There are many skills that a customer service manager needs to succeed in their chosen career. In addition to dealing with customers, you will also be managing a team of customer service representatives, and you will need to understand how to do this effectively. When applying for jobs, you should show the essential skills required for a customer service manager and be able to give examples to prove you have these skills.
The best way to show any skill on a CV is by giving details of your experience and training that can back up your claims. It is best to show real-life specific examples of how you’ve displayed various skills in your previous roles and provide details of training received from recognised institutions.
Communication is a crucial skill for any manager, as you will need to communicate the business’s needs to your employees effectively. Likewise, you will need to be able to communicate with higher management within your business and be capable of communicating your team’s needs to them.
Communication is also vital for interacting with customers. As a manager, you will often need to deal with the most complex customers that may be beyond the skills or experience of members of your team. Being able to communicate effectively with customers from all walks of life is vital.
2. Time Management
A manager must be an effective timekeeper to be successful in their role. You’ll be keeping many plates spinning throughout your time as a customer service manager, and it is vital that you have a good grasp on everything happening in the office at any given time. You’ll need to organise your time to allow enough opportunity to complete your own tasks while having time to give to your employees when they need your help.
A big part of any manager’s job is helping identify and nurture future talent in your team. You will need to assess the skills of your employees to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you determine how they could be further trained to unlock their potential and help them flourish in their careers. Progression and development are crucial for retaining your staff, so it is essential to mentor all employees and provide them with the tools they need to feel valued in the organisation.
Patience is crucial during challenging situations, and it is your job to keep a calm and collected demeanour and help resolve any issue that may arise. It may help to learn some techniques to help you remain calm and poised even in high-pressure situations.
You need to demonstrate that you can handle the challenging parts of a manager’s role with the patience and empathy your team and customers deserve.
Negotiation is a skill that is crucial for managing employees and dealing with customers. You will need to understand how to approach different negotiations using different styles and methods. Confidence is vital in negotiation, so you should practise this skill in as many areas of your life as possible. Getting quality training in negotiation can be a great way to improve your abilities. The London School of Economics and Political Sciences negotiation online course is an excellent example of courses that could benefit customer service managers.
6. Problem Solving
There are all kinds of problems you might be required to help solve as a manager in the customer service industry. This ranges from issues that customers may have with their orders to problems faced by the wider business. You’ll need to demonstrate that you can think outside the box and develop practical solutions under pressure or tight deadlines.
7. Product Expertise
A crucial skill for anyone working in the customer service industry is expertise in the products or services your business sells. This is crucial for any employee but even more vital for a manager. You should be able to show that you know your business’s offerings inside and out and can answer any question from a customer, employee, or higher manager.
Any good manager should be able to empathise with their employees. It is also a vital skill for a customer service representative, as you will need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes to find the best ways to resolve a query or complaint. When approaching any situation at work, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider why they may be reacting like that and what could make you act like that yourself. This will help you understand their reasons and avoid being reactive.
Delegation is often one of the trickier skills for managers to learn, particularly new managers transitioning from an entry-level position to a supervising role. It is often all too tempting to try to do everything yourself, but all this will result in you burning out and your team feeling that you don’t trust them completely.
Delegation should be done in all areas of your working life, and you should look for the right employees to delegate tasks to, who will be able to complete the jobs well. You should also provide training for employees who might need help with assignments and projects you delegate to them.
10. Conflict Resolution
Conflict in the workplace can be a serious issue, costing businesses in the UK billions of pounds each year. Workplace conflict can make employees less productive, more stressed and more difficult to retain. As a manager, it is your job to ensure that workplace conflicts are resolved effectively or, better yet, don’t arise, to begin with.
You will be responsible for dealing with interpersonal conflicts between employees in your team, and you should look for ways that you can prevent issues from arising, to begin with. This could be by sitting down with employees and moderating a productive discussion to help resolve any problems. You will also need to be able to identify stress points in the working process that could result in conflict if not addressed.
As a manager, you will be in charge of organising shifts, distributing work and ensuring your team have all they need to meet their targets. This requires significant organisational skills, and the manager’s organisational ability can make or break the team’s performance.
You should lead by example and ensure that you have a plan of action for every business day, along with an overarching plan for the week, month, quarter and so on. This should include prioritisation of the different tasks at hand, estimating the time it will take for projects to be completed and monitoring your team to see if they are successfully meeting their weekly targets.
All of the above skills can be invaluable to display on your CV when applying for customer service management roles. It is essential that you are able to prove that you have these skills using a mix of training and real-life experience. While training alone can be an excellent starting block for different skills, often the real test is applying these in your working life, and this is what employers will want to see on your CV.