How to Be a Great Customer Service Representative

If you want to become a great CSR, you’ll have to focus on a few essentials. Here are some of the most important skills you need to succeed..

CSR skills being used in a call center

Learn to be Patient

Some think that communication skills are most important for customer service professionals but this isn’t the case. Patience happens to be much more crucial for being a successful expert in the field.

Customer service reps will often have to interact with angry clients, annoying clients or people who simply can’t explain what they really want. A short-tempered individual will never make it past the first few days on the job.

Patience is one of the toughest skills to master. For many people, patient communication simply does not come naturally. Improving your patience is all about taking deep breaths when you feel angry, focusing on your responses and taking some time before blurting out the first thing that comes to your mind.

Also, you should understand that it’s not personal. An angry client doesn’t have anything against you, they’re simply frustrated. Let them vent for a little bit and the conversation will eventually calm down. This is when you’ll get to do your job.

Cultivate Empathy

If you want your clients to be happy, you have to understand their problem and come up with an adequate solution. Customer support reps who are doing the job without building personal relationships will never be as successful as their empathetic colleagues.

In essence, you’ll have to master the art of putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes. This may sound like a cliché but it will have a profound impact on your attitude and the interactions that you have with clients.

To develop empathy, you should dedicate some time each day to surrounding yourself with people who are different from you. Figuring out what motivates, angers and pushes these people forward will reveal just how diverse we all are.

Understand the fact that the feelings of others are valid, even if they seem irrational at first. Attempting to understand a bit more about your clients and why they’re reacting the way they are will enable you to become much more helpful and effective.

Be an Active Listener

Some clients will go on for 20, 30 or even 40 minutes with their problem. It’s nothing but human to switch off and ignore a lot of the chatter.

Active listening, however, is incredibly important for professionals in the field of customer support. Listening will help you understand more about your clients, their problems and the reasons why they’re reacting the way they are. By listening and hearing you’ll be capable of suggesting an adequate solution.

When necessary, you should ask follow-up questions and develop the client’s statement further. The more information you have, the easier it will be to do a good job.

Understand Your Product or Service

You have to be aware of the products you’re offering, their specifics and weaknesses. You should also be aware of the customer profile and the specifics of your target market. The more you educate yourself and the more information you have, the easier it will be to address even the most specific of demands.

Get Creative

Customer service professionals will often have to think fast on their feet and offer creative solutions to clients.

Generic options aren’t always going to do the trick. More and more often, people are looking for personalization from brands. Being able to come up with a satisfactory solution that’s developed just for the needs of the respective client is a skill that the top customer service professionals possess.

Build your career on these essential skills and you’ll have created a solid foundation for future success in customer service.

About the Author

Ellen Goodwright is a writer and “customer service raving fan”. Ellen is currently working on her new book: “365 Tips for Improving Your Customer Service”.

Chief Customer Officers Fall



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