11 essential skills every customer service specialist must have
The Philippines has been hailed as the go-to destination for customer service thanks to its young English-speaking population. As business continues to boom and more companies establish their customer centers in the Philippines, the demand for talent is also soaring. In fact, a recent poll by Monster shows that the demand for customer service talent has grown 40% year-on-year.
Facing customers daily, there are certain skills that every employee needs to possess as they aim for greater professional success. Here’s a breakdown of the top skills:
Be a good listener - Avoid talking about yourself
Being able to listen during a conversation is more important than you think. Avoid bringing yourself into the picture or making comparisons to others – focus instead on the person you are speaking to.
Use positive language - Replace negative with positive
Anything you say can be conveyed in a positive manner. Whether it’s negative or positive feedback, always take the glass half-full approach when communicating your message. Having said that, there is no need to sugarcoat things - but showing empathy and understanding will go a long way with customers.
Communicate effectively - Explain it to a 5-year old
Communication is one of the most essential soft skills at work. Avoid complicated words and sentences, but communicate in a simple and straightforward way. When describing complicated issues, imagine that you are explaining it to a 5-year old – if the kid is unlikely to understand it then it’s time for a new approach.
Work under pressure - Prioritize your work
Even the best of us will feel the pressure on occasion. But you must accept that you can’t solve all problems at once. Take baby steps and you can learn how to manage the pressure by prioritizing your tasks according to urgency.
Ability to empathize - Spend time with people unlike you
We sometimes find it hard to understand and sympathize with the problems and issues of other people. It’s not because we are oblivious or cold-hearted, but simply because we have a different viewpoint. Try participating in new activities and socialize with people that are different from you. It will help you gain a new perspective.
Be consistent - Set a routine
Facing customers with their problems and requests, it’s crucial to be consistent in your communication and with your actions. Setting a routine (and sticking to it) will help you establish consistency in your workflow.
Be patient & calm - Be analytical
Managing your stress levels isn’t easy, but taking a mental step back and analyzing the situation objectively can help you keep your calm. We all get nervous and anxious occasionally, but remaining calm is always a choice. Stressing out will never help to solve any problem.
Be proactive - Don’t procrastinate
During a busy day, there are usually multiple problems you need to solve. Instead of piling them on to your to-do list, it’s often more effective to solve them immediately. Don’t wait until a problem gets bigger and more urgent.
Know who you are talking to - Do your research
Specific groups will have specific needs. If you know who you are dealing with, you can anticipate their problems, needs, and demands, and be better prepared yourself.
Ready to multitask - Plan ahead
Being able to multitask is not necessarily anyone’s natural talent. More often than not, it’s about anticipating and planning. Once you expect something to happen, you can plan how to deal with it.
Be a problem-solver - Take it step by step
There is a solution to every problem - even though it might not be immediately visible. Try to remain objective, list all obstacles, and approach them one by one. If there are still too many problems to be solved, you can ask for help. Breaking problems into smaller pieces can help you resolve them faster and more effectively.