Customer service skills are vital in today’s competitive business environment. Decision makers in your company know that consumers value customer service and that 68% of consumers will pay more for a product or service that comes with great service.
Customer service skills can also help you move up in your company. The skills that you learn while dealing with customers are transferable to many different corporate situations and will serve you well when under stress or during project presentations. Although this may not be an exhaustive list, the following skills are a basic requirement of what may be needed in a leadership role.
Often, consumers come to business representatives with a range of complaints, queries, and concerns. Effective customer service is all about addressing these issues while de-escalating emotions and helping customers get the outcome they want.
Connecting with frazzled customers requires superb emotional intelligence and restraint. You have to be able to read the room, and should be able to see through any emotions that are interfering with a consumer’s ability to think clearly about a situation.
Having high emotional intelligence is also great for your own health and well-being. Smiling when you feel nervous or under stress can help you see clearly. More than that, however, it can make a great impression on those around you as smiling is a form of stress relief and can be contagious to those around you.
Emotional intelligence is also a trait shared by business leaders. Business leaders are self-aware and able to connect with the emotions of others in the room. They’re also adept at social management and know how to team the right personalities together when delegating tasks.
As an aspiring business professional, you can use emotional intelligence to connect with interviewers, leave a lasting impression on managers, and raise the mood of every room you enter.
Advancing in a company may require you to gain technical skills that qualify you for an advanced position. There is no use in applying for jobs that you do not qualify for, and being a life-long learner will look great on your resume.
Continuing your education is a great way to show management that you are serious about climbing the corporate ladder and advancing your position within a company. Ask management about the technical skills required at the next level and seek guidance when browsing courses and qualifications.
You may wish to pursue an MBA or professional certifications while gathering technical skills. If so, ask about funding opportunities and flexible working hours. Pursuing new qualifications requires plenty of time and money, and many businesses are happy to foot the bill if they think training you will offer a positive ROI.
Communication is key when dealing with disgruntled customers. Often, a quick answer is sufficient to solve the problem or help consumers work through the issue they are facing. The same communication skills you develop when working with customers will stand you in good stead when facing a room of shareholders or corporate managers.
You can improve your communication skills by treating each day as a training opportunity. For example, if you take inbound calls from customers, treat each call as a chance to improve your telephone presence and etiquette.
Manage the calls you take from start to finish, and treat each customer with dignity – even if they start the call with a temper. Manage your own attitude and take pride in your ability to focus on the issue at hand.
You can use the same skills you learn while working with customers in the boardroom. Keep your communication quick and to the point to show managers that you care about their time. Use your professional persona when it’s your chance to speak or share information, and try to plan a script before you start talking.
Although the world would be a lot nicer if customers always came back with feedback when they were simply satisfied with a product, that isn’t always the case. If anything, customers will typically only seek help from those higher up if they’re experiencing a challenge or a problem with the product. As such, it’s important for you to consider these challenges, and find solutions that please everyone involved in the situation. This kind of problem-solving requires you to be a critical thinker with a great understanding of your business processes and procedures.
Problem-solving skills will be vital when you move up the corporate ladder. Each day brings a new challenge, and you’ll need to have an intuitive understanding of the business to make the best decision possible.
A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that problem-solving is the soft skill that employers look for the most among applicants. When listing your “skills” be sure to classify yourself as a “problem solver” and think of direct examples of your problem-solving ability before you enter any interviews.
Customer service skills will serve you well throughout your entire career. As a customer service professional, you will learn how to connect with shareholders and will be an adept communicator. Just be sure to gather appropriate technical skills too, as these will pair perfectly with the soft skills you learned while dealing with disgruntled customers.
Author Bio: Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, business, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
If you’re interested in improving your customer service skills, take the Telephone Etiquette and Customer Service Skills course of officeskills.org. You can sign up here https://officeskills.org/telephone-etiquette-training.html.