7 Tips for Improving Skills And Abilities For Customer Service

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

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 its skills. The article below shows how you can do that. It covers the following topics:

  • Strengthening skills and abilities for customer service
  • Essential qualities good customer service people 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 your team’s customer skills is simple: You need to find the right people with the right skills. These include the following:

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

Adding people with these skills is a good start. It boosts your team’s ability to connect with customers, generate loyal customers, and build trust. More importantly, it 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 experiences. Delivering these kinds of customer experiences needs to be a focus for you and your team. That effort guarantees that customers are happy with both the products and services you offer and the customer service you deliver.

Businesses have to provide unforgettable experiences.

Below are seven best practices when it comes to boosting your team’s ability to generate unforgettable customer service:

1. Improve customer interaction skills:

Some workers are born with superior interaction skills. Others need to learn them. How they acquire them doesn’t matter. What matters is that acquire them and hone them. Some ways you can do that are:

  • Improving active listening skills by having your team practice rephrasing the customer’s mood and his or her 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 improving positive language as this will help improve communication and develop more positive outcomes.

Improving your team’s interaction skills boost relevant communication between agents and customers. Plus, it positions you as a caring company.

2. Adopt a proactive customer service strategy

Savvy companies develop proactive customer service strategies. That way, their agents are always ready with prompt, professional responses. This effort includes doing things like:

  1. Being available whenever your customers need you, regardless of the time or distance. Using a 24/7 live answering service achieves that.
  2. You are 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 like these helps your agents demonstrate professionalism 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, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to resolve customer issues.

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

Maximize the use of social media tools

4. Encourage innovation among your team

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

Also, talk with team members regularly. Make sure they’re happy, motivated, and ready to provide unforgettable customer service experiences. Use the time spent with team members to identify gaps in their service skills. Then you 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 is delivering the kind of experiences that bowl customers over. Create a short, quick survey 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 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, spur customer engagement, and provide personalized service to customers.

Utilize CRM platforms

7. Show appreciation for jobs well done

Recognize those 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 these agents that do good work with incentives or gifts. Those will spur other agents to deliver the same kind of topnotch service.

Implementing these seven best practices can help improve your team’s customer service skills now.  Doing so increase 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.

Delivering this type of experiences is a great way to differentiate yourself from 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 maybe a tough business challenge, but it’s also job one.

Show appreciation for jobs well done