When dealing with clients and suppliers, it is essential to have the correct customer service skill set, as this will maintain profitable relationships and keep your business running in good stead.
Luckily, there are a few universal skills that every employee can master to improve conversations with customers.
If you deal with customers on a daily basis, be sure to stay patient when they come to you baffled and frustrated, but also be sure to take the time to truly figure out what they want — they’d rather get competent service than be rushed out the door!
The ability to really listen to customers is so crucial for providing great service for a number of reasons. Not only is it important to pay attention to individual customer interactions, but it’s also important to be mindful and attentive to the feedback that you receive at large.
- Clear communication skills
Be cautious about how some of your communication habits translate to customers.
When it comes to important points that you need to relay clearly to customers, keep it simple and leave nothing to doubt.
- Product knowledge
Without knowing your product from front-to-back, you won’t know how to help customers when they run into problems.
- Time management skills
You need to be concerned with getting customers what they want in an efficient manner. If you’re unsure of how to help the customer with the problem at hand, the best solution is to get assistance from a colleague who’s more knowledgeable and able to assist straight away.
- Ability to ‘read’ customers
In many instances nowadays, you won’t always be able to see customers face-to-face, or even hear a customer’s voice. Employees need to familiarise themselves with human psychology by carefully interpreting verbal and non-verbal cues, body language and tone of voice when dealing with customers.Look and listen for subtle clues about their current mood, patience level, personality, etc., and you’ll go far in keeping your customer interactions positive.To make sure you clearly grasp what your customer is conveying, you can:
- Summarize the other person’s key pain points. This demonstrates you understand the core problem the customer is facing, and will make it easier to reach a resolution.
- Ask clarifying questions to gauge your level of understanding – clear up any misunderstandings.
- A calming presence
The best customer service reps know that they can’t let a heated customer force them to lose their cool; in fact it is their job to try to be the “rock” for a customer who thinks the world is falling down due to their current problem.
- Willingness to learn
Those who don’t seek to improve what they do, whether it’s building products, marketing businesses, or helping customers, will get left behind by the people willing to invest in their skills.