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10 Customer Service Skills Worth Hiring For

Sean Dailey, Ytel |  

Building a business is a tough job in any industry. The first step in doing so is finding a team that can back your business. If you're selling a product or service, you better have a strong customer service team on your side that can provide support to your customers, no matter what. This is, of course, easier said than done. However, finding the right team becomes easier once you know exactly what you're looking for. Here are ten customer service skills that you should look for in every new hire.

10 Customer Service Skills Worth Hiring For

Building a business is a tough job in any industry. The first step in doing so is finding a team that can back your business. If you're selling a product or service, you better have a strong customer service team on your side that can provide support to your customers, no matter what. This is, of course, easier said than done. However, finding the right team becomes easier once you know exactly what you're looking for. Here are ten customer service skills that you should look for in every new hire.

 

Patience

Chief among the characteristics of great customer service is patience. Your employee cannot control the initial emotion of a customer calling in with a problem, but that employee can control the flow of the conversation with a bit of patience. More than anything, patience means being non-reactive; that is, immediately creating an opportunity for resolution by refusing to buy into the customer's initial anger or confusion and providing a clear path forward.

Listening Skills

In many cases, customers call up a business angrily, just to be heard - they don't even need a tangible solution. However, you will never know these customers if your employees do not have the ability to simply sit back and listen! Getting to know the customer and allowing them to voice their situations and concerns is the best way to solve the problem.

One business we work with who excels at this is Zendesk - our support ticketing system. Any time we experience any sort of issue, Zendesk Support is on it immediately. The response time is impressive and their support staff is professional, patient, and empathetic. Every interaction our team has with theirs is positive and productive, the way customer service should be! 

Clarity in Communication

Your reps need to get to the point quickly. Customers are allowed to ramble, but your customer service team can't. Remind them that customers are calling for solutions, not to hear someone who will likely just confuse them more than they already are. Teach your reps to stick to the point and get them on their merry way. 


Product Knowledge

There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than a customer service rep who doesn't know enough about the product that their company sells. It reflects badly on the company as a whole, so make sure that product knowledge is a HUGE part of employee training and that you have a team of like-minded individuals who are interested in helping other people understand the product, too. 

Time Management

If your business is doing any kind of volume, then your customer service representatives will usually have to juggle multiple calls with different timelines. Your employees should be proficient at this. One of the most important aspects of time management is to realize when a customer cannot be helped, and how to save time by getting that person off of the phone to focus on other customers. This doesn't mean being rude or dismissive, it simply means that they need to be handed off to a different agent of another skill set or someone higher up who has more decisioning power.

Empathy

Great acting skills are essential to great customer service. Sometimes the customer is completely wrong, but your customer service rep should be able to find some way to empathize with the way that customer is feeling. Remember that most customer service calls will start out emotional, not logical. You want your customers to invest in your product emotionally, and you can't punish them for doing so; you must train a team to take care of them when they do get frustrated with your company. 

Goal Oriented

Your customer service representatives should be able to pinpoint a solution and move towards it very quickly. The more goal oriented your employees are, the more responsibility you will be able to delegate to them.

Good with Surprises

You never know what is going to happen on the other side of the phone. However, the reputation of your brand depends on the ability of your customer service reps to respond logically and not get thrown off.

The Gift of Persuasion

Does your rep have the ability to talk down a customer and get them to see the light? If so, then you have a winner. Hire that person immediately! 

Durability

Customer service reps get worn down as negative energy is thrown at them over and over again. However, some people are more durable than others and will be able to maintain a positive attitude in the face of vitriol. They should be given special consideration, because they are the people who will make your brand look great to the world.

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About The Author

Sean Dailey, Ytel

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Sean leads the Recruiting efforts and is involved with Product Development at Ytel. After almost 4 years of agency recruiting, Sean decided to move towards internal recruiting and joined Ytel. He is a huge believer in culture, and puts an emphasis on building relationships.


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