Head Of Support Dept CSA ltd
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12 ways to hone the skills of your customer service team

3rd Aug 2016
Head Of Support Dept CSA ltd
Blogger
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Any company which strives to seek continuous improvement through innovative methods is one which will surely succeed in the industry.

improve the skills of a customer service team

A stagnant approach is sure to drive one out of competition, as the market forces are highly competitive, and customers are constantly seeking improved and efficient services from brands.

If a company is highly competitive in all elements but follows the same outdated modes and techniques to provide customer service, then they need to brush up on the skills of their service personnel, and quickly, or simply lose their client base to a competitor.

There are certain effective ways to improve the skills of a customer service team and ensure that they offer high quality services to the complete satisfaction of the potential target market.

1. Clarity in communication

Clarity isn’t just important for making your customer feel good.

It can also make a big impact on your bottom line.

What if you could send one less email per support interaction because you didn’t have to clarify anything that your customer didn’t understand the first time?

Note: there’s an obvious caveat with this tip. Be respectful and don’t actually treat your customers like children. This is about using simple, easy-to-understand language.

2. Continuous improvement

I can prove to you that these skills will help you deliver better support to your customers.

But in order to see the proof for yourself in your own business, you need to measure your performance.

Getting metrics-driven is not only an invaluable customer service skill, but it’s the only way to know for certain what kind of impact your efforts to develop better skills are having on your service.

RELATED POST: Taking Your Customer Service Experience from Good to Great 

3. Make good customer service a company-wide value

Good customer service doesn’t end with the people on the phone answering your customer queries, and it certainly doesn’t begin there either. Align every member of your business to value customer-centric, “people” skills. The same kind, attentive demeanor that your support team shows on email or phone correspondence should be reflected in marketing messages, general email correspondence and the attitude shown to your customer base.

4. Drive consistent messaging throughout your organization

Regardless of the size of your company, sharing knowledge effectively and keeping everyone informed are skills that even good organizations struggle with from time to time. Communication is a hurdle for big organizations because of size, bureaucracy and volume of feedback. Smaller organizations require more agility and sometimes final internal protocol can be unclear.

5. Be available at all times from all places

Yes, you must be omnipotent and omnipresent. We’re not suggesting that you adopt a “God-complex” but leaving your customers hanging for answers or resolution is a sure fire way to alienate them and leave them seeking a more available alternative. There are countless studies proving that your customers expect you to respond to them, on their terms and quickly.

RELATED POST: 6 Astonishing Customer Service Ideas You’ll Feel Rude For Not Doing Already

6. Make your knowledge accessible

Along the same vain as number 4, don’t make your visitors work to find the information that they need. FAQs are a standard, important, top-funnel part of your customer service plan, but that is rarely enough. The modern customer expects to find resolution to their problems without having to write an email to a support rep, open a chat discussion or pick up the phone and wait.

7. Employ a self-service solution

Do you know that according to Gartner, by 2020, the customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. It’s so important to understand that this is what your customers expect. A self-service solution doesn’t merely provide knowledge base management product with an easy to use widget (although that’s pretty revolutionary), it also supports personalized escalation paths for high touch customer issues, to the right agent with the right skill set. Human customer service teams are not becoming obsolete, it’s just that technology helps your company optimize each worker’s potential, while creating a comfortable solution for your customers to get the right information that they need quickly.

We want to increase the amount of self-service help that we we offer to our customers. It will help us to reduce call times and call handling times. We also want to increase our first-time call resolution. While we believe we can answer 30-40 percent of our customer's common queries instantly online, customers will always have the option to contact sky customer services through phone, chat & email" says Peter Solanky, Senior business director, BSkyb.

8. Build a real community and make it easy to share feedback

Your customers will feel even more valued if you treat them as important members of a community. You can bring various customers together in numerous ways, including webinars, interactive websites, social media, trade shows and conventions. And don’t forget that while your customers come to these forums to learn from you, you can learn as much–if not more–from them.. In fact, Gartner forecasted last year that organizations integrating communities into customer support will realize cost reductions ranging from 10 percent to 50 percent.

Regardless of how proactive you are, you’ll never be able to achieve direct communication for every customer issue. To ensure that you learn about the good, the bad and the ugly experiences your customers have, create an easily accessible way for customers to give feedback.

Whether it’s a phone survey at the end of a service call, an email survey sent directly from your CRM tool or a form on the “Contact Us” page of your website, creating a means for customers to give feedback makes it easier for you to learn what needs improving on. It also helps to prevent unhappy customers from voicing their displeasure in highly visible places, such as on your social media pages.

Whatever steps you choose to take, remember the importance of feedback for customer satisfaction..

9. Constantly offer training opportunities to support reps

It is detrimental to view training as a one time experience for your customer reps. Refresher training is important, and training for new strategies, products, customer service techniques is sure to keep your team working together as a unified voice.

Working in the field of customer service can be a hard road to hoe. Dealing with high emotions from frustrated customers can be taxing to your team. Your service team must learn company protocol and product details, but training must also equip your team with the necessary skills deal with these difficult situations. Encourage and support your customer support team so that they can give the same right back to your customers.

Managers also need to be able to measure individual employee skills and strengths, as well as areas of improvement. This can help you create the necessary training materials to give individualized attention to support team members who may need a bit of extra guidance.

Before a company seeks to improve the existent skill set of their employees, they need to ensure and list down their current skill set in order to identify areas of improvement. A team should have empathy, patience, adaptability, communication and knowledge as their skill traits. Constant evaluation of the team’s overall level of competence will ensure continuous improvement, which assures high quality service to the target market.

10. Work on ways to improve client interaction

With the required set of skills, it is also important to make sure that the team works on developing valuable client interaction as well. A company representative who strikes up a conversation with the customer and discusses common elements of interest is sure to put the customer at ease to discuss their areas of conflict and complaint. This way the worrying issues of complaint management can be handled in a relatively easy and trouble-free way.

Another way to improve the client interaction between the customers and the service team is to train them to be good listeners and appoint value to the customers’ views and responses. This will make the potential customer feel valued and foster a smooth developing client relationship.

11. Ensure proactive customer service

The sure way to transform your clients into loyal customers is to formulate organizational strategies which will ensure that your team goes out of its way to provide the target market with a proactive service.

Companies need to ensure that their team is always available to offer assistance to the clients. Ensure personal assistance through prompt responses with multiple service channels including social networking platforms.

Before a company seeks to improve the existent skill set of their employees, they need to ensure and list down their current skill set in order to identify areas of improvement. A team should have empathy, patience, adaptability, communication and knowledge as their skill traits. Constant evaluation of the team’s overall level of competence will ensure continuous improvement, which assures high quality service to the target market.

12. Work on ways to improve client interaction

With the required set of skills, it is also important to make sure that the team works on developing valuable client interaction as well. A company representative who strikes up a conversation with the customer and discusses common elements of interest is sure to put the customer at ease to discuss their areas of conflict and complaint. This way the worrying issues of complaint management can be handled in a relatively easy and trouble-free way.

Another way to improve the client interaction between the customers and the service team is to train them to be good listeners and appoint value to the customers’ views and responses. This will make the potential customer feel valued and foster a smooth developing client relationship.

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