At the end of the day, your business won’t stick in the minds of your customers just because of the quality of your goods or services.
What customers remember more than anything else is how they’re treated. According to McKinsey & Company, 70% of buying experiences are based on “how the customer feels they’re being treated.”
So how can you set yourself apart from the competition, turn first-time buyers into long-term customers, and improve your profits? By developing the right customer service skills at your business. Read on to learn about the 10 most important customer skills that your team needs to focus on!
1. Build Empathy
Empathy is the most important thing when a customer has a problem with your products or services. Be aware of the feelings of your customers – and respond appropriately. Defuse the situation and show them that you care about their situation, and they’ll be less angry, more cooperative, and more likely to come away from the situation with feelings of positivity. Empathetic support is 9x more likely to keep customers engaged with your brand.
2. Have A Positive Attitude
Your attitude sets the stage for each interaction with customers, so enter every conversation with a positive attitude. Your positivity and enthusiasm will rub off on your customers, and ensure that they have a great experience.
3. Keep Your Cool (Especially When It’s Hard)
Customers may take their feelings out on you or your customer service employees. Remember that it’s not personal. Rude customers are not upset with you personally – but with their own unique situation. By staying positive and providing solutions for angry customers, you can win them over and eliminate their feelings of frustration and anger.
4. Know Your Own Strengths And Weaknesses
If you have a hard time always sounding chipper and cheerful, for example, don’t force it – it will sound artificial. Instead, you can focus on being a great listener, providing multiple solutions for your customers, and going above and beyond what they ask for. Focusing on the strengths you do have – rather than your weaknesses – will help improve overall customer satisfaction.
5. Be Fully Present With Every Customer
Don’t look at your phone or your email. Don’t be distracted by anything happening around you. Be fully present and listen to each customer and their issue closely. Truly listening and understanding their issue is the key to delivering exceptional service.
6. Become A Product Or Service Expert
You should make sure that you and your customer service team members know everything there is to know about your products or services – to the greatest extent necessary. This helps minimize escalation, gives your customers more confidence in your customer service team, and enhances the overall experience for each customer.
7. Always Over-Deliver
Don’t just do the minimum to resolve your customer’s issue – go above and beyond the call of duty. For example, if you sent a product to a customer and it was damaged in transit, don’t just process a return and send a new one – give the customer a coupon for their next purchase, upgrade them to priority shipping, and take other steps to delight them and provide them with the right solution.
If you can over-deliver and provide a customer with the best possible solution to their issue, you can win them over for life – and also bring in new customers. 77% of customers will recommend a brand to a friend after a single positive experience, and 93% of customers are “likely” to make further purchases of products or services from companies that offer great customer service.
8. Emphasize Patience In Every Customer Interaction
Each customer is different. Some may have more trouble understanding you throughout the process, some may not be tech-savvy, and some may just have a lot of questions and issues that take a long time to resolve.
Be patient. Great customer service means giving every customer the attention they need – whether that’s for 2 minutes or 30 minutes.
9. Follow Through After Every Query, Complaint And Interaction
Even if a customer has their issue completely resolved, you should follow up a day or two after they contact you to ask if they have any further questions or issues. If they don’t need further help, you can rest easy – but if they do, you can impress your customers by being proactive and getting in touch immediately after their initial call or message.
You can also take this time to send a post-interaction customer satisfaction survey – and get more information about how well you and your customer support team are doing.
10. Communicate Clearly & Encourage Active Listening
“Active listening” is the process of listening to everything that your customer says, ensuring that you fully concentrate on their words, and responding to them properly. Often, it involves paraphrasing their words and repeating them back so that you can confirm that you completely understand their situation and their needs.
68% of people say that polite customer service is the key to a great experience – and clear communication and active listening are great ways to improve the speed, clarity, and politeness of your customer service team members.
Set Yourself Up For Success With These Simple Customer Service Skills
So whether you handle customer service issues on your own or have employees to help you with the task, focusing on these skills will help you provide better service – and turn your customers into loyal brand advocates.
And if you need more help with customer service, AnswerFirst is here for you. With professional call answering services, we can augment your customer service team and assist you as your company grows. To learn more about our services, just contact us now.