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You don’t need to be a customer service personnel to have basic customer service skills. So, even if you’re not one, this article is for you. At one point or the other in our lives, we sell things. In fact, we sell ourselves daily. That is, we put out images of our personalities out there. However we present ourselves is how we would be perceived. Our interactions with others, also reflect how well (or not) we are able to communicate with others.

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This said, as a business owner or business person, you are constantly in contact with customers. This means you will need to treat them well, so they can patronize you again. In this article, I highlight tips on how you can improve on your customer service skills.

Communicate clearly

Confusing your customers on what you provide will be the last thing you will want to do. You need to communicate clearly to them. Your brand message, voice and tone should be clear and consistent, so they can tell what value they derive from you.

Be empathetic

There will be certain times when deliveries go south. Be human enough to understand this. You aren’t a robot.

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Empathize with them and try to render help as much and as quickly as possible. Always end the conversation with “Is there anything else I can help you with?” This lets them know that you have their best interests at heart.

Admit mistakes

Customers need to get value for their money. However, there might be situations where things go wrong and cases like the “what I ordered vs what I got” occur. Do not claim rights at such periods. When you make a service delivery mistake, admit it. It is the first step to proffering solutions to the customer. Respond professionally and courteously, even when the customer seems to have an outburst. Don’t be caught exchanging words. Be nice and be solution-oriented. How you handle a customer’s complaint will determine whether or not they will return. If it occurs in a place like a social media comment section, other customers and prospects will have an immediate positive opinion of your brand.

Listen actively

Sometimes, all the solution your customers need is a listening ear. Truthfully, some brands find it hard to give their customers a chance to be heard and understood. This can make your brand stand out from your competitors. When a customer calls up or engages in a chat or even sends an email, be attentive first.

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Try to understand their point of view. Even if what they have to say could be inconsequential, listen. That way, you will know how to proffer solutions. Never shut off a customer. Listen, understand, and respond with nothing but solutions.

Improve your technical skills

This has to do with your response systems and entire customer support system. Have the right technology and know how to use them effectively. For instance, you should be advanced in your knowledge and use of email response platforms, social media and live chats, if available. Avoid technical errors like sending the wrong message, sending a mail to the wrong email address, incorrect spelling and bad use of language. These speak volume of your brand.

Know your products or services well

Ever had an experience where a customer service agent asked you to be on hold for a long while or couldn’t give you the needed assistance? These usually happen due to inadequate knowledge of the product or service offered by the company. To be good at customer service, you must have an in-depth knowledge of your product or service so you can render swift assistance to your customers.

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This article was first published on 31st October 2022


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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