Customer service skills: 11 customer service for small business
Do customer service skills matter in your business? Am sure they do.
Having a happy customer is what makes them come back and do business with you.
Sure, you may have great product or service that may keep your customer happy, but after a while, they may find fault and make it known.
This may sometimes be annoying and no one wants that to happen. Sometimes you can never stop eventuality even when you try to do so. When it eventually happens, the ball stays at the desk of the manager and employees.
The questions that’ll keep popping up your head is what will I do? Do I move on or sent the customer away? Of cause, sending the customer away is not an option.
Instead, you’re going to try and solve the problem and much more that may arise in the future.
This is why it’s really important to have a good customer service skills in your business.
You cannot afford not to have one
Customer care service is more than just about the inquiry. Companies know how important it’s that’s why they create customer service unit.
In fact, customer service is the backbone of every business when it comes to dealing with customer’s issues and complains.
A company that relies on the customer will have to consistently have a good customer service skills agents that will always be there to respond to their needs. This acts alone can keep your existing customers and bring in new ones.
Who doesn’t need customers in their business?
In business customers are kings without them, you have no sales and without sales, their will be no business.
However, they can sometimes be irritating, arrogant and impatient to say the least. Some can even push you to the wall. Such exhibition of attitude can make an employee respond in an unpleasant manner.
But a good customer service agent with a great customer service skills will know how to resolve and handle such customers.
What is a customer service skills?
Before looking at some of the skills required for a customer service skills, it’s important to understand what customer service skill is.
what is customer service skills: this is the skills possessed by a customer service representative that makes every customer special as a result increases the customer loyalty and in turn grows your business.
Whether the employee does not possess the qualities, they can be thought and be learned.
Why customer service skills matter
With so much competition for customers by businesses, everyone wants to win and keep the customer that comes their way. And one way of keeping them is when you can meet their demand on a one on one basis.
By and large, customer service skills matter because:
Keep your customers
No one customer is the same. Having the right skills always will give you the ability to meet their business needs and that will always convince them to stay.
You build relationship
Once a customer sees that you have placed a value on them, they’ll tend to move closer and that bond can build the trust that can be difficult to break.
You’ll have loyal customers
Do you know that Macdonalds do not have the best hamburger in the world? Yet they’re the number one fast food restaurant in the world. Why?
They have successfully built loyal customers over the years and it’s difficult or almost impossible to convince a MacDonald customer that you have a better hamburger.
Having the right customer service skills will always project your business as the best in the market with the best product or service.
When you build loyal customers, they see similar products as obsolete or below standards.
11 customer service skills for small business
The question: what are the best customer service skills? Well, we’ve created the list of the most important customer service skills every employee needs to have to make your business successful.
These skills are useful whether there is a problem or not. Let’s get started.
Customer service does not require you to be enthusiastic alone. Although it does help. When facing a customer, you’ll require an outgoing personality and willingness to help the customer.
An honest communication is a key to putting your customer first and gives you those indispensable characteristics.
Without honesty, you’ll only be acting and really not enjoying it. Clear honest communication says it all. Just do what you say.
For instance, if your product delivery will take 10 weeks don’t promise it in five. Customers may not forget it when you waste their time.
Honest communication keeps you within the customer reach and thus let you know what the customer need is.
Let the customer know if there are delays, price change and so on simply because the customer needs to know.
One of the important customer service skills often overlooked by many businesses and without it, your business service delivery might poor and you’ll always struggle to meet up with customer demands.
Diligence help to keep you on the track in your product or service delivery. With diligence, you tend to honor:
- Datelines for product delivery
- Maintains standards
- Keep quality control active
- Keep your promise always
Not honoring any of the above for whatever reason, you have to let the customer know. Waiting for the customer does ask you might be too late and you stand the chance of losing the customer.
If the product shipment does not go as planned, let them know.
For instance, I shipped a product from China, the seller had some logistic issues and as a result, will delay the shipment. He was quick enough to let me know. I was happy and felt relieved. Because of that, I continue using the seller.
Due diligence helps your business
Patience is a virtue very customer service representative should have. In my opinion, this is the top of the list of customer service skills.
Dealing with customers on a daily basis will require you to be patient. Some come in a polite manner, others arrogant, frustrated, stumped or asking inconsequential questions. I have seen a man work in a band asking a customer service agents whether they sell rich in the bank.
Anyhow they come, be sure to be patient and take the time to understand how they feel and what they want.
Distractions can really be frustrating especially during a busy business day where you have to attend to many customers.
However, the ability to listen to customers’ needs is one great customer service skills for a number of reasons.
- The customer will fill like a king and will not feel apprehensive when coming next
- Listening to the customer will certainly give you feedback to some of your business operation and your product. When this happens, it tells you what you need to do in other to improve the part of the business the customer is complaining about.
Acknowledge the customer
No customer wants to feel ignored, rather feel heard. This is one way they feel you’re listening and understanding what they’re saying.
Your body language should equally demonstrate that you’re listening. Make eye contact and nod to really show you’re understanding what the customer is saying. They’ll appreciate the touch of putting yourself in their shoes.
You can always ask for clarification on questions to make sure you understand a certain aspect of the customer complains.
In case you’re on a phone, always keep the customer feel heard. Avoid interrupting the customer, instead, wait for the customer to finish before asking the clarification and clearly respond to the customer’s query.
Every customer service representative should have the inhibitory control, which regulates one’s emotions, thoughts, and behavior in the face of temptations and impulse from negative customers. This is a vital behavior in other for the company to achieve specific goals.
Always remember that two wrongs can never make a right. So you’ve to strive to remain calm even when your customer pushes you to the limits.
Self-control keeps you and your emotions always intact, saying things that are pleasing always to the customer. Try not to take any customer upset personal. When the customer is upset, it’s an avenue for you to stay calm and respond in a tone that’ll cool the customer.
Putting yourself in the shoes of the customer helps you to understand what the customer is saying and how they feel.
This important customer service skill puts you in a position where you understands the customer’s emotional state and why they act the way they do.
If you cannot figure it out, just look at yourself as the customer. How will you feel? How would you like to be treated? What will you wish you’ve done? What will you feel if you had some problem?
These are all important questions that’ll put you in the position of the customer and helps you better improve your customer service delivery the best you can.
Taking responsibility is a big part of customer service and one of the difficult one to admit especially if you’re on the right side and the customer is not.
Taking responsibility is the foundational principle every customer service unit and representative should embrace if you want to keep your customer.
The customer will always tell you that they’re right and of cause do not see them at fault. Rather develop the ability to say sorry or I’m sorry you have to go through all that. It could be poor product quality, delayed shipment or not properly responding to complaints.
You have to be sincere and should reflect in your body language. When you apologize, you are doing it on behalf of your company, even when it’s the customer that’s fault.
In the end, it’s the customer that feels loved and better when you take responsibility and thus will definitely come back and do business with you.
Knowledge of product
You have to know the product or service you’re delivering to your customers. Not everyone can be part of the product development process, but as the customer representative, you have to know the product inside out.
How will it feel if a customer asks about the product, and all you do is to mumble and giving an unclear answer? The customer will not have the confidence to use the product at all.
Again, without knowing your product inside out, you can’t be able to help your customer especially when they ran into problems.
Time management skills
Seriously, time will always be what you’ll come up against. You may come across many customers you’ll need to attend to. You cannot waste time in attending to one customer while others are waiting. Customers’ frustration may begin to rise and you begin to see their frustration in action.
Wait a minute, why should you spend more time with just one customer? You know what will happen? There should be a limit to the time you allocate to whatever customer you’re attending to. You can always refer the customer to the person that’ll provide the solution if you can’t.
The skills of persuasion
This is one customer service skills that are not common to all. The act of persuasion is what will convince a customer to choose your product over that of your competitor.
Some customer will ask you more technical questions about your product and will not bother to know the problem side of it.
For you to be able to persuade customers, you’ll need to know your product inside out, the benefits and the edge the product has on the market.
Persuasion is not just about making the customer buy the product once, but about ensuring the customer is retained even in the future.
We cannot afford to lose our customers in this age of increased competition. So having a great customer service skills in place, helps the business to service the customer better by improving their product or service delivery.
Therefore always ensure that you’re ready to listen to your customers always as well as acting on it. At the end, it becomes a win-win situation for both the business and the customer.