Top 15 Social and Interpersonal Skills for Customer Service


Customer service is one of the pillars of a business; the support we give to our customers comes way before marketing and how we promote our product. In this article, we will talk about the Top 15 Social and Interpersonal Skills for Customer Service individuals or teams.

  • Active Listening
  • Communicating clearly
  • Empathy
  • Helper/ serving attitude
  • Stress-manager (Unflappability)
  • Proactiveness
  • Patience and Respect
  • Time management
  • Responsible
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Leadership
  • Follow-up the customer’s issue
  • Be Curious and Find out who your client is
  • Be Charismatic
  • Good Manners

Top 15 Social and Interpersonal Skills for Customer Service

Customer Service is a channel that establishes direct contact between customer and company to solve problems, questions, complaints, and propose improvements. Besides, it is responsible for mediating conflicts and strengthening the relationship with the consumer.

Types of Customer Service
Communities and forums 
Phone and email support. 
Self-service content. 
Support via live chat. 
Walk-in service departments. 

1. Active Listening in Customer Service

Since we are working directly with problem-solving, we must listen to what the customer has to say so we can find the right solution for it.

When we listen carefully to what the customer has to say, oftentimes we realize that it’s just a matter of misuse of the product or even a technical team’s failure; Therefore, do not waste time to speculate what the problem should be. Listen!

TIPS ON HOW TO ACTIVELY LISTEN TO OUR CUSTOMER:

  • Do not rush or anticipate any idea or word; let the client express himself/herself;
  • If it is an eye-to-eye service of the customer; Take notes and repeat the key points out loud verifying with the customer;
  • If it turns into an argument or you have a tough customer situation, do not focus on heating up, winning, or being right, make hearing and understanding your priority, and then clarify and help the customer second;
  • If it’s a remote service, make sure you understand the customer’s concern by asking specific questions.

2. Communicating Clearly with Your Customer

When we communicate clearly, we are cordial and use simple language, which means that we ensure that the person we transmit a message receives and understands it.

TIPS ON HOW to COMMUNICATE CLEARLY WITH A CUSTOMER:

  • Before starting a conversation, think about the result. When starting to talk, we should tell our caller what we want.
  •  Focusing on the ultimate goal makes the conversation more focused and easier to navigate;
  • Strive to understand the other person’s perspective, asking questions so that the subject becomes clearer;
  • How people interpret what is spoken depends not only on the content – but also on the way one speaks. Body posture and tone of voice convey messages. Talk naturally and avoid irony;

3. Showing or Being Empathetic with Customers

There’s no way to serve a customer if we don’t know what they’re looking for or going through, so our team must be aware of the motivations that led the customer to contact you.

TIPS ON HOW to BECOME MORE EMPATHETIC WITH CUSTOMERS:

  • Ask questions, investigate, and put yourself in the customer’s shoes. This will help solve problems faster and more efficiently;
  • Conduct regular research to help reveal what drives your customer to seek out your company.
  • Remember the best service you received in life, try to top that!

4. Helper/ serving attitude

If you want to be successful in the customer service field, you need to be willing to help. And to help we need to have knowledge of the subject, to have a serving Attitude means we do everything and more to get our customers satisfied.

Those responsible for the service need to be willing to understand and solve the consumer problem.

To answer is to serve. This is why our company needs to hire people who feel pleasure in helping and feel motivated by the constant challenge of solving customer problems.

5. Stress-manager (Unflappability)

Service professionals are looking for an update and always thinking about the next step or what could have been done to solve a particular problem. 

Thinking about the past or worrying about the future can significantly increase stress. Combat it by focusing on the present.

 TIPS ON HOW TO STRESS-MANAGE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE:

  • Take a little break, walk out and wrap your five senses;
  •  Listen, notice, any sound like a buzzing, traffic, chirping of birds or passing trucks;
  • If you can, take off your shoes and step on the lawn. 
  • Try to smell something; observe a leaf or a tree as if you were looking at it for the first time;
  • Feel the sun on your skin and the breeze on your face. 
  • Taste of a piece of candy or focus on the taste of your tea or coffee.  

When we focus on the moment involving our five senses or some of them, we will end up feeling less tense!

6. Proactiveness in Customer Service

Having a proactive service becomes crucial. It doesn’t mean we have to be present 24/24h; however, we need to provide the answers to our customers’ questions and a bit more.

By listening to our client and observing carefully, we can find out more about the things that are part of his/her day-to-day life, and we can show him other products, solutions, or simply options that they can choose from.

When it comes to service specifically, we can take a more data-driven approach to resolve issues before the customer contact us, or even prevent them from happening.

TIPS ON HOW TO BECOME PROACTIVE:

  • Pay attention to details;
  • Be an active listener.
  • Rely on data and learn from it
  • Engage with your customers routinely

7. Patience and Respect to your Customer

If we want to offer a genuinely qualified service, we should put ourselves in our customers’ shoes and solve each problem as if it were our own.

Remember that the way we deal with the situation is as important as solving it. All customers need is someone who understands, listens to, and treats us with respect.

8. Time management in Customer Service

Good customer service is one that values the customer’s time. For this, it is necessary to invest in solutions and training so that your team can respond quickly and also so that they can solve problems as soon as possible, efficiently.

An additional benefit of good time management in customers service is the fact that it saves costs to the business and improves overall service agent’s productivity.

9. Being Responsible with Customers’ Concerns

Do not promise things that your product or solution is not able to meet. This will only cause the customer to be frustrated and will bring bad publicity to the company.

 If you forgot to reply to the customer having said that you would contact them in 2 days, for example, acknowledge that you forgot. Apologize, but offer him the solution.

Never be afraid to acknowledge that you failed; after all, we are all human. 

Remember: honesty is the essence of good customer service.

10. Emotional Intelligence

When we’re emotionally intelligent, we don’t let personal problems interfere with our professional environment and vice versa. Since we are going to work directly on problem-solving, it is appropriate that we achieve balance.

11. Leadership

The culture of any organization is simply the collective behavior of its leaders. If you want to change the culture, change the collective action of your leaders.

RAM CHARA

In other words: if you want your company to provide high-level customer service, be the first to do so, lead by example!

12.Follow-up on the customer’s issue until Closure

Track your customer’s situation until the issue is fully resolved. Being present, checking if the difficulty has been solved and if he is satisfied or still needs something is the companies’ obligation. So keep in direct contact with the people who have sought help.

Check if the issue could be solved the way the team handling the issue pictured. If not, look for ways to improve on that. Escalate the issue until it’s resolved if need be.

13. Be curious and find out who is our client

The first topic on how to make good customer service undoubtedly concerns understanding who the customer is.

It is necessary to understand what he is looking for and be aware of why he came into contact. So ask questions, investigate and put yourself in his place to get a broad view of what you need and want. This will undoubtedly make it easier to find the best solutions to solve your pains, making them satisfied with their services.

14Be Charismatic

Even if the context is chaotic, try to be calm and speak lightly, whenever possible, with the client. It’s not about making jokes or anything.

But putting an emoji after a sentence in an online chat, for example, already makes the conversation a little less bulky. But, of course, be sure to report what you need.

15. Good Manners

There is no way to treat all your clients as if they had the same level of knowledge. Insisting on this path will only frustrate both sides. After all, someone who has just purchased your product or service will hardly understand more technical terms or expressions.

Finally, communicating is not just about using the right words and applying a grammar of excellence. You need to speak the language of each customer and adapt the service according to each situation.

Conclusion

In general, quality service is not just about responding to messages quickly, answering phone calls, or interacting on social networks. It is much more than that. A quality service seeks to preserve the relationship with the customer, make him feel valued, and find efficient ways to solve his problem.

Reference and Further Reading

AMADEBAI, Emidio. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CEM AND CRM? | Grooming Thought Leaders.

NEPAL, Manish. The five types of customer service (and which one is the best for your business).FreshChatBlog.

SHEREEN, Aisha. How to Motivate your Customer Service Team and Uplift Employee Morale. FreshChatBlog.

Building A Winning Culture: A Top Priority for Leaders. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/building-winning-culture-top-priority-leaders-shawn-moon

Emidio Amadebai

For the past 2 years, I have been working as the head of Customer Experience, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Finance at an international pay as you go solar home system company working in rural areas in Africa. After my previous 7 years working in B2B, IT&Telecoms industry, as a Service Delivery and Project Manager, having worked with Vodacom, Huawei, and other multinational companies. My job is to make sure we improve the lives of thousands of families, with access to electricity, utilities (radio, TV, lights), doing our very best so that they get the best-in-class customer experience, and succeed in acquiring the products for themselves.

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