Being a great client service representative requires a lot of different skills and qualities, each of which is critical to the role.
Clients expect a high level of professionalism when they need help, and since customer support is critical to a successful business, it makes the position that much more important.
So what does it take to become the best client service representative? You need to build a strong sense of empathy, communication, and education in your service.
Let's walk through what you should work on to be the best of the best.
Have the Right Tools
Customer service representatives need to have the right tools in order to do the best job possible; even a high-class representative could improve with the proper hardware and software.
Having a team of agents equipped with the proper software like a CRM, an intuitive search engine for help articles, and an insight tool are all essentials when it comes to optimizing the client service experience.
Other tools are also necessary; even ones that might seem less important can play a big role in your performance.
Having the right phone system, a reliable computer, and even a supportive chair can significantly impact your success as a client service representative.
To be the best client service representative, you need to have up-to-date tools and software- With how far technology has come, it would be a shame not to make the most of it.
Patience is Key
More often than not, your customers are reaching out to the support team because something isn't working or they're unhappy.
Whether or not the user is irritated or short with you, your job is to help them figure out what's wrong and find the solution. At no point does this include losing your cool.
That's why being patient is critical when it comes to being a successful client service representative. Your calm energy will help the customer focus on the problem at hand, and they'll greatly appreciate your patience with them.
Other times, your customer might not have the strongest understanding of the product or even what some might consider basic skills when it comes to your content.
Imagine that you're a customer service representative for a technology company, and a user comes to you with a question, but they aren't nearly as familiar with the tool or even certain browser functions.
If the steps required to troubleshoot the issue include these aspects that they aren't as comfortable with, you might have to walk them through what to do patiently.
Staying patient and supportive of them in this process will help you find the solution faster and ease the tension on their end.
Listen to the User
There may be times when a user reaches out to customer service with a problem that they aren't too sure how to describe. This might be more common than you think.
It's incredibly useful for service representatives to listen to the user's problems and even ask questions to help guide them to what's actually going on. If they aren't educated in the tool enough to know how to describe what the issue is, it's your job to help get them there so you can both find the resolution.
Communicate With Clarity
As we've mentioned, communication with your user is going to be an essential part of a successful customer service experience.
While the customer might have a bit of a struggle communicating on their end for whatever reason, your responses should be crystal clear.
Whether you're asking for more information regarding their issue or giving them troubleshooting directions to test their system, direct and positive verbal or online communication will make a big difference.
Respond to Tickets Quickly
No matter what industry your business is in or what service you provide, time is extremely valuable to your users.
Most expect a response from the client service representative department within a few hours, if not sooner, so it's critical to attend to user messages swiftly.
Even if you're simply acknowledging their concerns and returning to resolve them shortly, make sure that your customers feel like you're taking them and their time seriously.
Make Sure You Answer All of Their Questions
Once you've identified and solved or escalated the user's problem, make sure to clarify that you've covered everything that they need. There might be more than the customer is having an issue with, or their original problem might still need a bit of clarification.
The user should walk away from the customer service experience feeling confident in the company and the reason that they came to you in the first place.
Confirm that they have all of the information that they need before signing off with them so that they know you aren't just there to solve their ticket and leave, but rather you care about their time and commitment to the company.
Know Your Product Inside and Out
This one might seem obvious, but a successful customer service representative needs to know everything there is about their product or content.
To efficiently solve tickets, you'll need a confident background in what your company provides. Suppose, for example; you were a customer service representative for a SaaS company that provides automated communications to a sales team to optimize and personalize the user experience.
If a user reaches out regarding their messages not syncing between inboxes, you wouldn't want to waste time researching that topic.
Instead, you should be well-versed enough to quickly identify the issue they are facing and provide several troubleshooting instructions—even pre-written articles from the help pages of your company website.
Provide a Level of Positivity
You might start to notice a pattern in some of these essentials; positive and clear communication can't be under stress when it comes to client support representatives.
We certainly don't mean that you should lose any professionalism when speaking with clients, and you may find that certain users respond better to a calm tone.
But generally speaking, your phrasing and communication should be light and positive. You're there to support the user and provide them with helpful information, but you also want to make sure that they have a good experience when speaking with you.
Keep your tone polite, balanced with a level of positivity. Your happiness will hopefully ease their tension while you find the proper solution to their issue.
Empathize With Your Customer
As anyone who has worked in customer service can tell you, there will be times when the user is a little stressed. Particularly if your company offers a service to the sales team of other businesses, in which case their time is extremely valuable, and tensions can be high.
Always try to empathize with your users and be as helpful as possible. Their situation could have high stakes that you aren't aware of, and they could lead to a bit of a sharp attitude on the customer end.
As a customer service representative, you are the voice of the company. But their frustrations aren't with you personally.
Remember that their stress doesn't need to rub off on you because that would only get in the way of finding the solution that they need.
Practice Time Management
Have we mentioned how valuable time is to your users? You have a limited amount of time to assist your users, so how you manage that time is a major aspect of a client service position.
Know your limitations and abilities, and don't be afraid to ask for assistance. The odds are that someone around you might know the answer you're looking for, which is a much better way to spend your time than digging around the help pages.
Juggling customers who need answers immediately can be a bit stressful, but a great service representative should be able to handle an appropriate workload and be able to support multiple customers- Without taking too much time or losing their cool.
Client support representatives are responsible for taking care of users who have a hard time with some business element. Whether it's the service or product provided by the company or an aspect of the website, or something else, the representative is the main line of support.
Users won't always be overjoyed to be needing to speak with customer service because it more than likely means what they need to be doing has been put on hold.
Remember to empathize with the customer and not let their frustration affect your performance. Remain calm and positive when speaking with them.
Having a confident level of education in your product or service is essential. So is having the proper technology and software to help cut down on the time it takes to help users solve their issues.