For many customers, a conversation with a service agent is a defining moment in their relationship with your brand. An agent who listens attentively and solves the customer’s problem upon first contact can win that person’s loyalty. On the other hand, agents who fall short of expectations convince customers that your brand has fallen short as well. Here are six qualities every agent should have to deliver the kind of service that makes customers love you for life.
In customer service, attitude is everything. Agents have a demanding job, and a positive attitude will only make their work easier. Instill your agents with confidence by providing them thorough training and mentoring. When they feel motivated to do their jobs well, that attitude will carry over into their conversations with your customers.
Most customers who call brands have something important to say. This is why great listening skills are a must for every customer service agent. When a customer is in a difficult situation and has possibly wasted time, giving him a chance to explain is necessary to making him feel at ease and finding the right solution.
During a conversation, agents will likely have to handle data, communicate with peers, and keep the dialogue with the customer flowing—all at the same time. In some cases, the agent may need to speak with multiple customers at once. Multitasking is therefore an essential skill for agents to master. If customers ever need to be placed on hold, agents should inform them so as to prevent any confusion.
Savvy agents know how to handle difficult situations. Sometimes, a frustrated customer may wish to speak to a supervisor. Or, perhaps, a technical error in the contact center might slow down the conversation. In such cases, agents need to be able to improvise and find the best solution adapted to the current situation—the solution that truly meets the individual customer’s needs. For example, moving the customer to another channel may be necessary, or the agent may wish to follow up with him post-contact to ensure that everything was resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.
Agents who connect well with customers are skilled at showing empathy. Making a customer feel valued and understood is critical to winning his confidence. When a customer has experienced a difficult situation, it’s especially important for an agent to listen closely, show his understanding, and willingly propose an optimal solution. That human connection is often just what the customer needs.
Customer service agents do their best work when they have a deep understanding of the company they work for. First and foremost, they should know what kinds of products or services your company sells and be prepared to handle any questions that come their way. In addition, they need to master any technology used in the contact center. Be sure to train agents regularly in the use of tools such as CRM databases and software solutions so that they can perform at their best. Your customer service agents are the human face of your brand. By equipping them with the tools they need and ongoing support, they can delight your customers and give them the personal experiences they are looking for.
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