The employees at a support position should have certain customer service skills which have been defined by the experts. These skills should be followed in any case if you are willing to face the customers in future.
You can have to face embarrassing situations without these skills and will simply not find those particular customers again who are not satisfied with your support services. The ultimate result of poor support services will be finding your business in nowhere.
Some specific customer service skills are accepted universally in the businesses to keep the customers intact. The support members should have to adopt these particular skills, and if they may achieve it, there will be amazing improvement in the behavior of the customers.
We are going to discuss these most important skills for the improvement in customer support services.
Which Skills Actually Matter?
Most of the customer service skills are taken lightly. It is assumed normally that there are generic qualities which should be found at this particular position. This practice is not helpful for those entrepreneurs and founders who are trying to develop their customer support team. We want to give you the basic introduction of some specific skills that will make your support employee “a person of excellence”.
This skill is considered to be at the top or near to it, otherwise there will be no chance of improvement.
It is the most important practice which should be adopted by the support employees. It is due to the fact that most of the customers contact you for support when they are frustrated. For tackling their frustration, patience is a must. Patience is also very important for the business itself as a whole because no business can be perfect in earlier stages, and there is a need of continuous improvement all the time. There is something new for the improvement after receiving every single call so, for keep learning new ideas and provide great and fast services to your customers, patience should be the priority.
Patience does not mean that you will perform below average. You must learn how to improve the services and take initiatives for achieving this goal.
Derek Sivers has his special views about slow services delivered by many companies. He says that customer service is an interaction which will give you the exact view of the query raised by the customer. You can take necessary action accordingly.
The dealing with the customers is a routine task and you will have to interact with them regularly. For handling frustrated and stumped customers, you must be patient. You must ensure during the whole conversation that the actual problem has been diagnosed and the exact requirement of customer has been identified.
The ability of attentiveness, when you are listening your customers, has a great value when we talk about customer service skills. There are numerous reasons to consider this skill as a top priority.
Listening efficiently to a customer is very important to identify his or her actual requirement. Its Importance increases with the time for those businesses who want to be at the top in their industry.
The attention should be in both the direction when we talk about attentiveness. It means that you should be focused on customer interaction as a support employee and along with that, you need to understand what actually that particular customer wants from you.
We can give you the example of an online website. If the website visitor is facing some issues at dashboard, he will try to tell that he cannot see the search option or he is not able to find any particular feature at your dashboard. He will use numerous words and phrases for explaining his point of view. Now, it is up to you to see, whether there is a need of improvement in “user experience” or a prominence should be given to some features given there.
You have to understand as a support employee what customer actually wants from you and what he is saying.
- Clear Communication Skills
Clear communication skills take you to the exact problem quickly. The customers do not want to listen stories from you so guide them specifically after identifying the problem quickly.
It should be clear to you as a customer support executive that there should be no ambiguity in your mind about the selection of words. You must not leave yourself in that situation where you have to apologize from the customer for any particular word or phrase.
If such situation happens, it becomes very difficult for the business to retain that particular customer with them due to miscommunication which leaves doubts in his mind.
- Product Knowledge
Customer support executives are the face of your business and they must have deep knowledge about products which are provided to the customers.
The support staff should have the capability to give authentic information about the product to the customer. Along with that, they should be compatible for giving complete guidelines about particular product. It becomes important for customer support executives as they have to interact with the customer who may use it on a regular basis.
If you are not informed about your product comprehensively, you will not be able to help your customers out.
- Positive Language
Most of the people do not feel about the negative impression which is created due to their word selection. Positive language has a great importance in customer support services. If you have some negative conversational patterns as a support employee, you will build up a negative image of the company. Some minor changes can overcome this deficiency and make you one of those employees who are always ready to give smile to the customers.
Language creates perceptions and if you are dealing with customers, the impression is huge. The selection of words in language should be well precised and target oriented. This selection creates positive or negative impression of your business although there may be no difference in the meanings.
Here is an example which will clarify our argument about word selection:
If your customer is interested in any particular product, but this product is out of stock at the moment and will be available after some time so at this point, you will have to be specific in your language. If you are using words like “we do not have right now” or “we cannot provide today” create negative impact and it will be considered as a negative language. Instead of these words, use phrases like “it will be available after a month” or “I can book your order on priority when this product will come in store”. These minor changes in word selection will create a positive impact in customers’ minds as they will be getting solution from you. On the other hand, unavailability of that particular product will give impersonal and abrupt feeling.
- Acting Skills
There are some people in the world who cannot be happy in any situation and always complain about the products and services.
The situation can be complicated with these type of people, but support employees need to be cool and calm during these types of calls. To deal with these calls, there should be some acting skills also in customer support executives because these callers are just to pull you down. These acting skills will help you to maintain your cheery persona among callers.
- Time Management
The natural tendency of many human beings that they take time when they are on a call. This issue can be related to technical support employees as well but there should be a limit or a bottom line where the discussion should be stopped. It is the duty of employees to sort out the issue and get the customers in quick time.
The trick behind this time management skill is to limit yourself at the customer’s level and do not try to give extra information. It will help you to manage your time efficiently.
- Read Customers’ Mind
Face to face communications are not common now in the businesses and in some cases, the support employee do not hear the voice of the customer either. Even in these scenarios, it is expected from the customer support executives to read the minds of the customers.
The ability to read the emotional state of the customers is a part of behavioral psychology and it should be developed in the employees by the management to reach to the minds of customers. These skills are needed by personalization process because by adopting these skills, you can improve the personal experience of customers.
More importantly, it should be in your mind that if you are misreading the mind of the customer, a state of discomfort and confusion comes where you may lose the customer.
For taking accurate ideas about customer’s mind, you will have to estimate his current mood, personality behavior and for that, you will have to keep interacting with him at a maximum patience level.
- Stay Cool Under Pressure
The ability to keep your head cool is very important in handling hectic situations. If you are able to handle the pressure in difficult situations and manage your mood accordingly, you will be in that particular situation after sometime where you can even influence others for something and offer some new options.
There are many customer support teams who behave excellently with the customers under pressure and keep them attached. Their behavior influences the customers to continue with the company and it increases their trust over the product.
The best customer support representatives are those people who take heated customers down and make them cool. It is their job to be “rock solid” in front of the customers who are thinking that their issue should be the biggest problem even in the eyes of United Nations.
- Be Focused and Goal Oriented
Although, it is strange that this point is going to be discussed under customer skills, but it is extremely important for customer support executives.
Many customer service experts think that only the customer happiness cannot be the objective for the businesses. By doing this practice, the revenue will decrease which cannot be bothered by any business in the world.
It happens in those particular cases where support employees are left without identifying goals and assigning tasks to them. Customer happiness is important but business goals have to be achieved in any circumstances. Businesses are run for generating profits, not for giving happiness to the customers.
It is recommended for the businesses to come up with some proper guidelines in which employees should have been given freedom for handling customers according to them. But, they should have some defined targets of business in their minds as well. It is also important to mention that the ability of customer service department is to address the common problems of the customers and they are not allowed to let this target down.
- Surprise Handling in an effective way
It is obvious that you will have to face some surprising situations in your career as a customer support executive.
The surprising situations are not covered normally in the guidelines provided by the company. These things happen in those situations where customer’s reaction takes you at that particular situation which has not been faced by you before. The customer can raise that particular problems as well about the product which have not been discussed or seen before.
Some decisions have to be taken by support employees before facing such kind of situation.
- The first thing is that who should be the next for solving the particular question above you. You should define the logical chain so you will be able to forward the surprising problem to that specific person without delaying.
- You have to decide what should be forwarded to the higher management. Will it be complete conversation, a specific part or your general observations?
- You should be informed as a customer support executive about the way through which you will coordinate with your management and colleagues during the conversation.
These parameters will make your life easier and you will be able to handle surprising situations effectively and efficiently.
12. Persuasion Skills
A lot of people have not persuasion skills, but if they are support employees, they will have to adopt. It is due to the fact that there can be some queries in your inbox where customers have no issue with your product. They are just curious about your company. With the small effort, they will be ready to buy and use your product.
If you want to be customer support expert, you should master yourself in persuasion skills. After that, you will convince the customers and assure them that this specific product is prepared specially for you.
Persuasion means to convince the customer about the product. It is not a sales pitch; rather it is the effort to let the potential customers in and encourage them to purchase.
Determination is work ethic and there should be willingness in all employees to prove themselves. Avoiding shortcuts is a key through which you will be able to provide those kind of services which will give you prominence among others.
Numerous success stories can be told about customer service where a single employee decided that he will break the “status quo” and go for the help of the customers out of the way.
It should be in the minds of all employees that they are dealing with human beings who can be influenced, motivated and encouraged. You will have to be just fair and target oriented and you will become a part of a new success story.
- Closing with Confirmed Satisfaction
It is requested to all not to relate this term with closing sales or any other related term popular among the sales and marketing departments.
It means that you have ended the conversation with your customer after confirming that he is satisfied with you, our company and about the product. The customer should have the feeling that he has been attended efficiently and taken care of.
The basic requirement of any customer is that the support employees should listen him carefully, address his issue efficiently and take actions accordingly. If this level has been achieved, it means that you have done your tasks efficiently.
There are three different levels of willingness which actually determine the customers. These are:
- You did your effort to get it right.
- You are determined to solve the issue and keep things on track.
- The customer will determine what will be the right.
When a customer support executive listens from the customer that everything is set now, he knows that conversation has been ended and the customer is satisfied.
- Willingness to Learn
It is confirmed that you are willing to learn more as you have reached at the end of our discussion and are still with us.
Willingness is a generalized term, but it is very important for those who want to make their career in customer services.
The people, who do not want to learn, improve themselves or are not able to help customers, will not be able to sit in the front row and left behind. Only those people can be successful who learn on a regular basis and never say “No” to learn new things.
All this discussion is to help the support team. This information will give the direction to customer support executives how to improve themselves and provide maximum support to their customers. We are hopeful that these lines will help the customer support representatives to grow in that particular way where customer happiness and business goals can be achieved simultaneously.