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How to Sharpen Your Customer Service Skills

by Tracey A. Maine on April 6, 2020

Without a good set of customer service skills, the chances of achieving long-term success in your professional life are less than great. 

What exactly are customer service skills?

The term “customer service” refers to the service-oriented approaches a business uses to encourage a one-on-one relationship with past, present and future customers.

Customer service skills are the actions professionals take to nurture those relationships with patrons and establish a sense of trust and loyalty between both parties.   

What qualities do you need to excel at providing good customer service?

  • Analytical-thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Negotiating skills
  • Patience
  • Problem-solving skills

What are some examples of good customer service?

  1. Smiling and conveying a positive and welcoming attitude.
  2. Shaking your customer’s hand when you introduce yourself to them.
  3. Getting to know your customers by name.
  4. Encouraging customer feedback.
  5. Not using technical acronyms or jargon during conversations with customers.
  6. Making customers feel comfortable and respecting their definition of “personal space”
  7. Keeping your composure and remaining calm — especially when customers are upset or emotional.
  8. Never ignoring customers — no matter how busy you are!
  9. Responding in a timely manner to verbal requests, written correspondences and emails from customers.
  10. Not interrupting customers when they’re speaking to you.
  11. Practicing empathy when customers have had a bad experience at your place of business.
  12. Offering to handle problems personally when customers present you with their concerns.
  13. Not taking customer complaints personally and using their critiques as an opportunity to consider making potential changes that could improve your business.
  14. Never arguing with customers — even when they’re wrong.
  15. Making customers feel special and treating them like seeing them is the highpoint of your day.

Can I see some examples of how to practice good customer service skills?

The following videos demonstrate how to recognize disappointed customers, how to deal with them and resolve their issues using problem-solving skills:

Recognizing Customer Disappointment 

 

Dealing with Disappointed Customers

 

Disappointed Customers- Problem Solving

What are the benefits of practicing good customer service skills? 

  • Long-term repeat customers
  • Increased sales
  • Expanded business opportunities
  • More motivated workforce
  • Good reputation

Perhaps the point of practicing good customer skills was summed up best by the late poet/actress/civil rights activist Maya Angelo (1928-2014) in the following quote:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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