Customer service is known to be an intense and diverse industry where no two days are the same. It owes that reputation to the fact that customers are different. Different people with different problems to solve, giving you an endless array of challenges to overcome.
Without good listening skills, it can be difficult to understand what it is the customer needs.
Are they making a complaint? Returning a product? Or checking up on product information? If your listening skills aren’t up to scratch, you could miss the one minor detail that will help you to solve their issue in a quick and efficient manner. Good listening skills enable you to provide good customer service.
Being able to empathise and understand what a customer is going through is half of the battle for customer service personnel. If you can empathise with the customer they may begin to feel like there is at least someone on their side, and you can win them over. This will make it easier for you to find a suitable solution for the customer so that they can leave happy with their customer service experience.
Excellent communication skills are synonymous with great customer service. The better you are at getting your point across in an understandable and reasonable manner, the easier it will be to deal with all sorts of enquiries, complaints, and customers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re part of customer service in a call centre, or in a retail store location, communication is always one of the key components for success.
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The adage ‘patience is a virtue’ is rarely more true than when you’re talking about customer service. Customers will come to you in all sorts of moods, some angry, some unhappy, and some lost. They’re not always going to be able to communicate with you well, and sometimes they’ll beat around the bush so much that they can be frustrating. Being patient will allow you to remain un-phased by the challenges that are thrown your way.
You can all but guarantee that there will be times when customers downright refuse to believe what you tell them. You’ll inevitably come across difficult customers where you will need to utilise your persuasion skills to get them on your side and understand things from your or your employer’s point of view.
It doesn’t matter whom you work for, in customer service you’ll be representing your company and their product portfolio (which services are a part of). The more knowledge you have about what your company does the better you’ll be able to answer queries and provide useful insight and recommendations as part of your customer service.
Although persuading difficult customers is one way of diffusing a situation, you could face times when the customer is rude or offensive towards you. When this happens, you’ll need to have the tenacity to pick yourself up and get stuck in again. Mastering the six skills above while being tenacious will set you up perfectly for a career in customer service.
All in all, customer service is a vast and varied industry where you will meet and deal with all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds. They will have different issues for you to tackle and no two days will be the same. At the end of the day, you can head home happy and fulfilled, knowing that you have solved so many people’s problems.