Top 10 Customer Service Skills

China is now leading the Artificial Intelligence (A.I) race against America. They are making huge efforts to create life-like humanoid robots that we can interact with. In fact, on January 2020, an A.I powered robot called Jiang Lailai joined her co-host in presenting, ‘Creating the Future with Intelligence’ in a variety show explaining new technology and innovation in China.

How long before these robots start appearing in all areas of customer service? The real question is, are you going to be okay interacting with one knowing that its responses are not sincere and personalized? Until that unease is put to rest, human beings will continue to be the primary face of business.

With that being said, below are the top 10 skills you will need to master if you work as a Customer Service Representative (CSR):

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Skill #1 – Patience
This is the Number 1 reason why this job is not meant for everyone. If you are the type of person that is easily agitated or temperamental, please stay away from this job. Patience can be learned, but learning it while on the job comes with risks.

Skill #2 – Smile
Easier said than done. Let’s face it, we all have problems either at home or in the office. The trick is to not allow problems from one location to creep into the other. A CSR needs to be isolate and put away problems when dealing with customers. Only the customer’s problem should matter. It is easy to tell if you are putting on a fake smile, be it face-to-face or over the phone.

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Skill #3 – Listen Actively
Hearing is a natural ability. Listening is an art. When you are a good listener, you understand the meaning, emotion and feeling behind the words. Take notes, use verbal nods and paraphrase. If your attention is slipping away, change your posture.

Skill #4 – Speak Clearly
Asians generally speak fast. If you do, slow it down to ensure understanding and comprehension. Speak plainly. Avoid long-winded sentences.

Skill #5 – Probe Effectively
Probing is the art of asking questions. Learn to ask the right questions to manage your conversation with the customer. Logically sequenced precise questions can get you to the root cause of your customer grievances quickly.

Skill #6 – Be Knowledgeable
Know the products and services your company offers. Better yet, be a consumer of some of these so you have a better understanding of their inner workings. Know where to get the right up-to-date information. If knowledge on a particular inquiry/problem does not exist, document it and work with people in the business to find answers. Have a system to manage knowledge.

Skill #7 – Manage Time
This is how service is measured in this line of work. How long does a customer need to wait in a queue? How long can they be placed on hold? How long will it take to resolve the issue? When should you call to follow-up? What type of issues should be prioritized? These are all critical question that can make or break your job.

Skill #8 – Manage Stress
You will be dealing with all sorts of personalities. You will be dealing with angry customers. If that was not enough, there will be plenty of stress coming from within the business as it changes to meet customer demands. Your success in this line of work depends on your ability to manage stress on the fly.

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Skill #9 – Maintaining Your Energy Level
You need to keep your energy level up. Waning energy levels directly impact the quality of your customer interactions. Eat right and stay hydrated. Plan and manage your breaks to ensure you are working at an optimum level.

Skill #10 – Be Flexible
As I mentioned before, this is a dynamic industry. Things change on a day-to-day basis. These changes are a direct result of the business adapting and evolving to serve the customer better. If you enjoy being in your comfort zone or are too rigid, this is not the job for you.  

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