8 Customer Support Skills (Advantages And Ways To Improve)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 26 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Excellent customer service skills can help a business get benefits by connecting a company to its customers. Working in industries where you may provide customer support typically requires a specific skill set. By mastering customer support skills, you can deliver great customer service and become a competent customer support professional. In this article, we discuss the use of customer support skills, provide some useful skills in this profession, explain their advantages and offer ways to improve them.

Customer support skills and customer support professionals

Executives use customer support skills to provide support to a company's potential or existing customers. This happens ideally via a telephonic call. A customer calls a customer care number and expresses their query or talks about their concern regarding the company's product or service. The customer support executive then helps the customer with the best possible resolution. The executive can do the same in person, via e-mail, chats on an app, or via social media. All customer support executives work towards a single aim of resolving customers' problems in the best possible manner.

Related: What Is Customer Service? Definition And Career Advice

8 Customer service skills

Here are the top eight customer service skills you can learn or enhance to advance your career:

1. Patience

One of the top customer service skills is to be extremely patient with the customers. You may come across several types of customers in your career. Some may be very polite, while others may be short-tempered or frustrated with a problem they face. It is important that you remain patient as you listen to their problem. Patience is also key since it may help you find the right solution to the problem. Regardless of how unhappy the customer is, the customer support executive's job is to help them through the issue.

2. Active listening

You may encounter a unique problem that a customer faces, while sometimes, they may be very common. Ensure to listen to the customer and their grievance attentively. When you hear the customer out from start to finish, you may find an effective solution to it. Take notes and write the problem down to enhance this skill. Understanding the customer's concern and rephrasing it to check with them can be one of the best ways to convey to the customer that you paid attention to them.

Related: Customer Satisfaction: How To Measure And Tips For Improvement

3. Empathy

One of the top goals of a customer support executive is to show the customer that they care. For example, if a customer's refrigerator has stopped working, it might not be a big problem for the customer support professionals, but it may be a severe problem for the customer. In such a case, the customer support executive can try to be empathetic towards the customer and express their concern. This can help you understand their problem better.

4. Communication skills

Clear communication can be significantly helpful in solving a customer's problem. Communicating with your customers in a crisp, clear and easy-to-understand manner can be helpful in finding a resolution. Having sharp verbal communication skills can make the difference between clear and poor communication. Speak in a clear tone and keep your voice loud enough for the customer to hear you distinctly. Try to speak to the customer concisely and jargon-free. Easily decipherable language often brings significant results. Try to avoid confusion in your communication and be logical and straightforward.

5. Product or industry knowledge

Having in-depth knowledge about your company's product or service can be crucial. Without adequate knowledge of the product, it can be difficult for you to know the solution to the problem. Go through the complete product details and understand the difficulties a customer can face while exploring the product. This can help you quickly develop solutions. Your task could include telling the customer what to do step-by-step to resolve the issue. Having expert knowledge about the product and understanding the solution to some of the commonly occurring problems can be helpful to you. This expert set of skills may differ in each industry and company.

6. Positive attitude

Having a pleasing personality and a positive attitude can be a vital skill for a customer support executive. A cordial and optimistic tone of customer support professionals can make the issue resolution process easy and fruitful. Sounding friendly to a customer over a phone call may help to build a good image of the service provider. Using polished language can be another helpful skill to add to your profession. This can help soothe a customer who might be concerned about an issue.

7. Resourcefulness

Ensuring to resolve the problems of every customer can be an impressive skill for customer support executives. A customer support executive usually confronts a vast range of issues daily. Finding newer, creative ways to mitigate the crisis and appease the customer can be pivotal. When a customer is happy with the innovative solutions, they are likely to provide good feedback for your services.

8. Resilience

As a customer support executive, you may come across several unhappy customers. These customers usually look for quick solutions to their problems. Sometimes, the problem may be complex, which might further frustrate the customer. In these situations, it can be helpful to stay resilient and poised and update the customer about the progress of the resolution.

Related: Guide: What Does A Customer Service Representative Do?

Advantages of improving customer service skills

Following are some benefits you can get from enhancing your customer service skills:

  • Become tenacious: Solving customers' unique problems can help you become resilient and enable you to perform efficiently even in difficult situations. As a customer service professional, you may become more determined and focused on your job.

  • Feel accomplished: Helping customers can boost your confidence and give you a sense of fulfilment. Knowing that you are helping people with their issues every day can make you feel proud of yourself and have a more positive attitude.

  • Build more understanding: Understanding customers' concerns can make you more passionate about helping them, making you do better at your job.

  • Learn new skills: Developing several skills as a customer service specialist can help you advance in your career. You can develop communication, leadership, organisation and problem-solving skills effectively.

  • Get newer opportunities to explore: Possessing strong customer service skills can provide you with excellent knowledge about the company's product. This can help you get a promotion or explore newer career opportunities.

  • Develop problem-identifying ability: Resolving problems can become easy for you in the role of a customer support professional because most customers want immediate solutions. This may help you develop the ability to identify what the problem is and solve it as soon as possible.

  • Help increase repeat business: Leaving your customer with a pleasant experience can translate into repeat business. You can do this by treating each customer with respect and providing them with the best customer service throughout the buying process.

Related: What Is A Customer Care Executive? (With Duties And Skills)

How to improve customer service skills

Here are some tips to help you improve your skills that make good customer support professional:

  1. Add a human touch to the relationship. Adding a personal influence to your interaction with the customer can help them feel comfortable. It can send across a message that they are interacting with a real person.

  2. Follow up with the customer. Seek feedback from the customer and see if the solution you offered effectively resolved their problem. After a few days, a follow-up with customers can also let them know your team is available to assist them if need be.

  3. Try active listening. Reiterating the customer's problem in active tense can help clarify things. It can also bring in an element of empathy and responsiveness.

  4. Greet customers by name. Greeting customers by name can help build familiarity with regular customers and make one-time customers feel more at ease when communicating with your company.

  5. Acknowledge your or the company's error. Admitting your error or the mistakes on the company's part can help build a trusting relationship with the customer. This way, you can also pacify an angry customer and control the situation.

  6. Take notes. Trying to remember things without taking notes can be inefficient way and may hinder your ability to provide a quality service. Instead, you can use notes to access the information later.

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