Much of the work in the customer service (CS) industry happens in real-time. Given the fast-paced and dynamic nature of work, it would help if candidates pay attention to honing certain capabilities to get off to a great start. Here’s a look at some qualities that can help you prepare for the customer service roles in contact centers. Most of us already have these skills inherently, what is essential is to be mindful of their importance, enhancing them and consistently applying them, so that they become an integral part of our personalities
- Effective communication: No matter the channel (voice, email, and chat among others), customer service involves a lot of communication to deliver delight and satisfaction to the customer. Basic written and spoken language skills, comprehension skills and computer knowledge can enable effective communication, both internally within the team and externally with customers. In fact, good communication skills are essential in any job in the corporate sphere, so it’s always good to brush up.
- Emotional quotient (EQ): Emotional quotient (EQ) is the human ability to recognize emotions and act appropriately. Empathy is typically associated with EQ as it involves relating to the experiences of others. For customer service professionals, empathizing with the customer improves the quality of service delivery. Empathy also serves as the neutralizer in interactions where the customer might be distressed, enabling professionals to provide a fast and suitable resolution. Get into a habit of thinking from another person’s perspective – this attitude will benefit you not just professionally but also in your personal life.
- Multitasking: Sometimes, it can be hard to predict workload, and the solution to get through all the work would be multitasking. Much like communication, this is also a skill that is necessary in the corporate world, and our ability to multitask seamlessly can be an asset to the team. For customer service professionals, multitasking will be useful to switch between tasks such as front-ending concurrent customer interactions, toggling between multiple back-end systems, logging in reports, and following up in the backend for resolutions. So time management is key here. We should imbibe the agility and attention to detail required for carrying out multiple tasks. We can practice these skills in our day-to-day life while completing academic projects, helping in the chores at home, volunteering in the community or planning social/family events.
- Thinking on your feet: A couple of key performance metrics for customer service professionals are call time and first call resolutions—essentially how quickly we resolve calls and how satisfactorily we have closed them. We are brand advocates because of our knowledge of the brand and its offerings. When we interact with customers, understanding their situation and being resourceful with solutions can help with high first call resolution. Brushing up on scenarios and solutions, and staying updated with the offerings, features or processes can help with low call time. We should observe and analyze our response and reactions to situations around us and evaluate how we could have handled these events differently.
- Interest in Learning: Customers of today are aware and have access to information. As customer service professionals, our value-add would be resolutions that are personalized to each customer’s unique situation. Many new technologies are being integrated to enable customer service professionals to deliver such experiences with ease. For example, we have centralization to provide context to conversations with a single customer across multiple channels. With advances in AI, we can work alongside virtual agents that can offer us recommendations and also front end simple interactions. So, as brand advocates, we have the opportunity to learn all emerging technologies that are sweeping the industry and evolve with the industry. If we inculcate and nurture the love for learning, it will put us in a different league professionally.
- Perseverance: Quick and effective resolution requires patience to understand the issue well, and the persistence to ensure the customer is satisfied or even, delighted. Providing great customer experience is a journey with a lot of learnings. Every interaction is an opportunity to do better than the previous one. Perseverance can help you see the larger picture and rise above day-to-day challenges. Groom yourself to be perseverant, even when the going gets tough – it’s a quality that sets apart achievers from the crowd.
Everything on this list can help you prepare for almost all jobs in the corporate world. Considering that customer service is a people-centric field, these skills are of the utmost importance.
If you brush up on these, you can take on any customer service role with ease and confidence. And at HGS, we may be having just the job for you. Apply now!