5 Important Customer Service Skills Every Employee Should Have

Good customer service is essential to the success of any business. There is a lot of competition out there, and sometimes your customer service is enough to make the difference between a customer becoming a recurring client of yours versus going to one of your competitors.

The employees in your customer service department are in direct contact with your clientele every day, so they better know what they’re doing.

Customer Service Requires a Special Skill Set.

No matter how you look at it, customer service can be a tough job at times. Often, when someone calls customer service, they aren’t happy about something and the person who is representing your company needs to have a key set of skills to help keep your customers happy.

On that note; the following are five absolutely crucial customer service skills that every employee should have:

  • Emotional Intelligence

The phrase “emotional intelligence” sounds a lot like empathy, but it’s really not. A person who is emotionally intelligent is capable of managing the way they respond to emotional stimuli. So, if an angry customer says something rude or hurtful, a good customer service rep is more likely to respond positively. That doesn’t mean they aren’t angry or hurt, only that they can set this aside and act as the situation requires.

In a sense, emotional intelligence is all about understanding delayed gratification. You can have a small reward now or a larger reward later. Which do you choose? Snapping back at an angry client is an immediate reward (the satisfaction of releasing your anger on the person who caused it). However, that small reward can have a big consequence. Keeping a level head and diffusing the situation requires self control, but it also has a better reward in the long-run (you get to keep your job).

  • Flexibility

Customer service representatives have to be able to adapt in the moment. They talk to so many people every day. Not to mention that they have to keep up with all updates to company policy and products. With this skill, it’s possible for someone to easily transition between conversations without becoming overwhelmed or frustrated.

  • Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is a two-part skill because it refers to both the inside and the outside. People who are generally self-aware tend to have more empathy. That means they can better understand customers on an emotional level. This helps put customers at ease and it helps them feel they’ve been truly heard.

The flip side of self-awareness is physical awareness. It is important to be able to modulate tone and facial expressions. A good way to test your tone and expressions is to take a video of yourself with your phone. Pretend you’re working with a customer. If you notice any gruffness, just keep practicing until you are able to better control the sound of your voice.

  • Listening

It would be impossible to work in customer service without good listening skills so if you tune out after a few minutes, this is not the job for you! You cannot resolve a customer’s problem or answer their questions if you didn’t even hear them.

  • Clear and Concise Language