Customer service is a crucial component to any product or service that prides itself on valuing its users. From live chatting to emailing to calling to managing accounts, you will be in constant contact with the people who make your company successful. It’s a no-brainer that you should be empathetic and personable — you have to give your customers the best experience possible, and that starts with being a people-person. However, there are also a few other skills you need to master in order to be successful in this role.
1. Ability to build a strong case
As a customer service agent or account manager, you are standing on the front lines. This means you’re the direct point of contact (and sometimes the only point of contact) between your clients and your team. What you hear when you talk to your clients or customers is feedback that may not only improve the user experience but also benefit the company through customer retention.
Because of this, you need to build a strong case to your team internally as to why they should pay attention to certain feedback. Is a large percentage of your customers complaining about or requesting a certain feature? Do your competitors have a deal going on that many of your customers have requested? How will this request affect other customers using the product or service for a completely different set of needs? Keeping questions like these in mind will help you to provide proof that will convince your team to move forward on requests.
2. Ability to recognize low-priority items
Even though you are the customer’s advocate, you also have to be comfortable placing a particular request lower on the priority list. Customers will always want a new service or offering, but it’s up to you to determine how much value that feature has in relation to the many other to-do items in the product pipeline. Always ask your customers, “Is this something that’s a nice-to-have, or a must for you/your business?” to help guide your decisions. If you know something seems like it should be a low priority, get comfortable saying no — and say it in a way that still makes the customer feel valued.
Your company will probably help you practice a response in situations like these, but something along these lines typically works well: “Thanks so much for your feedback – this is so valuable for our team. We’re currently coming up with a lot of great offerings for you, like x and y, so while we can’t fit your request in at the moment, I will keep a record of this so that we can reconsider a few months down the line.”
3. Ability to work well under pressure
You know the product or service best because you work with it every day. The problem with that is that it may seem like an intuitive tool to you — for others, it is not. This means that you will probably have customers calling with complaints and frustrations. As the customer experience expert, it’s absolutely essential for you to work well under pressure when your customers are agitated. You have to be able to calm them down and also communicate empathetically and effectively with them in order to solve the issue — whether it’s something as small as user error or something bigger, like a bug in the system. If you master this skill, it’s a huge step in changing the way customers talk about your company that will also help you better improve customer relations.
If you don’t have all the skills on this list, you have the time to acquire them – a lot of them come with experience! Oh, and speaking of which, we have plenty of jobs in customer service and account management – so don’t forget to sign up for WayUp :).