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1. Product knowledge

The best customer service personnel are knowledgeable about how their company’s products work. In the end, they won’t be able to help customers when they run into problems if they don’t properly grasp your product.

For instance, as part of our employee onboarding process, all new Help Scout employees undergo training in customer service during their first or second week on the job.

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According to Elyse Roach of Help Scout, “having that solid product foundation ensures you have the best tricks up your sleeve to help customers navigate even the most complex situations as well as helps you build an understanding of their experience so that you can become their strongest advocate.”

2. Capabilities for performance

Sometimes members of your team will come across people you will never be able to please.

Uncontrollable events, such as a customer having a difficult day, might occasionally interfere with your team’s planned support schedule.

Any great customer service agent needs to have some basic acting skills in order to maintain their usual positive attitude even while dealing with rude people.

3. Time-management strategies that work

On the one hand, you should be patient and give them a little more time in order to understand their needs and challenges. But, you only have so much time to spend with each client, therefore your team needs to concentrate on effectively meeting the needs of customers.

The best customer service agents are able to quickly determine when they are unable to help a customer and can then direct them to someone who can.

4. The ability to read clients

It’s crucial that your employees understand a few basic behavioral psychology ideas in order to interpret the current emotional states of your clients. Emily Triplett Lentz claims that:

I seldom ever use a smiling face when a client writes their support email with “PhD,” for instance. It’s not that scholars aren’t humorous; it’s just that 🙂 won’t appear as genuine to someone who has spent five years analysing the utopian undertones in eighteenth-century autobiographical writing.

The capacity of the best customer service workers to watch and listen for subtle clues about a client’s personality, amount of patience, and general attitude dramatically improves positive customer encounters.

5. Sturdiness

Many metaphors, such “keeps their cool,” “staying cool under pressure,” and so on, are used to characterize this personality type, but they all point to the same trait: the ability for certain people to remain composed and even exert influence over others when things get a little crazy.

The best customer service agents are aware that while dealing with an unhappy consumer, they need to remain composed. In actuality, it is their duty to try to be the “rock” for customers who believe that everything is collapsing because of their current problems.

6. A focus with a goal

As other customer service professionals have shown, granting employees full autonomy to “wow” customers doesn’t always provide the outcomes that many firms wish to see. This is because it deprives employees of their goals, as business goals and customer happiness may coexist without resulting in poor service.

By using frameworks like the Net Promoter Score, businesses may help their employees create policies that give them the freedom to handle each customer individually while also giving them priority replies and “go-to” solutions for common problems.

7. The ability to handle unforeseen circumstances

There will be times when customers throw curveballs at your team. They’ll make a request that isn’t covered by your company policy or make an unexpected response that takes everyone by surprise.

In these situations, having a group of witty people on hand is beneficial. Even better, look for people who will take the initiative to create rules that all parties may refer to in the future.

8. Sturdiness

Whatever you choose to call it, providing the kind of service that people talk (and rave) about takes a strong work ethic and an unwavering willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.

When it comes to helping someone, some of the most unforgettable stories about customer service ever told—many of which had a big impact on the business—were written by a single individual who wouldn’t just go through the motions.

9. The capacity to close

A customer service professional needs to be able to guarantee customer happiness, or as close to it as feasible, and provide the idea that everything has been (or will be) taken care of in order to close a transaction with a client.

Make sure your employees realize that the last thing customers want is to be evicted before all of their problems have been resolved. Customers want to feel satisfied that every issue they had was thoroughly remedied.

10. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and feel another person’s feelings; it may be more of a character trait than a skill. However, since empathy is a talent that can be acquired, it would be neglectful of us to leave it out.

Indeed, it would be challenging to find a more crucial skill than empathy if your organization assesses applicants based on their ability to provide excellent customer service.

This is because, even if you are unable to give a customer exactly what they want to hear, demonstrating some thought, care, and understanding will go a long way. The ability of a support person to empathize with a customer and craft a message that steers the conversation toward a better outcome may often make all the difference.

11. A methodical approach

In service, expediency breeds waste. Employing considerate, careful workers will enable you to meet customer requests.

Prior to replying, they will first make sure to address the crux of the matter. There is nothing more annoying than trying to apply a “solution” to a problem and having it fall well short of the actual one.

They’ll proofread as well. A well-written response becomes less useful as a tool for problem-solving if it is full of mistakes.

Thirdly, and maybe most crucially, it says that they will follow up on a regular basis. A customer support agent is never more pleased than when they get a message saying, “Hey! Remember the bug I indicated we were looking into that you found? Since then, we’ve fixed it. You’ve just acquired a loyal, lifetime client.

Important side note: The best newcomers are resilient enough to sustain frequent injuries without sacrificing their painstaking grace.

Since support staff members are typically tasked with the challenging task of cleaning up other people’s mistakes, they must be especially skilled at avoiding internalizing the urgency and potential fury of dissatisfied clients. Instead, they are skilled at keeping their cool and lending a firm, guiding hand.

12. A willingness to learn

This talent is among the most important even though it is the most widespread on the list. After all, having a willingness to learn is the first step towards improving one’s skills as a customer service professional.

Members of your team should be eager to learn everything there is to know about your product, eager to communicate more effectively, and aware of when it’s appropriate to submit to authority and when it’s better for them to go their own way.

People who don’t put in the effort to improve their work—whether it customer service, business marketing, or product development—will be overtaken by people who are willing to invest in their own skills.