For any organization, customer service matters. Figures suggest that around 70 percent of people employed in the UK are in customer-facing roles. Whether it’s because people are making a complaint, enquiring about a product or service or offering ideas for future development, it means customer facing staff have vital roles to play in sharing information, responding in a timely and professional manner and ensuring customers receive the level of service they expect.
These customer facing staff may also provide their organisation with feedback as a means to improve service levels as well as the customer experience – but it is a mistake to assume that ‘customer service’ is the domain of a single department.
In an age where organisations are accessible in a variety of ways, that everyone has to be able to help customers or prospective clients – everyone needs the skill to deliver the ultimate customer experience. But what skills matter? Here, the Institute of Customer Service, outlines key attributes that should be considered when it comes to employing customer service representatives.
Communication is key as having the appropriate writing, verbal and listening skills are fundamental to ensure your organisation can build a sustainable relationship with your customers.
Are your teams capable of working through steps to resolve and satisfy customer’ needs? Active listening is crucial when it comes to problem solving; it’s not easy, but it is vital that employees engage with customers so they can then execute solutions accordingly.
Can your teams identify, develop and implement new service improvements that enhance the customer experience? Are they good at motivating each other to perform well so that the organisation succeeds and customers return, recommend and repeat purchase?
Customers are seeking a more personalised and authentic experience and this means the people they deal with should be able to respond to their needs directly, rather than trying to mould requests to a set of pre-agreed approaches. Employee attitude and behaviour is more important now, than even 5 years ago, and this translates to staff doing what they commit to, their level of helpfulness and how easy they are to do business with.
Customer service skills are especially important for new grads to learn as they can expect to hold many of these customer facing roles early in their careers. If you learn the traits of good customer service now, it will make you a better professional for years to come.