How to Improve Your Customer Service Skills – Qualtrics
Great customer service isn’t just down to your front-line staff, but a customer can be won or lost there. That’s why it’s so important that all employees work together to solve problems and create memorable moments, and train your frontline agents to be the most valuable to the customer. it could be the difference between a customer coming back or going elsewhere.
The following tips are designed to help customer service representatives, customer service management, and operations staff work together to create meaningful experiences. Developing customer service skills is important for the entire team to thrive and to ensure that customers keep coming back.
Reading: Review how to improve customer care agents list
Free eBook: How to Get Your Customer Service Right, Every Time
why excellent customer service is so important to a customer service representative
Customer service representatives are brand ambassadors. Every interaction a customer has with a company goes to make or break their loyalty to your company’s brand. Providing a great customer experience is not only good for customers, but it’s also important for building your own career and for bringing the skills you learn into your non-work life.
Read our tips for honing your customer service skills and building your career as a great customer service representative.
advice from the customer service representative
- practice active listening
- learn to empathize with your customers
- use positive language
- improve your technical skills
- know your products and services
- look for common ground
- communicate clearly
- focus on solutions
- admit errors
- be willing to learn
- provide first class training
- set your standards high
- have a clear climbing path
- align your touch points
- create a culture of excellence
- get smart with automation
- use tools that increase speed and efficiency
- measure and analyze customer feedback
- use closed-loop feedback
- listen, understand and act
why great customer service is so important to customer service team managers
time and time again, studies have shown that, and many will see it however you look at it, good customer service skills are critical to success.
despite this, ee. companies lose $62 billion a year due to a lack of good customer service. that alone should be enough to encourage you to improve your customer experience.
Read our tips for building strong, cohesive customer service teams and for translating great customer service into customer loyalty.
management and operations tips from the customer support team
Learn how to get the most out of your agents with our eBook on Building Agent Efficiency.
advice for customer service professionals
if you’re working in a customer service role and want to excel at your job, these are for you.
1. practice active listening
Behind every customer, a service call is a real human being with a question or concern that needs to be answered. the person needs to feel understood, heard and served. Active listening is a key skill set that you can develop by practicing daily with your coworkers and her family. First, you need to approach each conversation to learn something and focus on the speaker. After the customer is done speaking, ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand what the customer is really saying. finally, end the conversation with a quick recap to make sure everyone is on the same page.
By practicing active listening, you’re not only going to possess the ability to become a truly exceptional customer service agent, but you’ll also improve your relationships outside of the office.
2. learn to empathize with your customers
Empathy is the ability to understand how the customer is feeling and where they are coming from. while some people seem to have been born with this trait, it is a skill that can be acquired. When listening to the customer, try to see the problem through their eyes and imagine how they feel. This is an important customer service skill because the customer will be more receptive if they feel understood by you. it can also reduce the intensity of a conflict and create a more pleasant interaction with your company.
See also: 10 Proven Ways to Improve Customer Experience – Qualtrics
3. use positive language
When addressing customer issues, using positive language takes the stress out of the situation. Words are powerful and can build trusting relationships with your customers. verbs must be used positively. For example, instead of saying “don’t press the red button”, say “the green button is the best option”. the future tense is also positive as it does not dwell on the client’s past problems. phrases like “good question, I’ll find out for you!” and “I would love to know more about…” can keep the client in the present moment. Also, when you talk to customers, remember to make sure you are authentic, positive, memorable, and stay calm and positive, even if the customer is angry.
4. improve your technical skills
Customers can come to you with all kinds of problems and want quick answers to their questions. if you don’t know how to properly implement a service ticket, you’re wasting valuable time. Before interacting with customers, you should fully understand how to use your live chat and ticketing system and learn how to type fast.
5. Know your products and services
To help the customer, you need to have a thorough understanding of your products and how they work. It is recommended that each customer service agent spend onboarding time with an experienced product specialist so that they can ask questions and fully understand the ins and outs of the product. This way, you’ll be able to help customers when they’re troubleshooting, and you’ll learn tips and tricks about the product that you can share to make the product easier to use.
6. human being
Live chat, email, or even phone communication can feel impersonal because you can’t read the other person’s facial expressions and body language. consumers want to feel connected, so look for common ground to make a quick connection.
learn how to humanize the experience of your customers
7. communicate clearly
The ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing, is essential to excellent customer service, especially if you’re speaking with someone who has a different native language. responses to your questions should be clear, concise, and in your natural tone of voice.
Customers want an explanation, but they don’t need to know all the details. if they ask for more details, you can share them, but most people want their problems resolved quickly. always end each conversation with the question, “is there anything else I can do for you today?” so they have one more chance to ask another question and let you know that you’ve done everything you can to resolve the issue.
Also, be sure to communicate hold times if you put them on hold while you open your account or talk to your manager. especially in live chat, you should not be idle for a long time.
8. focus on solutions
Contact center work can be emotional and sometimes you will have to deal with frustrated or angry people. For your sake and theirs, it can help to take an approach that keeps you focused on the big picture and helps you stay resilient and determined to achieve a good outcome. Make it your mission to find solutions and help your clients move from a problem-focused to a more positive mindset. this approach is even more successful when the customer is in a good mood to begin with.
9. admit mistakes
If you misunderstood a customer’s needs, made a mistake that cost you time or money, or didn’t do something you said you would, be transparent. It happens: everyone makes mistakes, and admitting them is usually the quickest way to resolve the situation in a positive way.
If the mistake is on the company’s part rather than something you did personally, you can still take the customer’s points into account and be clear about what you’ll do to help them rectify the situation. be clear that wherever the problem originated, you are committed to finding a solution for them to the best of your ability.
10. be willing to learn
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Tom Brady didn’t learn to be a great football player in one day. he took years of practice and was even a backup quarterback before earning the starting position. And now, even though he’s a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, he continues to eat nutritious foods, watch game videos, and get feedback from his coaches.
great customer service is no different. To be a world-class customer service representative, you must be willing to work on these customer service skills and learn from your mistakes.
Free eBook: How to Get Your Customer Service Right, Every Time
customer service tips for management and operations leaders
lead a team or department, or make decisions about how to deliver excellent customer service in your organization? read on for tips on how to develop your team’s essential customer service skills.
11. provide first-class training
Customer service representatives are the front line of any business, so it’s critical to give them the best training possible. Whether it’s a formal course, an easily accessible wiki or online reference tool, ongoing mentoring and coaching from more experienced staff members, or a combination of approaches, do whatever it takes to make sure your staff feel confident and clear about how to do your job. works well. It pays to improve the agent experience: The more committed your customer service representatives are to your company and your career, the more dedicated they will be to customer satisfaction.
12. set your standards high
Make sure your staff understand how valuable their role is and how seriously you take their contribution and customer service skills. set standards for what is expected and be clear about why it is important for staff to be, for example, always courteous, on time, positive and supportive of other team members. setting clear expectations will help staff members feel confident that they are doing their jobs well. Here are some inspirational customer service quotes that will help your team understand the value of the work they do.
13. have a clear climbing path
Inevitably, customer service teams and contact center agents will be faced with customer questions and issues that they cannot resolve on their own. prepare for this eventuality by formulating and communicating an escalation plan for each person’s role, so everyone knows who to contact with a customer question that is beyond their remit.
14. align customer journey touchpoints
Every customer service experience is part of a bigger story. Customer journeys can involve touchpoints throughout your business, from a customer seeing a roadside billboard to their experience of finding and downloading a smartphone app. Consider your customer service offering in the context of a complete customer journey, and you’ll gain better insights into how much customers know, what their goals are, and what interactions they may have already had with your company.
15. create a culture of excellence
happy employees make happy customers. When your EX (employee experience) and CX (customer experience) goals align, you can begin to build a culture around a customer experience that makes employees feel fully engaged and engaged in their work. good customer experiences should not just be “what we do” but also “who we are”.
16. be smart with automation
Chatbots and self-service tools can be an invaluable way to help customers with simple questions and challenges. they lighten the load on contact center staff and keep customers from waiting on hold. but overwhelmingly, customer feedback tells us that when it really matters most, just a human conversation will do. use automation and chatbots selectively, and always provide clear directions on how a customer can exit an automated interaction and connect with a human agent.
17. use tools that increase speed and efficiency
You might have the best customer support staff on the planet, but if they’re stuck with slow, lagging, or unintuitive systems, or if they can’t get the information they need when they need it, the result will be a poor customer experience. customer service. It’s critical to choose customer relationship management and contact center tools that support fast resolutions and stress-free experiences for your customers and employees. Look for a platform that offers full integration with your other business systems and provides real-time data from across your business, so your staff have the details they need at their fingertips. it’s all part of developing an agile workforce that can adapt and change as needed, and to improve customer service experiences.
18. measure and analyze customer feedback
The best way to find out if your customer service is top notch is to ask your customers. Use surveys to track individual performance of key customer service metrics, and ask service agent-specific survey questions, such as “How knowledgeable or ignorant would you say our service team member was?” and “How effective or ineffective would you say the service team member’s communication was?” once you understand what areas you excel at and where you need to improve, you can focus on specific skills.
19. use closed-loop feedback
How you receive customer feedback is important. what you do with it next is absolutely crucial. With closed-loop feedback, a company has the practice of following up with customers, especially those who are dissatisfied, to let them know how their feedback has been implemented and how the company’s approach has changed for the better. doing this sends a clear message to the customer: we listen to you, we value you, and we use the knowledge you provide.
Free eBook: How to Improve Agent Efficiency
20. listen, understand and act
The process of listening to customer feedback and feedback from customer service representatives is important, but more importantly, taking action. Demonstrating to your customers, and to your customer service professionals, that their feedback is valuable and that you are listening will help you provide good customer service (or even great customer service!). it will help improve customer loyalty, but it will also help you foster stronger relationships with your team.
See also: 8 Quick Tips on How to Improve Customer Satisfaction