Top 10 skills for customer service jobs (part 2)

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Thank you, everyone, who read Part 1 of 2 of this post and for all your great comments. I received so many user comments about learning customer service skills that I am writing a second blog post. Without further ado, here are 5 additional skills that are essential for a successful career in customer service. As you read each skill, ask yourself if you have mastered each one. If you are applying for a job in customer service, you’ll need to talk about how you have these skills so you can ace the interview. If you already work in customer service, you’ll need to develop these skills in yourself so you can succeed at work.

Patience [ˈpeɪʃəns]

People who work in customer service must be able to remain calm during stressful situations. When your customers are frustrated or are asking for something that you simply can’t deliver for them, you must have the patience to not become upset yourself. Remember not to take anything that your customer say personally, because their frustration and anger is not personal. They are feeling upset about their situation but that is not a reflection on how you’re doing at your job.

Problem-solving [ˈprɑbləm ˈsɑlvɪŋ]

For those who work in customer service, one’s problem-solving skill can often be the deciding factor between successful and unsuccessful employees. You are continuously challenged by customers who present their problems to you, and your job is to help them find solutions. The best way to be good at problem-solving is to practice solving lots of problems. If you’re new on the job, shadow your coworkers to learn how they solve the problems.

Positivity [ˌpɒz ɪˈtɪv ɪ ti]

Your positive attitude will not only help you succeed with your customers, but will also help strengthen your relationship with your coworkers.  A Stanford University study on “positive intelligence” showed that your positivity predicts how successful you will be in your career. Being positive can help those around you feel more positive.   Furthermore, when you feel positive, you’ll naturally notice more of the benefits of your company’s product and service, and you can, in turn, convey that to your customers.  

Conflict Resolution [ˈkɑnflɪkt ˌrɛzəˈluʃən]

In a customer service job, your job is to essentially solve your customer’s problems.  But there are times when you can’t find a solution to their problem. What do you do then? This is where your conflict resolution skills will be useful. You may need to soothe your customer by giving them a discount, pointing them to another place where they can get more help, calling in your manager. Whatever the resolution, remember to stay calm and think positively!

Persuasion [pərˈsweɪʒən]

Last but not least, a large part of your job is to turn frustrated customers into happy customers.To do so, you’ll often need to convince your customers of something you recommend. This is where your persuasion skills come in. To be persuasive, you must be able to speak from your customers point of view. The famous American businessperson, Dale Carnegie, recommends that you end your sentence by describing the benefit to your customer. When you are recommending a solution, tell the customer what’s in it for them. You can say to them “And the benefit to you is …”

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Top 10 skills for customer service jobs (part 1 of 2)

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Are you looking for a job in customer service? Do you have the skills that companies are looking for? Customer service jobs require employees to have a number of soft skills, and here are the top 10 soft skills that will benefit you on the job. Whether you are working with customers on the phone or in person, the following skills are important for you to master if you want to be successful in customer service.

You can learn how to speak these words on ELSA, under the Customer Service topic.

  1. Communication [kəmˌjunəˈkeɪʃən]

Being a clear communicator is key to customer service, because you need to be able to understand what the customer needs, and then articulate to your customers what your company can offer them in terms of your products and services.  Your communication skills, of course, depends on your ability to pronounce words clearly. Other than your pronunciation, however, you should also speak loudly and use a cheerful voice, as those will all help you leave a good impression to your customers.

  1. Attention to detail [əˈtɛnʃən tu dɪˈteɪl]

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Being great at customer service requires you to pay attention to the details of your company’s products and services. Your customers will often ask you a very detailed question about your product and service, and you need to be well informed enough to answer their questions correctly. This requires that you understand the ins and outs of your business, so you can be the most helpful to your customer. If you tend to forget the details, I recommend that you keep a notebook where you record commonly requested numbers and details, so you can quickly reference back to the notebook if you need it.

  1. Listening [ˈlɪsənɪŋ]

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Listen carefully to your customer to know exactly what they need and how you can help them. If you are speaking to your customer over the phone, you should demonstrate active listening by saying “yes,” “I understand” and “that makes sense” to your customer.  If you’re speaking to your customer in person, you can also show active listening through body language, such as nodding and making eye contact.

  1. Confidence [ˈkɑnfədəns]

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When working with customers, you want to have confidence so you can feel in control of the situation. If you are unsure of yourself and your own abilities, the customer can often sense this and distrust what you are saying. To show your confidence, speak in a steady voice, don’t speak too quickly, and ask direct questions to your customers. Harvard University researchers found that your posture makes a big difference in how confident you feel.  If you want to feel more confident, stretch with your hands reaching up toward the sky.

  1. Responsibility [riˌspɑnsəˈbɪləti]

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A big part of working with customers is to be able to take responsibility by saying “I’m sorry,” whether it is a bug in the software, a late shipment, or a poor quality product. The problem is often not your fault, but you need to be able to sincerely apologize on behalf of your company. The customer is often upset or frustrated, but when they hear your genuine apology they will almost always feel better.
Practice speaking these words on ELSA as well as over 100 common phrases about customer service. Impress your interviewer with a perfect American English accent :).

Stay tuned for PART 2 – the next 5 important skills

ELSA – your world’s smartest English pronunciation coach

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