7 Tips for Improving Skills And Abilities For Customer Service

A person holding up a phone with a customer service rating on it.

Customers drive businesses. So, keeping them happy pays off—big time. Connecting with clients builds trust, increases credibility improves brand awareness, and boosts customer loyalty. If you’re looking to join a customer service team or are currently a customer service professional, keeping customers happy should be your priority.

But keeping customers happy is easier said than done. The key to doing that is delivering excellent customer service. Good things happen when you do that, like increasing sales. A 2013 study by Dimensional Research, for example, found that 62% of B2B and 42% of B2C customers made more purchases when they got better customer service.

Customers made more purchases when they got better customer service.

To deliver this kind of customer support again and again and again, you and your team must continuously improve your skills. The article below shows how you can do that. It covers the following topics:

  • Strengthening skills and abilities for exceptional customer service
  • Essential qualities good customer service agents need
  • Seven ways to boost customer service skills

Improving your team’s customer service skills helps them provide topflight experiences customers not only value, but also brag about to friends and family.

First Step in Improving Skills and Abilities for Customer Service

The first step in improving the skills of your customer service representatives is simple: you need to find the right people with the right skills. These include the following:

  • Adaptability
  • Patience
  • Good communication
  • Knowledge
  • Hardworking
  • Understanding
  • Flexibility

Working with people with these skills is a good start if you’re looking to improve the customer journey and feedback. Improved communication skills boost your team’s ability to connect with customers, generate loyal customers, and build trust. More importantly, communication serves as the bedrock for delivering exceptional customer satisfaction.

Best Practices to Improve Your Team’s Customer Service Skills

Research shows that 77% of customers recommend businesses that provide unforgettable customer service interactions. This type of approach to customer service needs to be a priority for you and your team. That effort guarantees happy customers in terms of both the products and services you offer and the customer service you deliver.

Businesses have to provide unforgettable experiences.

Below are seven best practices that will help you boost your customer support team’s ability to deliver flawless interactions with customers, better manage disgruntled customers, and generate a positive customer service experience:

1. Improve customer interaction skills:

Some workers are born with superior interaction skills. Others need to learn them. How they acquire them doesn’t really matter. What matters is that acquire them and hone them. Here are some easy ways to help your customer service reps improve their interpersonal skills and deliver positive interactions with customers:

  • Improving active listening skills by having your team practice rephrasing the customer’s mood and feelings.
  • Emphasize the importance of excellent follow-through, the kind that encourages team members to work on a customer issue until resolved.
  • Admit mistakes to customers early on, which can help build authority and rapport between your agents and customers.
  • Have agents practice finding/sharing common ground with customers, which helps boost understanding between them.
  • Focus on improvingpositive language as this will improve communication and develop more positive outcomes.

Improving your team’s customer support skills boosts relevant communication between agents and customers and positions you as a caring company.

2. Adopt a proactive customer service strategy

Savvy companies develop proactive customer service strategies. This way, their customer service staff is always ready to have useful customer conversations and deliver prompt, professional responses. This effort includes doing things like:

  1. Being available whenever your customers need you, regardless of time or distance. Using a 24/7 live answering service achieves that.
  2. Sharing your physical address with customers, which tells them that you exist beyond the World Wide Web.
  3. Use communication tools like webinars, social media, and Internet forums to bring customers under one roof and solve problems.
  4. Cater to consumer demands by providing VIP treatment, which helps build healthy customer relationships.
  5. Get personal with messages and responses, instead of using robocalls or automated emails. Providing proactive customer service strategies help your agents demonstrate essential customer service skills, meet customer expectations, and build rapport and credibility with consumers.

Adopt a proactive customer service strategy

3. Maximize the use of social media tools

Social media is a great communication tool. But not all agents know how to use it well or to employ it to the company’s advantage. Educate agents on how to use social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to resolve customer issues and grow your customer base.

Formal training in using social media tools helps. Also, subscribe to Social Media Today, an email that provides the latest on SM marketing. Make sure your customer service team members have access to fast and reliable Internet service. Nothing upsets today’s customers more than slow downloads or web pages.

Maximize the use of social media tools

4. Encourage innovation in your team

Providing the right environment and necessary support is great. But it’s not enough. To deliver exceptional service, you also must encourage innovation among team members. Give them the freedom to explore new and creative ways to provide customer service solutions and implement them.

Also, talk with team members regularly. Make sure they’re happy, motivated, and ready to provide positive experiences to your customer base. Use the time spent with team members to identify gaps in their service skills. You can then provide the right training and tools to fill these gaps effectively.

Encourage innovation among your team

5. Seek customer feedback

Customer feedback is critical. It’s among the best ways to tell if your team delivers the kind of experiences that bowl customers over. Create short, quick customer satisfaction surveys you can send after a customer service call to determine how your team members did. Use this feedback to expose the team’s strengths and weaknesses. Then, take the steps to address any gaps in the delivery process that spoil the customer service experience.

Seek customer feedback

6. Utilize CRM platforms

Nothing turns customers off more than when employees struggle to communicate between themselves. Customers also hate when they have to provide basic information again and again. Installing and using customer management relationship platforms strengthen communication between teammates and customers. It also provides insights about customers, spurs customer engagement, and provides personalized service to customers.

Utilize CRM platforms

7. Show appreciation for jobs well done

Recognize agents that deliver unforgettable service experiences and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. Everyone likes recognition for good work. If you want to impact team performance, reward agents that provide excellent service with incentives or gifts. This will determine other agents to deliver the same kind of top-notch service.

Implementing these seven best practices can help improve your team’s customer service skills now. Doing so increases the chances that your team will deliver unforgettable customer experiences—the kind that customers brag about to friends and family, and that helps build customer loyalty.

Excellent customer service is a great way to stand out among your competitors. If you’re a small business, and you want to survive and thrive in the future, differentiation through customer service is a must. In other words, keeping customers happy may be a tough business challenge, but it’s also your number one priority.

Show appreciation for jobs well done

 

Post Update: The article was updated on February 15th, originally published on July 23rd, 2019. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.