Top 5 Tips To Boost Soft Skills Of Your Customer Service Team
The importance of soft skills is realized by most of the companies these days. Now the question arises, soft skills or people skills are important in sales, but why not in customer service?
Soft skills enhance the productivity of a company to a huge extent. The best example is L’Oreal, that sold about $91,370 more than their untrained counterparts, thus enhancing the revenue up to $2,558,360.
Never assume that the customer support is not a part of the sales team. The fact is, every single call, each interaction and every single touchpoint has an impact on the business. There would be two consequences of any interaction — either they would be returning to you for business or recommend you to someone else.
An article recently published in the Harvard Business Review titled, ‘The Soft Skills of Great Digital Organizations’ says:
Smart organizations have realized that embedding a new technology into the workplace does not limit just to hardware and software. It also adds ‘wetware’; referred to human beings. In other words, it was concluded that the businesses that make the most effective innovations successfully have humans who were adaptable to change.
It’s great to hire emotionally intelligent people, who are very good at communication and have a great command of language. They have a natural ability to take complex ideas and break them down to easy and understandable pieces of information. However, even if you get hirees who have inborn communication skills, the company still needs to train its employees.
I present you five tips on hiring and training agents who have soft skills:
- Hire Candidates Who Are Competent In Communication And Churning Ideas To Break Complex Topics Into Easy-to-understand Topics
No matter how sophisticated technologies you introduce into your infrastructure, human communication plays a vital role. You can just get noticed on mobile and social networks using lesser words, but proper communication is required to express a brilliant idea.
There is a chance that you might lose a good customer due to a gap in communication. For example, ‘reach out’ is a very common phrase prevailing all over; ‘Reach out to me via email’ or ‘Reach out to me if you need something’ are the most commonly spoken.
In the US ‘reach out’ has a religious meaning. Let’s say you are dealing with a client from the US, and you use the word ‘reach out’ while asking them to drop you an email, you would perhaps hurt their sentiments and end up losing them.
So it is better to keep it as simple as possible for customers.
2. Make Sure The Candidate Is Interviewed With A Few Other Roles, Apart From HR and The Hiring Manager
In most of the cases it is seen that if only the human resources and the hiring manager interview the candidate, the recruit is more likely to be biased. Whereas, if the candidate is interviewed by different types of people, it will be easier to assess the people skill of the candidate.
Doing this would definitely make the interview process a little stressful, but so is dealing with customers. If the candidate keeps patience and does not lose his cool during the process, he/she will be proved a perfect fit for the job role.
3. Maintain A Culture That Allows Employees To Be Themselves
A company is greatly benefited if its employees are free to be themselves. The reason is, they don’t spend much time behaving like a robot and feel free to feel natural.
If you ever have interacted with a person under lots of stress, you would know how that they are somewhat impatient, brash and agitated. If you want your customer service associates to behave smartly, it is our duty to maintain a friendly, soft and stable culture.
The best examples are Lyft and Ron Storn in the US. They maintain a light-hearted culture by making their new employees feel free. Such a fun culture contributes a lot to their rapid growth.
4. Get Confident Communicators And Boost Their Confidence
Talking to a person who is not confident enough about their job gives a hard time to their customers. The clients do not prefer to return to such a service provider. Just imagine a customer service associate using words like, ‘Umm, Actually, You Know, Uhh’ creates an impression that they are unsure about the product they are selling or service they are providing.
You do not want your customers service associates to have a conversation filled with chaos, with your customers. So, it is very important to brush up their speech and orient it in a way that they could communicate properly.
5. Being Patient With The Customer Service Team Means Everything
Patience is the biggest virtue for someone pursuing the job of customer service. Customer service today is no more about fixing problems but educate people as well. You need to bring them up to speed on complex matters and deal with them patiently even when they are angry.
Eventually, they would feel silly about their behaviour and walk happily away. The customer service associate must not lose their cool no matter what it costs them.
These are the top tips I could provide you as a recruiter. If you could look for these qualities or train the new recruits accordingly, you are all set to see a great change in performance of your customer service team.
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