In marketing circles, many people say that content is king. But we’re fairly certain that, as important as content may be, customer experience is the newly crowned king for all businesses.
Customer service has always been an important part of every successful business. But research conducted in the last few years suggests that it’s the new frontier. It’s the increasingly important way that your business stands out — for better or for worse. According to Gartner, around 89 percent of businesses are already competing with their level of customer service. And Walker suggests that by 2020, customer experience will be even more important than the product or the price of the product you’re offering.
Now consider this: Businesses already delivering superior service earn between 4 and 8 percent more than the market average and more than 50 percent of customers are willing to spend more money with a company that delivers an excellent experience.
Having an awesome customer support team is one of the important ways that businesses provide that experience. So, what are the skills that customer support specialists need? Let’s look at the top five.
- Communication Skills
This tops CareerBuilder’s list of essential skills for customer support specialists. And for good reason. Your customers expect to interact with professionals who can communicate clearly and help answer their questions, make suggestions and resolve any issues that might come up. That’s equally true for phone calls, emails, text messages, and face-to-face interactions.
- Listening Skills
It’s not enough to keep rolling calls with your power dialer CRM; you need to actually listen to what’s being said on the other end of the call, email or text. Just as communication skills are important, a support specialist’s listening skills also need to be on point. Listening skills are key to understanding what your customers need. Asking questions to clarify the situation, responding to questions, and making appropriate suggestions and recommendations are all part of making customers feel like they’re being heard.
Working in customer support can be satisfying, but it’s not always sunshine and roses. The best of the best can handle any situation without getting agitated, angry or responding inappropriately. Remaining calm, positive and in control is important to providing a good customer experience, especially when there’s an issue that needs to be resolved or your customer is upset.
Customers want to be taken care of. Aggression or a demanding attitude have no place in customer support, but the ability to really hear what your customer is saying, understand what they need and take charge to create the best resolution is essential. It also instills confidence in customers and lets them know that they can count on you.
Many support specialists work from a series of scripts. It’s a great way to stay on message, maintain consistent responses and adhere to company policies. But you can’t always stick to a script. Customers are bound to surprise you and react in ways that you simply can’t predict. Top performers adapt to the situation and think on their feet.
In addition to having a strong skill set, the best customer support professionals have a secret weapon on their sides — CRMDialer, the best support-oriented CRM. This all-in-one platform has a solid database for keeping lead, prospect and customer files up to date and accessible to everyone on the team. It’s also packed with powerful tools such as:
- Real-time visitor tracking to help you better understand your customers’ interests and possible pain points
- Records that automatically pull up when customers call in so they receive consistent, attentive service no matter who they’re connected with
- Whisper and barge features that allow supervisors to listen in and help out as needed
- Chat for quick, easy collaboration with the rest of the team
- Payment acceptance capabilities using credit cards, ACH transactions and e-checks for ultimate customer convenience
- A built-in helpdesk that assigns tickets to issues and lets you monitor them, ensuring fast and efficient resolutions
Sharpen your skills and get the right technology on your side. CRMDialer implements in less than 60 seconds, so you can be up and running and delivering an amazing customer experience in no time. Check out our unlimited users CRM account options or schedule a demo today.