So you‘re considering starting or you’ve just started a career in the customer service industry, now you’re eager to find out what you need in order to excel or bag a job in customer service.
Here’s a handy guide that will highlight the skills and abilities you’ll need to have (or develop) for a rewarding customer service career.
A Cheerful Disposition
In Customer service, you’ll interact with people from all walks of life, responding to enquiries, giving solutions to problems, and all other interaction your job role entails, it is important that customers feel comfortable coming to you with their questions or concerns. Whenever you’re face-to-face with customers, be sure to welcome them with a smile, forget about yourself, and get ready to engage in conversation.
At one point or the other during your career, you’ll come across customers who are angry or just mean - because they’re upset or disappointed with a product or service rendered by your employer. In such a situation being patient is very important. You cannot afford to lose your cool with a customer, it’s something most employers will frown heavily upon. Luckily learning to be always patient with customers is as easy as realizing that in most cases the customer is upset with something that has nothing to do with you personally (rather than lose your cool, promptly refer them to a supervisor).
Good Communication Skills
Communication also comes into play when dealing with customers questions and complaints, the ability to convey information effectively goes a long way in increasing customer satisfaction levels and improving their overall experience. Being able to communicate or express your thoughts/ideas effectively will make you valuable to your employer.
In addition to being able to communicate effectively, listening also constitutes a great portion of our interaction with Customers and it is important that you know how to listen actively (listening is different from hearing), in order to understand what Customers really want.
As the use of computers become more and more inevitable in most workplaces, computer skills are often the greatest asset any job seeker can possess, Even if you don’t work with computers in completing your core job functions, you’ll run into them from time to time.
Computers will speed up the amount of time it takes to process a customer's request & makes your job more efficient. The better you are at it, the faster and more efficient you are going to be. Customers will naturally prefer you attending to them and your employer will love you for it.
As a customer service professional, you should have good knowledge of each product and service your employer sells to clients. Learn everything about these products, as well as solutions to any issues that may arise during their use. This will enable you speak clearly and confidently about them to customers when necessary.
Are there any special offers or discounts on offer? You should be aware and communicate them to customers.
Ability to handle pressure
The ability to handle pressure is a very valuable skill anyone in customer service should have. Sometimes it gets hectic really quickly (when sales are at its peak or during the rush hour). Being able to work under pressure involves prioritizing the most important task you need to finish & working to the best of your ability even when you have so much to complete. Most of all, it’s about being to maintain composure when you feel the job is getting on top of you.
This skill will earn you the admiration of customers, your employer & colleagues.
A Positive Attitude
Everybody knows that a happy customer is good for business. A positive attitude enhances communication between customers and service professionals.
Customers remember being treated well and they tell other people about it, they recognize and appreciate courtesy and kindness – and will return to experience it again; this is why employers look out for people who have a positive outlook to things when they’re recruiting.
Ability to Take Ownership
It is a lack of ownership attitude that leads to customers hearing words like - “That’s not my job, it’s not my department, and they don’t pay me to do that.
It is every employers dream to have employees who will treat the business & its customers as though it belonged to them. When customers see you being proactive, or taking immediate action to ensure they are satisfied, they consider this a positive experience. 90% of customers consider "taking ownership" as the primary factor in a "WOW" customer experience - this keeps customers coming back. Your ability to have an ownership attitude while executing your duties will make you invaluable to your employer.
Empathy is not sympathy, where you simply feel bad about someone’s situation without doing anything about it. In customer service, empathy is a skill of being able to understand a customer’s feelings or needs, by putting yourself in their shoes, and then finding a solution that gives them satisfaction. Empathy is a valuable skill for anyone who intends to go into customer service because it plays an important role in building a strong, engaged relationship between an organization & its customers, and creating a satisfactory customer experience.
Knowledge of Body Language
The difference between the words people speak and our understanding of what they are saying comes from non-verbal communication (from hand gestures to involuntary twitching of facial muscles) otherwise known as "body language." It is important that as customer service professional you understand what your body language is saying to the prospect/customer and you’re equally able to decode theirs.
Body language influences a customer’s perspective of a business right from the first contact. The friendliness of the answering voice on phone, the warm welcoming smile of the employee at the reception, the tone of voice and other subtle cues can make the difference between a customer choosing to come back and choosing to go elsewhere.
In order to be an outstanding customer service professional a good understanding of body language as well as the art of active listening is necessary. Without these skills you cannot communicate effectively with your customers.
Customer service is not a day’s job, it is continuous and it is challenging, but it is quite rewarding and you’ll learn a lot of valuable social skills and a good measure of Emotional Intelligence over the course of your career. Companies like Omarich Resources, Thinkers Gate, Oriental Trust Ltd, Standard bank, Live solution and hundreds more are searching for people with these skills and the passion to excel and grow with them.
What are you waiting for? Find job at customer service now!