Customer Service Skills: Mastering the Art of Customer Happiness
The way you treat your customers can make or break your business. A good customer service can salvage a deal gone sour, whereas a bad treatment can turn a positive experience into one the customer won’t forget. In today’s service-focused culture, customer service skills are vital for turning satisfied customers into brand ambassadors.
The rise of social media has added a new layer to customer service skill. Whereas customers in the past were only able to talk about their sour experience with close friends and family, the Internet has given customers the platform to tell the whole world what went wrong. Many of them do, with 53% of people mentioning bad customer service experiences on social media.
Essential Skills Behind Good Customer Experiences
Good customer service isn’t about the customer realizing your skills. For the customer, the only important thing is to leave the experience feeling amazing and having their problems solved.
In order to do this, you need the following key skills:
- Empathy – You need to be able to feel what the customer is feeling, as it’ll help you respond to the issue in a manner that satisfies them. If you can’t empathize with their frustrations or happiness, you can’t provide the right kind of help.
- Positive approach – This isn’t as much about your ability to smile, although it helps, but about the language you use. You should aim for positive language throughout the conversation and drop the negative starts like “unfortunately” and “I’m afraid that”.
- Patience – Customer service is not easy and you are going to meet customers that are difficult. Nonetheless, you can’t lose your cool in these situations. Approach situations with calm and remember that you’ll only make an already uncomfortable situation unbearable by lashing out.
- Communication – You must also develop clarity in the way you communicate. A good approach is to understand your customers’ knowledge level in terms of the product. Don’t assume anything, but ask questions so that you can create the correct approach to explaining, helping or guiding. In addition, remember communication is not just
How to Develop Better Customer Service Skills
Customer service skills are not something you gain once and then never have to think about it again. The skills take continuous development and you need to stay active to be on top of your game.
Learning more about the skills can be easy. Online sources, such as ALISON and Institute of Customer Service, provide courses and free materials to boost skills. You can also find customer service books online and find courses in your local neighborhood.
The key is to understand your skillset is never finished and staying on top of your industry and these soft skills will always guarantee better experiences for your customers.