7 Essential Skills to Look For in Your Customer Service Team Members

According to a report published by Salesforce Research, 89% of consumers are more likely to make repeat purchases from companies that provide a positive customer service experience.

Consequently, a report by Zendesk states that 64% of business leaders say that customer service plays a vital role in their company’s growth.

With both organizations and consumers placing significant value on excellent customer service, all companies should never ignore the importance of this key business element.

Working with one of the top customer service outsourcing companies can guarantee you get the best team to provide the support and assistance your consumers are looking for.

With their help, you can grow your business and achieve your other company goals.

What to Look For in Customer Service Representatives to Hire

Knowing the skills customer service representatives (CSRs) should have is crucial for building a team you can rely on.

But what are the most important customer service representative skills you should look for in your potential team members as you work with your outsourcing partner during the selection process? Below are the seven you should prioritize:

1.    Excellent communication skills.

Communication is one of the most important soft skills employers look for in candidates for all job positions.

For customer service roles, it is the top skill to look for in all candidates.

Your customer service representatives should be able to make the people they speak with feel that they are being listened to and can get the help they need.

They can only do this when they have good oral and written communication skills. When they are confident, fluent, articulate and persuasive when speaking with customers, they are in a better position to assist them and resolve any issues successfully.

For any position that requires providing the best quality of customer care and support, verbal and written communication and active listening skills are always essential.

2.    Relationship-building skills.

This group of abilities pertains to the combination of soft skills a person uses to connect with others and establish and maintain positive relationships.

Examples of these abilities include empathy, listening and verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

CSRs need these skills so that they can facilitate engaging conversations and build a good rapport with the people they speak with.

Additionally, they must be experts in giving each customer a unique experience. This usually starts with asking simple questions, such as their name and the assistance they need, and providing customized suggestions and advice based on the given information.

Relationship-building skills are also crucial for customer service representatives since they have to be honest and humble, and apologize when necessary. They have to know when to avoid making promises they can’t keep as well.

3.    Problem-solving skills.

CSRs must know how to get into the exact cause and nature of any issue and resolve it in a timely and efficient manner without compromising the quality of their service.

In some instances,CSRs have to rely on their creativity and outside-the-box thinking to come up with unique solutions that will address and satisfy the customer’s problems.

Your customer service team can only do this when they have excellent problem-solving skills.

When you have a team of CSRs solving problems independently with little or no supervision, they can speak with more customers faster and more efficiently.

And when they effectively deal with all concerns while maintaining good quality service, you can stand out from your competition. This is because the speed of response and relevance of resolution are integral parts of the customer experience your brand provides.

4.    Time management.

Time management is one of the most critical skills every professional should develop.

It is crucial in customer service since consumers need prompt attention and quick resolutions to their issues.

CSRs also need to demonstrate this skill since they should be able to handle numerous calls every day without being overwhelmed.

CSRs with incredible time-management skills are capable of tracking and staying on top of their different tasks, deadlines and specific customer requests.

When your CSRs work at a consistent pace, they can provide the appropriate service in a timely manner while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction as they go about their day-to-day tasks.

5.    Adaptability.

Adaptability is another skill you should look for in potential customer service team members.

CSRs should be able to adapt to any situation in the blink of an eye since they usually have to change their approach based on the customer’s requirements or temperament at the moment.

Moreover, they should be capable of using different customer service tools to perform their jobs. Whether it’s addressing problems through voice calls, emails or chats, they have to know how to do them correctly and effectively. 

The best flexible CSRs can understand a customer’s needs and customize their approach accordingly and quickly.

They are also always willing to go beyond and change how things are done to meet each customer’s expectations.

Lastly, they can switch between tasks or roles when needed.

6.    Empathy.

Empathy refers to the ability to understand another person’s point of view and emotions.

CSRs who empathize with their customers to understand their problems are more likely to know the cause and provide appropriate, effective resolutions.

When CSRs can put themselves in other people’s shoes, they can deal with any customer, no matter how annoyed or angry they are, in a professional and calm manner.

And when they remain professional and calm, customers can get more than the services they were expecting, which would be a big plus for your branding, marketing and sales efforts.

7.    Patience.

Patience is a virtue but is often considered a skill, especially in the field of customer service.

CSRs have to deal with demanding and rude people constantly. But regardless of the customer’s mood and behavior, your team members should be patient with them and maintain their professionalism at all times.

Patience and empathy often work together. When CSRs are able to remain calm, kind and professional with an irate customer, they are demonstrating these skills successfully.

Taking the time to answer all the client’s or shopper’s questions and not rushing them through their interactions are also examples of patience at work in customer service.

With the help of your outsourcing partner, you can find and have the best CSRs who possess these essential skills and can help propel and sustain your business’s growth and success.