When it comes to your business, customer service is everything. It’s likely that for most of your customers, their primary interaction with your business will take place over the phone rather than in person, which is why it’s essential to be sure your call center representatives are highly experienced, possessing the skills they need to properly care for your customers.
While there are countless customer service skills every representative should possess, these 10 are perhaps the most important.
At the top of the list is perhaps the most difficult skill for anyone to acquire—patience. Call center agents need to be particularly well versed in patience since they’re the most likely point of contact for frustrated or unhappy customers. Patience truly is long-suffering, and unfortunately, your call center reps need to be capable of the same.
2. Clear Communication Skills
Non-verbal cues make up most of our communication, which is why it’s that much more important to gain exceptional communication skills so your reps can properly communicate with customers over the phone. Agents should be clear and straightforward in the language they use to make sure no statements made are misunderstood. Proper phone etiquette is also important.
3. Positive Attitude
One of the most under-rated customer service skills, positive thinking can go a long way. Being yelled at regularly throughout the day can take its toll on some people, which is why it’s important that your agents maintain a positive attitude. A positive attitude combined with patience goes a long way in helping your employees remain levelheaded.
Since no person or situation is the same, each call your representatives take is bound to be different. Great customer service representatives need to be able to adapt to any situation, managing an angry customer one minute and a friendly one the next, offering excellent help and service no matter what the situation calls for.
It’s easy to be distracted, especially in the sometimes monotonous work of a call center, however, your customer service representatives must remain attentive while taking calls. Agents need to be alert and attentive, making sure they fully understand the needs of callers to ensure they can adequately meet them.
6. Positive Language Skills
It’s important to use positive language, especially when dealing with upset customers. This means, rather than your reps saying phrases like “No”, “I don’t know”, or “Please calm down”, they should instead use phrases like “That option is unavailable right now, but I can offer you another option that’s similar”, “Let me speak with the representative that handles that and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible”, or “I understand that you’re frustrated—I’d be frustrated too”, and “I’m sorry”. Changing the words and phrases they use can make all the difference in your customer experience.
Showing empathy to customers and trying to connect with them can help them have a better experience with your company. Encourage employees to go the extra mile to help customers and make sure they know they are heard and understood. This alone can help you secure life-long customers.
Call agents who seem unsure of themselves are less likely to come across as credible to your customers. This is one of the customer service skills that carries over into almost every area of life. Make sure your representatives are well-versed in company policies and comfortable answering questions. Positive reinforcement that they’re doing a good job can also go a long way in helping build that confidence.
9. Self Control
Going hand in hand with patience, it’s important to have good self control. You definitely don’t want your employees yelling at customers no matter what—that’s one of the fastest ways to lose business.
10. Decision-Making Skills
While your call center agents are likely well-versed in the responses necessary to help with most situations they’ll encounter with customers, it’s impossible to prepare them for everything, which is why it’s important to make sure they have good decision-making skills. With good judgement and an understanding of company policies, most representatives can handle about any situation. It’s important that they know, however, that when in doubt, they can ask a superior for help.
Strengthen Your Call Center, Strengthen Your Business
Encourage your call center agents to strengthen their customer service skills and watch your customer experience improve tremendously.