For whatever reason, some employers make the mistake of thinking that anyone can strap on a headset and deliver stellar customer performance right out of the gate.
But customer service doesn't work that way. The best customer service professionals possess a specialized set of skills that are designed to enhance your company's relationship with your customers.
Although some personalities simply don't mesh with call center activities, effective customer service is an acquired skill. With a little effort and access to the right resources, the average call center employee can learn how to perform first-rate customer service. Here are some of the critical skills you should expect your call center team to master.
- Professionalism. The single most critical factor in call center success is a professional workforce. There isn't any room on your team for individuals who can't carry themselves in a consistently professional manner. Set professional conduct standards for your staff and enforce them consistently.
- Communication. Communication may sound like an obvious requirement for customer service, but you would be surprised how many call center employees lack the ability to clearly communicate with customers. Grammar, vocabulary, speech patterns – it all counts.
- Listening. Good customer service reps are great listeners. They have the ability to hear their customers concerns and understand the issues that need to be addressed.
- Resourcefulness. Problem solving is another vital characteristic of effective customer service agents. Resourceful call center employees are fully aware of their operational parameters and are adept at finding solutions for most of their customer needs.
- Flexibility. Employers usually give their customer service department a certain level of independence in resolving customer complaints. Ideally, you want your team to be flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of requests, but disciplined enough to work within the boundaries you have established.
- Patience. Difficult customers are a daily call center occurrence. Still, your customer service team members need to demonstrate patience in their dealings with irritated customers and be prepared to maintain professionalism at all times.