Customer service skills are important in every business venture in the world. Businesses thrive on gaining new customers, as well as maintaining their business relationship with already existing ones.
And gaining new customers and maintaining previous longstanding relationships require that the interaction between a business venture and it’s customers remains a smooth sailing one, and this depends largely on how well the staff of that venture relates with their customers, especially those staff who are customer service personnel.
While it is important that every staff possess customer service skills as they’ll all be dealing with customers at one point or the other, for customer service personnel, it is overly important.
This is because the central focus of their job is to interact with customers and answer their questions/queries on a number of issues.
As such, having customer service personnel with poor customer service skills is detrimental to any business venture, as they’ll more likely not gain new customers, and even lose connections with the ones they already have.
For job-seekers looking to apply for customer service jobs in companies across Nigeria, it is therefore important that you improve on your customer service skills before applying for positions.
Here in this article, we’ll give you a list of some of the most important customer service skills you’ll need to get customer service jobs in Nigeria.
Customer service skills needed to get jobs faster
Customer service jobs have to do with a lot of relating and interaction. As such, most, if not all, of the skills needed are skills that involve communication and people relation. Below are some of them;
Empathy is one of the major customer service skills every customer service personnel must possess. In fact, you cannot be a customer service personnel without it.
Empathy entails understanding and relating with people on a compassionate level. As a customer service personnel, having empathy means you recognize that the customers you interact with are humans with needs and feelings, and so, your interaction with them must be tailored with humanity, understanding, warmth and compassion.
Whether it is a face-to-face chat, an over-the-phone conversation, or on video, customer service personnel must, at all times, display empathy in their dealings with clients.
Patience is another customer service skill that is very important to the job. Every customer service personnel will tell you that there are days when you’ll have to deal with either an unhappy customer, a frustrating one, or one that just doesn’t know how to describe whatever problem he is facing.
And being human too, you might come in contact with these people on days when you’re not so in the mood yourself. OK such days, your ability to calm your emotions and be patient through your interactions with those difficult customers is what will see you out of that situation.
Reacting brashly is more likely to intensify the situation rather than defuse it. You might even lose the customer. On days when certain customers just get under your skin and want to tick you off, remember to take a deep breath, smile, and be patient through the interaction.
3. Effective communication skills
Much of what is done by customer service personnel involves communication. As such, effective communication skills can be said to be the most important customer service skill you can possess as customer service personnel.
Effective communication involves communicating clearly and effectively in a way that the customer will not be confused or get mixed meanings from what you’re saying. It involves both the verbal and nonverbal aspects of communication.
Any good student of human communication will tell you that in interacting with people, your body language must match your tone, else it’ll be hard for people to trust what you’re saying.
When the communication process is through online chat media, the lack of nonverbal communication cues can be a problem.
Thus, to bridge this gap, customer service personnel must be able to write texts in such a way that it doesn’t come off confusing.
Your writing skills must be able to close the gap created by the absence of nonverbal communication cues. As a job-seeker looking for customer service jobs, it is highly important you improve on your communication skills if you want to increase your chances of being hired.
4. Listening Skills
Listening is an important part of the communication process. As customer service personnel, you must be a good listener.
Your ability to listen actively without interrupting the customer or getting distracted will determine how well you’re able to understand their problem and help them deal with it.
In listening, the key is to listen to understand, not to respond. Listening to respond usually ends up with the listener interrupting the speaker in the middle of the communication process, and thereby, cutting off the communication lines.
Listening to understand will give you a clearer picture of the problem at hand, and this will help you better in tackling it.
5. Positive language
During communication, especially as customer service personnel, your use of language is key. It is important that your language and tone are always positive.
As earlier mentioned, there will be days when some customers will try to get under your skin. On such days, resorting to language laden with anger and rudeness will not help. It is important to consider that some customers were already having bad days before the problem they encountered while using your company’s product showed up.
As such, they might be talking to you from built-up frustration. In such cases, positive language can soften a customer’s demeanor and get them to relate with you on more calmer terms. Sometimes, all people need is a dose of kindness and positivity.
6. Positive attitude
Next to positive language is a positive attitude. You must back up your positive verbal tone with an even more positive demeanor.
Having a negative disposition can make it difficult for customers to interact with you, and this is dangerous to your career and the company you work for.
As customer service personnel, you must possess and reflect a warm personality. One of the ways to do this is to always be with a smile. A warm smile can do a lot in soothing a customer’s frustrations.
Confidence is a must for customer service personnel. When you reflect confidence in your interaction with customers, they’re able to trust you more because they’re sure you know you what you’re doing.
Speaking and acting confidently while on the job is therefore very important. Customers can spot a lack of confidence from a mile away.
Jumbling your words, fidgeting, and being all over the place in your interactions is definitely not what customers want to see when they come to you for help.
Most customers are confused about certain aspects of your company’s products and services, and they’d rather not meet another confused person for help. So as customer service personnel, it is important you get your act together.
8. A quick and effective response
Keeping a customer waiting unnecessarily definitely doesn’t help in reducing their frustration level. In fact, it intensifies it.
As customer service personnel, you must be able to respond quickly and effectively to a customer’s questions or complaints.
This would require you to be very attentive to what they’re saying so you’ll understand faster and know what they want almost immediately after they’re done talking. Your ability to respond quickly increases their confidence in you and gives you one more happy customer.
9. Time management
While it is important that you pay quality attention to each customer, this can sometimes go overboard and become too much.
Customer service personnel must understand the importance of time. You don’t want to spend all day attending to one customer, especially when there are others that need your attention.
If you don’t know the solution to a customer’s problem, then direct them to someone or a department that does, rather than unnecessarily wasting their time and yours. Remember that there are many customers in need of your services, so be conscious of your time.
10. Knowledge of your company’s product and services
As customer service personnel, you must be updated on the product and services of your company, as well as know the problems that could possibly arise from them.
Customers do not want to bring their questions and complaints to someone that doesn’t know what that they’re doing. They’re frustrated enough already, and the ignorance of your job won’t help the situation.
It is therefore important that as customer service personnel, you’re not left behind in terms of the products and services of your company.
The job of customer service personnel is not an easy one. You’ll be required to deal with different types of customers on a daily basis. Every day comes with a brand new challenge. The tasking nature of the job means you must be adequately prepared for it. If you desire to be a customer service personnel, we hope this article has been helpful in showing you the skills you need to do the job. Let us know.
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