essential customer service skills

5 Essential Customer Service Skills

When working in customer service, there are key skills that any employee should hone to provide the best service possible. It’s far too generic to say that a customer service worker must be a ‘people person’. Take a look at these top tips that provide specific, essential skills for anyone working in customer service.


    The ability to be patient and tolerant is one of the most important skills of anyone working in customer service. In customer service, one essential responsibility of the job is to offer support to confused and sometimes unsatisfied customers. Without patience, it is very difficult to offer people meaningful and memorable service. This should be the aim of all customer service employees. Be tolerant of customers and use patience to give yourself the appropriate time to resolve problems and questions.


    By being assertive, you clearly communicate how you truly feel without being aggressive or imposing. Assertiveness is a key skill for anyone in customer service. It allows you to outline your opinion and communicate effectively with customers. It also garners more respect and trust from customers who will value that you speak the truth to them over empty promises.


    In customer service, there are plenty of situations encountered that are far from positive. Often customers have problems you need to solve, or grievances they wish to express. As a result, positivity is essential to keep customers content. Remember to stay positive in situations where it may become difficult to do so. One way to do this is by adapting your language to be more positive.


    When a customer reaches out to customer service, it is not always because they want a problem solved. It is essential that customers always receive a positive experience with someone who understands why the customer reached out and empathised with them. Sometimes in customer service, it is beyond the control of an employee to resolve some issues. In other words, customer service cannot always solve problems, but it should always deliver empathy. Customers always have emotions, and by making an effort to understand these and provide helpful suggestions, excellent service will be provided. Try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and empathise with why they have reached out to you. You may also find the article helpful on Developing Empathy. 


    When working in customer service, you need to have the ability to deal with surprises and think on your feet. Perhaps, a customer might not react how you expected they would, or you encounter a problem that is new and challenging for you. Therefore, being able to think pragmatically is another essential competence. If you encounter a new scenario, think about who is involved; what action needs to be taken; and how you will go about resolving the situation. Thinking pragmatically is extremely helpful when you encounter an unknown scenario.

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