Customer Service Tips: How to Improve Your Communication Skills
Customer service can teach you a number of highly transferable skills which can be applied in the workplace throughout your career. Working in a customer service role requires a good level of communication skills for any size organisation in order to deliver efficient services and products to customers.
Below we explore some of the most important customer service tips to ensure that you are giving great customer service, be it in person or on the phone, and how to improve your communication skills:
Mirror and matching technique
To communicate more effectively, mirror and match the customer’s communication style – you will need to listen effectively to pick up on your customer’s communication style. For example, some customers may be interested in building rapport, whilst others will solely want to get the transaction done as quickly and efficiently as possible, not picking up these cues might result in a frustrated customer.
Empathy and patience
Customer services can’t always deliver the required solution but you can always deliver empathy. You will find it easier to empathise with the customer if you put yourself in their shoes and try to picture it from their point of view. The key to communicating great empathy is to question effectively, listen and be patient. If you don’t appear to empathise customers may become irritated or think that you’re not listening to them.
Being a good listener is one of the best ways to be a good communicator – ensure that you actively understand what the customer is saying and avoid talking over them as this will result in the customer becoming frustrated. Repeat what the customer has told you and confirm that you understand what they’re saying to put them at ease.
Make sure that you clearly convey your point to the customer so that they are completely clear on what they will be getting. Typically, customers will become discontent if you are unable to get to a point quickly or if you waffle around a question they have asked without answering it. You can avoid this by learning the product/service and your company’s policies inside out – if there is a problem which you can’t deal with escalate it upwards. If there are important points to remember why not jot them down on a piece of paper and have them to hand to avoid getting caught out!
Positive language can make a massive difference to a conversation. Positive language can be in two forms – both verbally and in terms of your body language. If you work in a customer service role which requires face to face interaction make sure that you avoid negative body language, which includes:
- Crossed arms
- Avoidance of eye contact
- Checking the time
Instead, try some of these positive body languages:
- Lean in slightly – this demonstrates that you are actively listening
- Arms by your side or bringing your hands together in your lap – this demonstrates that you are open to what they are communicating
- Keep eye contact – this shows that you are interested in the conversation
- Affirmative body movements – agreement through the use of nodding your head or smiling will let people know that you are on their side
If you are in a telephone-based role make sure you use positive language when you speak to a customer, some top examples include:
Aside from your use of language, make sure you smile, it makes a massive difference!
Sometimes remaining professional can be difficult, especially when a customer is frustrated or becomes irate. Take a deep breath and avoid blaming the customer – make sure you don’t become emotive and that you formulate a solution for them.
Following these tips will ensure that you are providing good customer service by demonstrating top communication skills with your customers throughout their experience. Are you considering a role in customer service? Coople provides tens of thousands of employees with customer service roles at industry leading companies!
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