Mastering customer service through 9 simple skills

Customer service doesn't necessarily mean being a people person.

Isn’t that surprising?

When someone mentions customer service, participating more or even being more confident, things like 'being a people person' tend to take the spotlight.

How exactly to become a 'people person,' though? We're not born with it, and there isn’t a pill you can take to gain confidence among other people.

There’s no surefire way you can gain this type of skillset, but if you know what to look for and what to learn, anyone can excel in customer service.

If you don’t train both you and your team how to act around customers, you might as well refer to your company as an embarrassing train-wreck of customer service.

Fortunately, the top seven universal skills that every person can master is listed below. It will dramatically improve your conversational skills with your customers.

1. Patience

If you don't see this near the top of an article or piece of text regarding confidence and customer service, you should stop reading it.

Good service beats fast service, every time. Dealing with customers daily requires you to stay patient when they are frustrating and figure out what they truly want.

Take your time, but don’t be too slow on them. Keep things moving and provide the answer in the best way that you can. Listen to what the consumers have to say and don’t interrupt.

Rather than getting rushed out the door, customers want your time and knowledge on products and services.

2. Attentiveness

There’s the ability to listen; the skill to hear out the customers and what they want. This skill is crucial for earning great rep for customer service for several reasons.

Opportunities are found in problems. And when you’re assisting a consumer or talking to a frustrated customer, that problem may be hidden in plain sight.

Customers aren’t likely to say, “Your product needs to improve for people to buy it.”

However, they may drop hints like, “This product of yours doesn't work for me, can I return it?” or “Your product doesn't look like something I need right now.”

Though it may just look like ordinary questions, great listeners have the power to dig deep into the problem and fix its roots instead of just correcting the outer appeal.

What code are your customers speaking in?

3. Clear communication skills

Customers don’t want to know about your life. They don’t care, and they would rather rush to your competitors than hearing you going on your bad day.

It may sound harsh, but customers want to know about the product, not you.

Yes, customers are polite when you stray from your original conversation and into your personal life, but it isn't the customer's end goal.

There's nothing wrong with being funny, realistic, or adding a few moments from your life relating to the conversation - but it isn't that hard to go overboard.

By knowing what your message is, your communication habits and the words you're saying can be clearly heard by your customers.

4. Body language

When you find yourself with a customer with a blank or unreadable expression, it’s time to check what you’re doing wrong.

Words come from your mouth, but it's mainly the body that perceives communication.

Gesture politely to show what you mean and have a firm posture that shows you aren’t slacking off.

Body language matters. When it comes to important points that you need to relay clearly to customers, keep it simple and leave nothing to chance that they might know what you mean.

5. Knowledge of what you're selling

The best forward-facing people in a business are the ones who continuously work on gaining an in-depth knowledge of your products and services, how it works, and just about everything that relates to it.

Of course, every single team member doesn’t have to be able to build your product from scratch; they should know how your product works, from a point where they would be able to relate to customers who use it daily.

After all, sounding like an insider who knows all the different components of the product and using terms that only people in that particular field and industry know is a different thing from talking like a person who has used the product and understands what it's for - simple things that consumers want to know.

Without knowing your product like the back of their hand, team members (and you) will fail to impress.

6. Use positive language

It sounds like fluff, nonsense, and fluffy nonsense. It isn’t.

The ability to change your conversational patterns and energy flow can change how customers think and interact with you.

Instead of highlighting the negative, focus on the positive while addressing the negative, if necessary. The ability to persuade someone is essential - it can make a sales pitch sound like something else entirely.

An email address request can be written off as a simple way to stay in contact, and asking a person to follow you on social media can be disguised as following your latest projects and ideas.

Here's an example:

Without positive language - "Sorry, I can't get you that product until next month since it's unavailable now."

With positive language - "That product will be available next month. Can I let you know when it arrives?"

When you are speaking to someone, make sure you understand how they hear it.

You need to highlight the positivity, not the negativity, in different situations.

If there is a problem, address it - but make sure you provide a solution with it, too. Or, if an answer isn't available, tell the customer that you'll get back to them with one later.

7. Time management

You should spend more time with customers, but you should also remember that there is a time limit, and getting customers what they want in an efficient manner is the ultimate goal.

When you don’t know the solution to a problem, don’t lead the consumer on.

As soon as you realize your problem, tell them that and offer a solution, then call in the best person for that kind of question.

8. Closing ability

No, this has nothing to do with closing a sale or selling inventory. This is much more crucial if you want a customer to keep on coming back.

A closing ability is the ability to close a conversation with satisfaction, meaning the customer should not feel like they could’ve gotten more out of your exchange.

Take the time to make sure every question of the person that you're talking to is solved and answered, by whatever means - this is your responsibility as a business owner.

When you get a customer to confirm that they are satisfied and all their inquiries are replied to, you know that you have achieved your goal and that the conversation is over.

9. Willingness to learn

If you've just finished reading this article, and your eyes are now scanning this sentence, you already have this skill – you proved that you want to excel in knowing how to improve your confidence and talking skills and will learn anything to achieve that.

Don’t know how to handle a certain customer? Learn.

This skill is quite general, but if you have the curiosity to want to learn whatever, whenever, then congratulations! You have the power that most of the world’s population should gain.

Don't forget - life is short, so learn while you can.

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