Customer Service Skills: What are They Exactly? | ROI Solutions
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Customer Service Skills: What are They Exactly?

Often, customer service skills are assumed to be possessed only by the extroverted and outgoing. Sure, being open and happy to talk to anyone, anytime are great attributes and can be a good fit for those who work day in and day out with people. However, those aren’t the only skills a customer service rep should have…or even the most important.

There isn’t a one-word response to the customer service skills definition. In fact, there are many skills that come into play every time the phone is picked up or the chat box is opened. Here are the top seven essential skills that, when practiced, will allow you to be successful when dealing with any customer.

1- Patience

Patience is perhaps the most fundamental skill when it comes to knowing how you should deal with a dissatisfied customer. Most often, those seeking your help are doing so because of a problem. They want it fixed immediately and are ready to fight for it.

Why Does It Matter?

Of course, having patience with a customer is very important to their satisfaction. However, having patience also benefits you on the other end of the complaint. If you’re always feeling frustrated and stressed, then you’re not happy either. When you’re not happy, it’s even harder to make the customer happy. So, in between (and sometimes during) phone calls remember to breathe, reassure yourself, and be patient with the customer service process.  

2- Empathy

When a customer calls, they want to be validated in doing so. Trying to understand how your customer may be feeling and doing what you can to make them feel better about the situation will go a long way to solving it.

Why Does It Matter?

In response to an emotion, customers are compelled to take action. Positive emotions greatly drive sales while negative emotions drive customers away (and often compel them to leave a poor review online).

3- Positive Communication

The language and tone used is everything when communicating with others. How sentences are worded can greatly affect how your customer hears what you say. For example, don’t say, “I can’t get that product to you for a few weeks because it’s on backorder.” Instead, say, “The product will be available next month and I can expedite it to you at that time.”

Why Does It Matter?

Using negative words feels impersonal and uncaring. They put your customers on the defensive and in a bad mood. Positive words say there is a resolution to the problem and that you care, which puts your customers at ease.

4- Discernment

It can be difficult to “read between the lines” when you’re not face-to-face with a customer, Regardless, this is just as important a skill as any. Truly listening to what is being said, trying to get a clear view of the context, and understanding a suitable solution can make all the difference in a customer’s overall satisfaction.

Why Does It Matter?

Catching on to your customer’s subtle clues of their mood, patience level, and personality (e.g., sighing, talking quickly, no enthusiasm in their voice) can clear up much confusion and miscommunication.

5- Product Knowledge

For a customer service representative, having a deep knowledge of your product (or service) isn’t just a nice idea…it’s critical. Your customers expect you to be an expert.

Why Does It Matter?

There’s no faking it, your customers can immediately tell if they know more about the product than you do. From that moment, their trust in you (and the product or service itself) drops drastically.

6- Goal-Oriented

This skill has to do with the engagement of a customer service representative. Without goals to work toward and achieve, interest can be lost quickly and motivation can suffer.

Why Does It Matter?

A disengaged employee is a serious flight risk. As human beings, we are hardwired to crave fulfillment in everything we do, including our work. Without an incentive to do better, we don’t feel appreciated or valued. This is when high turnover takes place.  

7- Sales Skills

One skill that sets a customer service specialists apart from mediocre service representatives is the ability to upsell and cross-sell. This doesn’t mean you follow a scripted sales pitch on every phone call.

Why Does It Matter?

You will be an invaluable resource to your customers by possessing product knowledge, speaking confidently, and being empowered to give them what they need. If you can do this, you will earn your company a higher sales profit and turn your customers into loyal fans.

Using these seven skills will help you know how to deal with a dissatisfied customer. When fulfilling customer service duties will leave every customer feeling satisfied and ready to do business with you again and again.

Here at ROI Call Center Solutions, we pride ourselves on giving you the best customer service outsourcing possible. Contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help you.

Han Butler

As Chief Revenue Officer, Han specializes in developing clear, unique and compelling value propositions which disruptively differentiate products and brands in cluttered markets. Han has a passion for working with people on creating value and opportunity, both in companies and communities. Nothing is more rewarding than working with a group of fun and talented individuals to create something greater than we could accomplish individually.

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