What are Customer Service Skills?
When your position requires you to interact with your company’s clients and customers, good customer service skills are a must. You need to know how to professionally relate to your clients, understand their issues, and learn how to address them. Some of the positions that require customer service skills include; sales representative, retail associate, and customer service agent, Business owner, Call center,.
Basically anytime someone exchanges money for goods and services good customer service skills should be practiced. Customer service skills are essential in helping you address the needs of your customers and foster a good relationship. We have listed what we believe to be the most important skills to improve to be a valuable asset, not just two your company but to your clients and customers.
Importance Of Having And Learning Customer Service Skills
Great customer service can create a good rapport with clients and improves an organization’s reputation. Employers are always looking for capable staff who can provide a high level of satisfaction to their customers. Friendly and efficient Customer Service Professional helps retain customers and encourages them to tell their friends and family about their experience. Bad customer service almost guarantees they will tell their friends and family about their experience.
Customer service skills are not just for customers, they apply to any position where you’re interacting with people on a regular basis. Managers for example, companies are looking for problem solvers who can manage the interests of the company, employees, and customers.
Employees with proper customer service skills are an asset to any company. Promoting not just a high level of customer retention but of employee satisfaction also.
Examples of Customer Service Skills To List on Resume
Here are seven customer service skills Everyone should be able to list on their resume.
1. Active Listening
When you make a list of skills for customer service professionals active listening should be at the top. Active listening is a crucial customer service skill that any professional can learn. In order to provide proper customer service you need to understand what the customer needs and what the customer wants. There are several techniques both auditory and visual when combined and can help to provide a deeper understanding of the situation because the first step to solving any problem is understanding it. Some of these techniques include paraphrasing, observing body language & tone of voice, asking questions, and summarizing.
When it is on the phone, you should avoid any form of distraction and be keen on the speaker. Background music, noise, multi-tasking, even your own emotions can interfere with active listening. A customer may express dissatisfaction with realizing that you are not listening to their worries keenly. It can worsen the problem at hand, and it may not be suitable for your work. Active listening techniques can help you understand what your customer or supervisor wants you to address, which will lead to satisfaction.
2. Effective Communication
Communication forms an essential element in the day-to-day activities as it enables one to relay information. It helps foster customer relations, which in turn contributes to a company’s success.
There are various tips a customer service professional can adopt to ensure there is effective communication. They include but not limited to:
a) Attention to detail. Customer service professionals should ensure they listen carefully to customers. Failure to take instructions as given will result in unhappy customers.
b) Stick to your turnaround time. In cases where you are unable to deliver to customers as agreed, ensure to communicate to avert blame.
3. Conflict Resolution
It involves two parties working towards solving a dispute. Naturally, no one is willing to take the liability, and you tend to defend yourself should a conflict arise. To unravel, the conflicting parties should come up with an agreeable way of resolving the matter and maintain the existing relationship.
Below are some skills, a customer service professional can use in conflict resolution
a) Avoid interruption. In cases where a customer is conveying their disappointments, the best you can do is to listen. Interrupting a customer might upset them and may, in turn, feel unvalued.
b) Avoid shifting blame. A customer might be upset, and blaming them for the same could worsen the situation. Avoid becoming defensive, instead, show them they are right and that you are apologetic.
c) Show you are willing to cooperate. Anger never solves a situation. Be ready to forgo your ego and show the customer you are eager to resolve the matter. Remember as a customer service professional it’s not about you.
4. Decision Making
As a Customer service professional you will be required to solve different problems that customers report. You need to know how to sort out the many challenges that your clients may be facing regarding your company’s services. Learn how to navigate a situation to the satisfaction of the customer and without putting your organization at risk.
Rationally check on the customer complaints as you find the right approach to solving the challenges and leave the customers satisfied. Where you are looking to solve a difficult scenario, you should consider making it a collaborative task. Involve others, including your supervisor on how to resolve the issue at hand for the best results.
5. Reading Physical and Emotional Cues
You should be able to notice and understand what your customer is saying by reading their physical behaviors and emotions. Sometimes the actions and voices of your customers can tell you their level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
Physical and emotional cues involve body language and voice intonation to express something different from what the customer says. Understanding these cues is essential when dealing with a client who is expressing dissatisfaction with your company’s products or services. If you are blind to the physical and emotional cues that your customers are expressing, you are likely to lose their business. Read their nonverbal cues and work on providing solutions to the problem even when they are not saying there is a problem.
Customer reception is a crucial indicator of a friendly customer service professional. Ensure to introduce yourself and be polite when handling customer’s queries. Attracting new customers is always more costly than retaining the existing ones.
Facial expressions are naturally a result of your emotional state and you can hear and see that on your face and in your voice, you can literally hear someone smiling.
Even the happiest of people are not happy all the time but, if you can put a smile on your face whenever you interact with your customers, It will help to create a sense of welcome and trust making your job easier and less frustrating for both parties.
When handling an upset customer, be calm, give them time to explain themselves, and guarantee them you will resolve their issue. Well treated customers are willing to pay more for the product or service. A friendly customer service professional who can show appreciation to customers performs an essential service for their company.
Patience is an essential skill in customer service, more so when engaging with customers. When customers can get angry, patience is vital when handling they’re issues. There are many reasons that may lead to customers getting angry at your services and products.
Practicing patience will help you understand your clients’ complaints and plan on how to resolve them. As a customer service professional, patience will enable you to comprehend your customers’ needs and prepare on how to deliver the customer’s expectations.
8. Empathy (Bonus)
Being an Empath is not science fiction it is a skill that can be learned.
Just saying your sorry to your customers after they have gone through an awful experience is never enough. Being empathetic means that you are skilled at reading your customers emotions and better understand what the situation requires to resolve the customers complaint.
Whether or not you can solve the customer’s complaint, If you can show empathy it Makes it easier for them to accept the situation. How do you show empathy to the customers? If you can put yourself in their position you’ll better understand what they need to feel like I’d valued customer
Benefits of being empathetic to your customers include:
- Scaling down a conflict. Matters can be more easily resolved once you have expressed empathy to your customers.
- Using your empathetic skills can increase customers’ satisfaction with your business regardless of the negative experience the customers went through.
How to List Customer Service Skills on Your Resume
If you are looking to take your customer service professionals to a larger scale, you should note the customer service skills to list on a resume for a successful job hunt. Considering the examples of customer service skills in the above discussion, how do you list them on your resume?
Look at the Job Description to Ascertain the Essential Skills to List in Your Resume.
While it is essential to list the customer service skills in your resume, you should do it correctly. You need to know which skills are relevant to your potential employer before listing them.
Check the skills that the employer requires and list them in your resume.
Employers have a job description that you can use to determine the examples of customer service skills to list. Also most companies have a mission and value statement that can provide insight into their overall culture
Utilize the Career Objective part in your Resume to add your key skills.
The introduction part of your resume should also be used to introduce your best customer service skills to the hiring manager. By mentioning them in your career objective. It’s the first part that the hiring manager will look at before looking at your experience and academic qualifications.
Include customer service skills in the Previous Work Experience Section.
Although there are many customer care service skills to list on a resume, you should aim at all sections of the resume where the hiring manager could be interested. As you list your experience, show how you used your customer service skills to solve challenges as part of your assigned duties.
Most of the job skills for customer service are definable, measurable and teachable. In fact there are many books and online courses on the subject that can help boost your confidence and your skills.
By BG Greene
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