A steadily growing number of jobs taken by AI and robots are making most of the services increasingly impersonal. For this reason, what most businesses need these days is the human touch. No matter what channel of communication you use, be it a phone, an e-mail or an online chat, you want the customers to feel welcome and appreciated.
Soft skills, therefore, are having a triumphant coming back. 57% of senior leaders believe that soft skills today are much more in demand than hard skills. Workforce, in turn, considers training for soft skills a #1 priority for a successful career.
We have prepared a list of seven soft skills of the Customer Support team your clients need.
1. COMMUNICATION SKILLS (SPOKEN AND WRITTEN/STRONG WRITERS)
Communication is the core of Customer Service. You’ll get nowhere without the ability to understand what a customer wants and the skill to articulate in an appropriate manner what you can do for them. Being concise and eloquent, employing an upbeat tone and speaking to the point help to persuade people to buy in.
These skills unavoidably come to fruition in phone communication as well. Moreover, their impact when people cannot see each other grows significantly. The voice comes to power and does the job.
As for written communication, the situation is no different. Today employees spend hours sending emails and writing reports. The interaction with customers online is not going to be successful unless employees trained properly to write effectively. Strong written communication skills are on the top of the wish list of most employers and worth billions of dollars businesses spent each year on the remedial writing training.
2. ACTIVE LISTENING
If there is a skill that Customer Service needs more than a human being needs air, it is listening. Listening to the customers carefully opens the door to a new level of understanding of what they want and need. Demonstrating that you are listening to them actively with your body language often help to build a rapport or if a conflict arises to find a win-win solution and resolve it fast.
3. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
The skill, which is much spoken about and never fails to foster trust and spirit of collaboration. The ability to assess and manage your emotions paves the way for more effective communication in multiple contexts and Customer Service in particular.
To be in control of a situation is what you often need in Customer Service to encourage a customer to have faith in you. The skill to take control timely and in an efficient manner without being aggressive or demanding helps to convey confidence and makes a customer believe that their problem is going to be handled by a professional.
A way too common emotional reaction to an unpleasant situation or some careless comment is the root of all evil in communication. Being able to remain calm and patient when you deal with all customers even quite negative ones is a key to successful conflict resolution. The skill to tone down a conversation comes in very handy especially when the emotions are coming to a boil, and a carefully cemented relationship can be destroyed in seconds.
6. PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS
To develop solutions to the problems is one of the soft skills to teach your people. Understanding the problem and the root cause of it, working out a plan how to deal with it, updating your customer regularly on the status of the process, can lay the groundwork for productive collaboration and trustful relationships in the future.
7. FOLLOW-UP SKILLS
If a problem is unresolved, follow up; if it has already been settled, follow up too. You cannot underestimate the power of the timely asked question and exercised consideration. Customers shouldn’t feel forgotten or neglected. Hence, to strengthen customer loyalty and trust follow-up skill is to be mastered.
Soft skills cannot be picked up from one-off training; it takes time and much of work to acquire them. Businesses outsourcing Customer Support Services develop soft skills gradually, support and re-enforce them. Companies realize that they cannot be impersonal and remain successful and competitive in the business arena of today. No matter how technologically advanced your company is if you ignore the fact that it is people that your business serves for.