The single most valuable skill of a customer service representative is their ability to listen. Most people will be coming to you with a problem, question or complaint, and it’s critical that you hear and absorb their concerns without appearing dismissive or rude.
Conversations are a two-way street, so once the problem has been identified, the floor is open to you. As a representative of the company, you can’t stutter or second-guess your words. You need to speak openly, intelligently and articulately, which requires both confidence in yourself and above-average verbal communication skills.
Good customer service reps can think on their feet and respond quickly to changes in tone and attitude from the customer. For example, if you’re trying to explain something to them and they’re just getting angrier by the minute, you’ll need to adjust your approach and find a way to calm them down. This is called situational analysis, and if you aren’t already versed in it, you’re in for a trial by fire the first time you handle a customer complaint.
At heart, customer service boils down to one question. “How can I help you?” If you aren’t any good at reaching across the divide and finding a way to bridge the gap between company and consumer, it’s time to consult the professionals. Visit impactlearning.com for training information to improve your customer service skills.