Everybody wants good customer service, but the job of being a great customer service representative is difficult. You need excellent communication skills and the ability to interact with people who may be in an outright bad mood due to frustration with a problem.
With the right mindset, you can excel at customer service and gain the satisfaction of solving problems for people. Even if you’re already good at dealing with people, becoming a great customer service rep depends on cultivating these skills.
1. Accept That Customers Have High Expectations
Customer service agents work with people face-to-face, over the phone, by email, or through chat messages. Whatever the medium of interaction, you should keep in the forefront of your mind that your employer has placed you in the position of helping this person. Customers expect you to have answers or figure out what is going wrong even if they aren’t explaining themselves well. Not everyone knows the strategies for getting better customer service, which means the burden is on you to perform well.
2. Stay Friendly
Wherever you work, you represent the company. No employer wants you to act in a disinterested or surly manner. Neither do the customers. You must maintain a friendly attitude. You do this with courtesy and holding a genuine interest in solving the problem or answering the question.
3. Act With Empathy
Empathy means that you acknowledge the feelings of the other person. You recognize that those feelings are valid and probably have good reasons behind them. The customer might have just had a very frustrating experience with your company’s website or received an unexpected bill. The person’s issue could be taking time away from other important concerns. If someone is unpleasant, try not to take it personally.
4. Learn Everything That You Can About Your Products Or Services
This takes time to develop, but, the more that you know about your products and services, the better service you can provide. With experience, you’ll come to know the top reasons customers need help. You’ll be able to answer their questions and resolve problems quickly. The speedy service that comes from your deep knowledge will thrill customers and advance your career.
5. Always Keep Your Promises
Sometimes you have to ask people to wait while you investigate an issue. Even if you don’t find a good answer, you should respond anyway so that you don’t leave anyone wondering what happened.
6. Listen Actively
Listening is the biggest skill you need as a customer service rep. Really focus on everything that the person is saying. Don’t assume that you understand the meaning after a customer’s first few sentences. Even if the person is taking a long time to explain the issue, important details could be buried in the customer’s statements.
7. Ask Specific Questions
Many customer service training programs require you to ask questions to confirm what was said to you. This may seem redundant, but it’s important to achieve effective communication. Probe for additional details that could help you pinpoint exactly what the person wants or needs. Not everyone is good at explaining things. Use your questions to take the customer step by step through what was happening when they encountered a problem.
8. Keep In Mind That You Could Make Someone’s Day Better
Even a cranky customer can become grateful and happy when you solve a problem. As a customer service rep, you need to stay motivated. Interacting with the public day in and day out can wear you down emotionally. Learn to value those interactions when you succeed and make a person completely satisfied. Those are the interactions that will remind you that you have a purpose and that it does matter to people.
There’s no denying that the job of customer service rep is challenging. The role is also very important because it is the primary way that companies build relationships. A great customer service rep knows how to foster positive relationships.