Posted in:

7 Customer Service Skills Every Support Team Needs to Develop

© by

No matter how great your product is, you’ll lose customers if you don’t have good customer service.

According to a statistic by Microsoft, 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.

However, customer support doesn’t come naturally to everyone. For your customer support team to handle client inquiries, concerns, and complaints well, they need to develop the right soft skills.

To that end, here are the customer service skills every agent needs to be successful and knock their customer support cases out of the park!

  • Problem-solving skills

Most often, customers contact you to get help with an issue they’re experiencing—a delayed order, a defective product, or a complaint about the company’s website, and so on.

The best customer service agents are problem solvers. They know common fixes and troubleshooting steps that will narrow down a solution.

The more attentive you are and the more time you spend fixing problems, the better you will be at addressing customers’ concerns.

  • Clear communication skills

When communicating with customers, it’s important to be clear and concise. You want to keep things simple so you don’t confuse or frustrate them.

This goes for communicating over phone, email, or chat. Always adhere to proper grammar and spelling and make sure to maintain a polite tone while expressing nuance—especially in writing where a lot of intonations and facial queues are lost.

  • Time management skills

Anyone that’s worked in a customer support center knows how busy they can get. To be efficient, customer support agents need to know how to manage their time.

This takes organizational skills and using the right software tools. For example, companies can invest in a Contact Center AI that helps improve agent productivity.

That way, you can answer customers quickly and get on to the next case even faster. Time is money, after all.

  • Active listening skills

Most customers just want to feel heard and understood. That means support agents must do all they can to let customers express themselves before providing reassurance and asking clarifying questions.

This takes patience. But actively listening to the customer (rather than speaking or cutting them off) can go a long way in improving the situation. 

You might also try recapping your customers concerns so they know you understood them.

  • Empathy

Though empathy tends to be characterized as a personality trait, it can be learned just like any other skill. 

Show empathy by considering where your customers are coming from and how they might feel. See the problem from their point of view. This helps them feel understood, which can in turn deescalate conflict. 

Showing empathy takes emotional intelligence, which is the ability to perceive, evaluate, express, and control emotions. It requires not taking things personally and “reading” your customers. Above all, it takes practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll become.

  • Positive attitude

Helping upset customers can be hard, but it’s important to keep a positive attitude. Customers pick up on subtle queues (e.g. tiredness, anger, etc.), and staying positive can help alleviate an already challenging situation. 

In fact, maintaining a hopeful outlook even when you don’t know the solution can reassure the customer that you will help them no matter what.

  • Learning from mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to learn from them so you can improve moving forward. 

If you give a customer the wrong answer, admit you made an error and point them in the right direction. Most people will appreciate your honesty. 

Over time, you’ll learn your company’s product or service inside and out so you can better help customers.

Customer service expectations are increasing all the time. To meet them, you need to make sure your customer service skills are top notch. Otherwise, your customer might move on to one of your competitors.