Customer Support

Customer Service Skills

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
– Jeff Bezos

There are certain customer service skills that every employee must master if they are forward-facing with customers.
Without them, you run the risk of finding your business in an embarrassing customer service train-wreck, or you’ll simply lose customers as your service continues to let people down.
Below are the most-needed skills to master this incredibly important position:

Customer Service Skills

  1. Patience
    If you deal with customers on a daily basis, be sure to stay patient when they come to you stumped and frustrated, but also be sure to take the time to truly figure out what they want — they’d rather get competent service than being rushed out the door!
  2. Attentiveness
    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 experience (watching the language/terms that they use to describe their problems), but it’s also important to be mindful and attentive to the feedback that you receive at large.
  3. Clear communication skills
    Make sure you’re getting to the problem at hand quickly; customers don’t need your life story or to hear about how your day is going. More importantly, you need to be cautious about how some of your communication habits translate to customers, and it’s best to err on the side of caution whenever you find yourself questioning a situation.
  4. Knowledge of the Product
    The best forward-facing employees in your company will work on having a deep knowledge of how your product works. Without knowing your product from front to back, you won’t know how to help customers when they run into problems.
  5. Ability to use positive language
    Sounds like fluffy nonsense, but customer service involves having the ability to make minor changes in your conversational patterns. This can truly go a long way in creating happy customers. For example:
    Without positive language: “I can’t get you that product until next month; it is back-ordered and unavailable at this time.”
    With positive language: “That product will be available next month. I can place the order for you right now and make sure that it is sent to you as soon as it reaches our warehouse.”
  6. Time management skills
    Don’t waste time trying to go above and beyond for a customer in an area where you will just end up wasting both of your time!
  7. Tenacity
    Call it what you want, but a great work ethic and a willingness to do what needs to be done (and not take shortcuts) is a key skill when providing the kind of service that people talk about.
  8. Empathy
    Perhaps empathy — the ability to understand and share the feelings of another — is more of a character trait than a skill. But since empathy can be learned and improved upon, we’d be remiss not to include it here. In fact, if your organization tests job applicants for customer service aptitude, you’d be hard-pressed to look for a more critical skill than empathy.
Customer Support

Customer Experience Strategies

:”Customer Experience is the next competitive battleground.It’s where businesses are won or lost.”
-Tom Knighton

Customer experience (CX) refers to a customer’s perception of their overall interactions with a company.
Since customer expectations are higher than ever, customer experience has become a key driver of customer retention and acquisition. Comparatively, customer services refer to specific touchpoints within the experience, where a customer requests and receives assistance or help.

Customer Experience Strategy

  1. Understand your audience & create buyer personas
    To create the best customer experience, you have to first understand your customers – who they are, their motivations, and concerns. If your organization wants to deeply understand customers and empathize with them, you need access to in-depth intel.
  2. Work backward from the experience you want to deliver
    When planning your customer experience, it’s easiest to work backward. Apple is known for its premium customer experience, and for obvious reasons. Steve Jobs, who was responsible for the brand Apple grew to be, famously advocated his principle of “beginning with the customer experience and working backward to the technology”.
  3. Hire team players and get them invested in the process
    At the other end of customer interactions with your brand are employees, who are key to creating a great customer experience.
    Here are two tips to hire and initiate the right talent to enable great customer service –
    Focus on the skills that matter – interpersonal skills, the ability to interact and connect with people, presentation, hospitality, and the ability to maintain a cool mind through crises.
    Create a set of principles for your customer executive and sales personnel to follow, so their interactions with customers are smooth and pleasant.
  4. Be attentive to customer needs & use feedback loops
    How do you know what your customers’ needs are if you don’t ask them? How can you assess what your brand’s value is if you don’t ask your customers?
    That’s why it’s essential to create feedback loops. Here’s how you can –
    Use post-interaction, real-time feedback surveys. You can even follow up with customers over the phone for more details.
    Pay attention to what is being said about you on social media, this is where customers are usually the most honest.
    Customer experience is one of the biggest opportunities that businesses have to capture prospects’ interest, get them to act, and stay with the brand as loyalists. There is no limit to what a good customer experience strategy can enable, and this post is a great start.