Customer Service is one of the most vital aspects for a business. This comes in the form of both being able to address problems and also to make sales. There are 6 basic skills that everyone in customer service should have.
This means taking the time to understand the customer’s problems and needs. This maybe as simple as them not being able to find a product in a store, and you bring them to it instead of just saying aisle 5; or it maybe more difficult such as dealing with someone who is already frustrated and angry and wants to return everything they bought. Patience is important in both these scenarios because great service beats fast service every time. Good customer service stems from being able to identify the wants and needs of customer and doing what you can to meet them, all while remaining calm.
2. Staying Calm
Having the ability to stay calm and keep customers calm is a vital aspect of customer service. It does not help the situation if you let an irate customer ruffle your feathers even if they are trying to. Better to stay calm and try to determine what you can do to help them.
This skill is another that can have multiple applications. On one hand, it means helping the customer to the best of your ability while giving them the individual attention each sale or interaction requires; but on the other hand, Clotti in his article “15 Customer Service Skills that Every Employee Needs”, describes it as paying attention to recurring problems and trying to find a solution to stop them before it happens.
A great way to avoid many problems is to have good communication skills. This entails being able to relay information in a clear way, without leaving any room for confusion. This can be as simple as watching your phrasing. For example, saying something will be included implies that it is free, so only use that word if whatever it is really is free.
5. Positive Language
This is a simple way to improve over-all interactions with customers. Positive language can do a lot to help solve a problem—or at least give the feeling of solving the problem—or closing a sale. The example Clotti gives is when speaking about backordered items, instead of saying that it is unavailable until next month, say that you can get it next month. Both ways state that the product is not available, but the latter implies not only a sale, but also sounds more positive.
6. Knowledge of the Product
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it is very important. Without complete knowledge of the product, there is no way you can help a customer if issues arise. Also, being able to say how something works, and if it works well, is an invaluable way to close the sale.
Clotti, Gregory. “15 Customer Service Skills that Every Employee Needs” www.helpscout.net Feb. 2013