3 must-have skills for a successful Customer Service.
Customer service is not just a support function; it is the heart and soul of a future-proof business. Successful customer service can be the defining factor that sets a company apart in a competitive marketplace. It's about creating a rapport with customers that fosters loyalty, results in repeated business, and creates advocates out of clients. Transmitting the right customer service skills to teams is paramount to ensuring they not only meet but exceed customer expectations, turning every interaction into a strategic advantage.
What is customer service?
Customer service involves offering support to both potential and current customers. Customer service professionals address customer inquiries through various channels such as in-person, phone, email, chat, and social media (sometimes even all at once). They may also be responsible for creating self-service support documentation.
Practically speaking, though, customer service is a regular part of everyone’s life. We’ve all faced issues that needed resolution, whether when using a music streaming app, making travel arrangements, managing our bills, and more. In these situations, we’ve relied on support agents to assist us.
The complexity of the path projected to get us to speak to agents and resolve our issues makes the difference between a good and a bad day for us, and between a failing and a successful business for the company we’re calling. This emphasizes the importance of developing excellent customer service skills for teams in any business.
What makes customer service good or bad?
But how can one determine what constitutes good customer service? What are the skills required to make a business stand out in the market? How can one know if customers are really satisfied?
Well, delivering a positive customer service experience is not a matter of chance; it requires patience, professionalism, and going the extra mile (even when customers seek assistance at the last minute of the workday 😉).
Now, I understand that any list of qualities and characteristics for optimal customer service will inevitably be incomplete. Each situation is unique, and the ideal combination of operational, technological, and interpersonal skills varies. There is no one-size-fits-all formula.
However, based on our experience in Imagicle Support, we have identified some essential characteristics that help us provide effective assistance and support to our clients, increase customer retention, and foster trust and loyalty. Today we’re focusing on human and interpersonal skills, rather than tools.
3 key customer service skills
Companies are slowly making progress toward effortless and simpler customer experiences. Now, when I think of the word “effortless”, my mind goes straight to the experience I have with Amazon, i.e., the most hassle-free customer care and return process.
This is why people prefer to spend maybe a little bit more, but buy on Amazon: they know that if something goes wrong, they’ll find a support service ready to solve any problem in the twinkling of an eye. This can be summed up in a central concept: simplicity.
With Imagicle’s support team, this is the first fundamental skill we try to provide to our customers. Always.
First of all, our customer service team can speak 7 different languages: Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic. You may think that’s a minor thing – that English, as a universal language, should be enough. But imagine a supervisor who has a big issue, a dead system on the one hand and a bothered customer breathing down his neck. Do you think that talking the same language and solve the problem quickly is something of secondary importance?
Also, we have a delivery team dedicated to setting up and configuring solutions in production. Zero-effort for the customer, and the right solution “keys in hand”. Thanks to these pre and post-sales technical structures, involving people with transversal skills, and contact with different situations worldwide, we can create an extremely tailored customer service, organized and shaped on the real needs of our customers.
Last but not least, our team is available via phone, email, website chat, Webex, a dedicated support portal, and more – we let customers choose which channels suits them best, making it more convenient for them to reach out to us and cutting down on waiting times.
We live in a high-speed global economy where companies must assist customers through many time zones. Everyone expects prompt customer service responses, even at night and on weekends. At Imagicle, we can count on a technical support team distributed in three different locations and time zones: Italy, UAE (Dubai) and the USA(Miami). Working together, we are able to provide a combined 18 hours a day of coverage. With a follow-the-sun customer service model, issues can be handled by and transferred among offices in different time zones to increase responsiveness and reduce delays. Moreover, we are available to help over time, during holidays, and whenever customers request our assistance, and this has always made the difference. Ask us for a hand: we’ll give you an arm!
3. Communication and knowledge.
Personally, there are a couple of things that drive me nuts when calling customer services.
The first one is the endless wait, half an hour on a lucky day. During those thirty long minutes, while hanging on, I have one recurring thought dwelling in my mind: never again!
The second one is that I need to repeat myself. It happens when the “first level” support is unable to help on my problem, so I need to repeat everything to second level.
…Oh, and when the call drops? What a disaster! Need to start from scratch, wait for another half an hour and then (obviously) there is no way to get in touch with the previous operator.
Experiences like these depend on old CRM technologies, internal dysfunction and lack of a customer-oriented skills.
At Imagicle, we think technology should make customer experience better and satisfying, not more confusing. That’s why we own and use the tools, skills, workflows, and attitudes to support our customers through different communication channels: web, e-mail, phone, live chat, dedicated support portal, all handled within a “single pane of glass” on our side, to use a nowadays popular term.
So, let’s suppose you need help because your Imagicle Attendant Console won’t let you transfer calls. You can write a message on our website chat and, automatically, there will be a ticket opened on our support portal, where you can see updates to your case. If by any chance you need to call us, you’ll pick the conversation up where you left it on the chat. No repeating, no unaware support engineer that doesn’t know anything about your case – every channel is interconnected, available to all relevant Imagicle customer service agents.
Most of our customer inquiries cannot be solved by a one-size-fits-all response, so we need to mix and match channels to create an efficient support workflow catered to each customer’s specific need – we think of customer service as a partnership, something about building a relationship, developing skills, and helping customers succeed. By handling hundreds of support inquiries per month with agents across various teams, we’ve earned our customers’ trust, and last year our technical support service reached 97.2% of CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score), well above the global benchmark of 85 percent.
And we owe much of this result simply to the ability to listen – one of the most underrated things ever. After all, as the old saying goes “you have two ears and only one mouth for a reason”.
I hope that you now have an estimate on why providing good customer care is essential to your organization’s success. Roll up your sleeves, respond to complaints in a timely fashion, never hesitate to offer your help and be the nicest guy you know. We wrote it on the wall and we never get tired of repeating it: it’s always a matter of happy people!