To have the most successful relationship with your customers and clients, employees in your customer service department must have certain habits to help them be effective in keeping customer satisfaction high. Here are seven habits of effective customer service reps and how to help develop them in your team.
Almost any article regarding customer service lists patience as a top quality that a representative should focus on. Interacting with customers on a daily basis, regardless of their mood, takes a lot of attentiveness, and it is important to remain calm and patient. The best thing you can do is take time to figure out what they need and do your best to provide them help.
How to develop patience in reps: Run role-playing exercises where someone acts like a disgruntled customer and another rep has to a responsive and patient employee. Make it fun, embrace lighthearted moments, and ensure your reps get the opportunity to practice and experiment with trial and error.
Customers need to feel like the person they are working with is being attentive and is there to tend to their needs. One way this is communicated is by expressing interest in what they say and ask. Your goal is to show them you’re interested in their comments and questions.
How you can develop this skill in reps: Ask them to reflect on a time when they really felt like a customer service representative was really interested in helping them. Sharing these experiences can allow reps to mirror positive interactions they themselves have had.
Highly effective workers are organized. Customer service is often a demanding and stressful position, and being disorganized only adds to the pressure. Customer service representatives who stay organized are bound to be most successful in client interactions, and can more easily stay patient and in tune to their work.
How you can develop organizational skills in reps: Provide all the supplies reps need to stay organized, including customer service software that helps reps stay on top of customers’ needs. Encourage staying on top of organization even when their workload gets a little heavier. Additionally, consider having a “spring cleaning” day to allow your employees time to get everything back in order.
These days it’s nearly impossible to find a customer service position that doesn’t use some kind of technology or software every day. Customer service reps who lack technological know-how—from using large spreadsheets to updating data in your cloud-based platforms—should focus on learning new aspects of technology. It will not only help them be more effective with customers, but also more adaptable to any new technology the company may want to implement.
How you can develop comfort with technology in reps: Offer workshops or other opportunities to become more familiar with the technology you ask your reps to use, and consider bringing in professionals to help train.
One of the best things representatives can do is try to build a personal connection with clients. Depending on the industry and the role of the representative, this personal connection may need to be established in less than five minutes; in other cases it may be built in five separate interactions. Whatever the case may be, establishing a personal connection is a great habit to encourage in customer service, and your customers will definitely take notice.
How you can develop the ability to make personal connections in reps: Have reps share what they know about recent customers through case notes in your CRM. This information can be used to develop a personal connection. You can also have meetings or webinars where you trade information and come up with ideas for making personal connections with your customers.
Every day in customer service involves interacting with different kinds of people, taking on tasks, and learning new skills. Someone who is adaptable and not afraid to learn on the spot or change their intended plans is more likely to be an effective customer service representative.
How you can develop adaptability in reps: While not everyone is on the same level, encouraging adaptability in daily work can help those who struggle with it be more cognizant and make efforts to adjust accordingly.
Communicating is more difficult in certain situations: When customers are frustrated or upset it can be difficult to know how to react or how to amend the situation. Customer service representatives who have more effective communication skills are going to be better able to take on more challenging customers.
How you can develop communication skills in reps: Ask your top service reps to share some of their most intense customer service interactions. Discuss these situations in depth and break down how they chose to communicate to handle that particular customer.
With these valuable habits, your customer service team will be better equipped to help even the most difficult service request. As you empower them and help them learn new skills, not only will your customers be grateful for your service team, but your reps will be thankful for a company that helps them work more effectively.