quality customer service.
For someone who has to talk to a number of people throughout the day, how that person consistently communicates with those people matters the most. While talking to customers, customer service representatives need to be very clear when it comes to issues such as pricing and discounts. Customer service representatives have to communicate with customers on a number of different platforms such email, live chat, phone or even face to face. It is therefore very important for them to be able to clearly speak as well as write out their thoughts briefly and concisely. Organizations should ensure that their employees receive proper and consistent Customer Service Trainings so that they can develop professional writing, speaking, reading, and listening skills.
Since customer service representatives have to face customers throughout the day, it can be difficult for them to consistently be at the top of their game. For example, a call center representative usually has to take a number of calls from different customers in an hour. Talking to different customers throughout the day can easily make any person feel drained and lose interest. Therefore, organizations should ensure that their customer service employees work in an open and hospitable environment, where they are given regular breaks and refreshments to keep their attention level high.
A key skill that most customer support representatives lack is the ability to read between the lines, and understand the context from where an agitated customer is coming from. Empathy is an important quality for support representatives because it can help them understand the customer better, and figure out how best to solve a query. Furthermore, representatives should be able to persuade customers in order to sell, cross sell, and up-sell products and services in a way that does not intimidate them, or make them feel pushed.
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