Essential Customer Service Skills by David Eghbali - Part Two
While essential customer service skills are both learned and practiced it might come as a surprise to many of us that our customer service skills, as a nation, are actually getting worse as technology is advancing. So much of customer service requires personal, face-to-face conversation and communication but with all of our social media habits and the amount of time that we spend on these sites we are losing the ability to communicate in this way. This is having a negative effect on customer service skills across the nation.
Can we relearn some of the customer service skills that we’ve been losing due to the amount of time that we spend with technology? Of course some skills come more naturally to some than others but all of these skills are best learned through practice and repetition. When you gain the ability to practice patience, attentiveness, pride, knowledge of the products you are working with, keep a positive attitude, learn the skills of persuasion and improve with ease, you’ll be well on your way to succeeding as a customer service representative.
A talented customer service representative will embody the aforementioned skills but there are also a handful of lifelong skills that anyone can practice to enhance their customer service skills.
According to David Eghbali, learning is one of the greatest gifts that we can give ourselves. Humans have the most incredible capacity to absorb information like sponges and share their findings with the world around them. Becoming a lifelong learner by reading often, staying up to date on current events and researching the things that interest you make you more than just an educated and informed citizen (which will help you succeed in your customer service conversations), it will also make you a more interesting person.
When people discover that you have things to say (and that they’re actually interesting!) they’ll be more likely to listen. That’s what every customer service rep wants, right? Someone to listen to them and trust them, to take their advice? Trust us; you’ll want to keep practicing this one.
If you asked David Eghbali about the importance of work versus play he’d probably say something like, “They’re both equally important.” Don’t forget to take time to do the things that you love. Spend time with your passions. People who dedicate a little bit of time to do the things that they love each week, whether it is writing, knitting, going fishing or taking a motorcycle ride, etc.) are happier, more confident and are more likely to succeed professionally because they have a stable and healthy emotional as well as personal life.
What would happen if you began to see every experience, conversation, opportunity and moment of your day as something that could help you in your professional life and vice versa? So many people think that what they learn in the workplace needs to stay in the workplace and similarly that what they learn at home or in their relationships with others (emotional and personal lives) should stay out of the workplace.
Why set up a divide between these things and take a dual approach to them? What if you began see every experience and one that could strengthen and enhance another part of your life? When you begin to transcend and include each experience into an integral working out of how you live in the world you begin to succeed in every sphere of life.
This is an important one, says David Eghbali. People can tell if and when you’re lying or if you are not into the product you are trying to sell them. An essential part of great customer service requires you to be as honest and as sincere as possible.
This is a skill that you can practice on a daily basis, both inside and outside of the workplace. This is also applicable to mood and emotions. If you’re really faking that smile people will be able to tell and you, as well as your products, will seem fake and deflated in the eyes of your customer.
Practice clear communication skills in all parts of your life. Practice with your spouse by asking questions of clarification and expressing in great detail how you’re feeling. Practice with your co-workers and your friends. Practice in the things that you write by avoid being vague and stay away from words that are generalizing. Practicing clear communication in every sphere of your life can only help you in your profession when you step onto the floor and whip out your customer service skills.
Can listening to someone and empathizing with their problems, their pain or their joy actually win you money? David Eghbali seems to think so. Empathy is one of the greatest keys to both life and great customer service. It requires us to consider more than just ourselves and care for the needs of others by listening to them and being willing to really hear them. As a customer service representative you know this better than anyone. You want to be heard and you appreciate it when you feel listened to. It’s no different for your clients, your kids or your friends.
Final thoughts for consideration
In addition to the skills that we have mentioned, David Eghbali would agree with me that there is always room for improvement and for expansion in skills beyond the aforementioned ones. Other essential customer service skills include but are not limited to: Professionalism, organization, the ability to show and give a mutual respect to everyone you are coming into contact with, the ability to identify and anticipate needs, flexibility, strong time management skills, product solving skills, the ability to work well independently and as part of a team, and so much more.
In an age where overall customer service is decreasing and consumers are being consistently turned off by negative shopping experiences, David Eghbali thinks that it could make all the difference for your business to practice and embody even just a few of these skills.