9 Key Customer Service Soft Skills for Customer Service that Enhance Customer Engagement

9 Key Customer Service Soft Skills for Customer Service that Enhance Customer Engagement

This infograph displays customer service soft skills - such as: creative problem-solving, follow-up questioning, and effectiveness in properly-starting conversations.

As has been our custom recently, we’ve been going over stellar tips to ensuring global businesses – like your own – can foster next-level customer engagement through each communication channel that steadily-increases customer acquisition/retention, enhances your long-term brand image/brand reputation/brand loyalty, and secures long-term sales success through a dominant competitive drive in the global market. Last week, we culminated our recent articles with 9 excellent customer service skills every service rep should master to foster top-tier CX; therein, we offered practical insight into how customer service representatives (CSRs) can communicate with customers in a way that engagement is enhanced, leading to quality CX that builds rapport/trust with global consumers and ensures greater customer loyalty.

To expand on last week’s article, we’ll provide you 9 key customer service soft skills for customer service that your CSRs can employ within pre-sales/after-sales customer conversations to create amazing customer engagement that motivates repeat customers to remain long-term customers, further enhancing your long-term competition in the global sales market, leading to long-term, global sales growth, permanence, and success.

9 Key Customer Service Soft-skills for Customer Service that are Guaranteed to Enhance Customer Engagement

Let’s dive right into 9 crucial customer service soft skills for customer service that ensure high-quality customer engagement, leading to fantastic CX:

Ambiguity Management

Product knowledge is a crucial point of friction between customers/support reps; though your CSRs may be product experts, knowing all technical lingo associated with your products/services, customers may be unable to meet your CSRs’ level of detail expectations to properly handle their technical support needs. As such, managing ambiguity is crucial to successfully-meeting customer support needs and ensuring customer enjoyment of products/services; a 3rd party mentioned: ambiguity management refers to acting without having the full picture – meaning that, when customers don’t provide all required info., your CSRs’ must put the puzzle pieces together and solve the grand picture. CSRs can start with what they know, figuring out which fundamentals will lead to progress. This means asking key questions, using examples to illustrate ideas, and trusting their troubleshooting skills will lead to effective solutions. Customers should leave each engagement feeling like they’ve collaborated with your CSRs properly and successfully contributed to their own success.

Creative Problem-solving

When ambiguity or strong complexity is present, creativity is necessary to offer effective solutions; competent CSRs are excellent problem solvers, coming-up with clever solutions that overcome roadblocks when needed. To become better problem solvers, CSRs should challenge themselves to think differently; ensure they don’t immediately jump on the first solution – but, make a list of potential solutions and weigh their cons/pros. If possible, CSRs should collaborate together on mutual ideas and receive collaborative feedback regarding the best solutions; your CSRs should have an open mind and listen to new perspectives that can help identify the best solutions and/or come up with new ideas to solve customer problems.

Active Listening

It’s essential for CSRs to actively listen to customers – meaning they’ll need to hear what’s said and base responses off customer feedback rather than a script or personal feelings. The truth is, customers want CSRs to go beyond hearing – they want to be understood from the get-go. Rather than having CSRs proactively think about what they’re going to say, they should focus on what customers are saying and then be prepared to repeat those details back while resolving product/service issues; this shows that your company’s CSRs hear what customers say while understanding their service needs/goals and how they can help customers navigate the issues on hand.

Effectiveness in Properly Starting Conversations

Conversation-starting is a crucial customer support soft skill for customer service. As such, small chatter establishes common ground while creating human interaction; this is particularly important during phone-based/live chat-based customer communication – as such interactions are less personal than face-to-face communication. Go-to conversation-starters are important on-hand. Some examples are:

  • asking about the weather,
  • work experiences,
  • hobbies, and/or
  • anything that keeps customers engaged.

Your CSRs must remember to remain professional/respectful – regardless of the conversation-starters used.

Empathy & Understanding

These are fundamental to customer support – however, they’re difficult for CSRs to master if they don’t understand customer needs and/or the roadblocks preventing customers from having needs met – thus making genuine empathy difficult to show since affected CSRs don’t comprehend the repercussions of the issues being faced. One way to demonstrate empathy is by reiterating to customers what they know about their support needs. Have your CSRs talk about the situation, how the issue(s) occurred, and why they’re significant to the customer. Having CSRs show they understand customer issues will make each customer feel they’re being valued and more likely to receive their needed product/service solutions.

Positive, Professional Vocab

While CSRs can’t control customer issues’ significance, they can control how the level of significance sounds to customers; as such, if pessimistic language/over-exaggeration is proportioned, customers will feel that CSRs are incompetent to resolve their issues – which is counterintuitive to quality CX. Support reps should demonstrate confidence before customers; while being transparent/straightforward about the severity of customer issues is important, they should couple honesty with the assurance that they’ll overcome customers’ issues’ roadblocks and resolve them.

Time Management

Time is one common denominator generally-present in every support case; customers will have deadlines for when it’s expected that CSRs respond to their service cases. Setting response time SLAs that outline when customers can expect responses is crucial to ensuring customers’ needs are handled efficiently – which ensures strong customer engagement experiences. Furthermore, consistently-meeting these expectations is the key to building rapport/developing trust with your customer base.

Body Language (Whether Physical, Vocal, or Virtual)

Body language makes or breaks customer support interactions – there’s no in-between; a 3rd party demonstrates: 55% of all successful communication (direct or in-direct) is dictated by professional body language. Even when CSRs aren’t communicating face-to-face, body language still plays a crucial role in how messages are delivered to customers. For example, breathing patterns affect word distribution – and, facial expressions influence tone of voice – so, it’s important to have your CSRs always keep their body language in check to ensure empathy/optimism is proportioned, leading to successful customer conversations that influence long-term customer loyalty.

Follow-up Questioning

Customer service agents should ask customers practically as many questions as they provide answers to – which shows a genuine interest in customer support cases and that your CSRs are searching for the most effective, efficient solutions. If customers’ questions are answered without questions also being asked on behalf of your CSRs, customers’ product knowledge during troubleshooting will only be leveraged. By asking follow-up questions and going deeper, CSRs can uncover intuitive solutions that customers may not have ever considered before, creating strong problem-solving – especially when customers have been dealing with complex and/or reoccurring issues for some time.

Callnovo’s Customer Service Outsourcing Solutions Guarantee High-quality Customer Engagement/Top-tier CX

2 customer service agents collaborate on how best to handle a Big Tech brand’s customer’s complex after-sales troubleshooting request; the entire team of 5 CSRs know how to demonstrate key customer service soft skills for customer service – also known as interpersonal skills (intrapersonal skills) – in order to foster top-tier customer engagement that builds strong rapport/trust with customers.

To compliment the above-mentioned customer service soft skills for customer service that enhance customer engagement, we at Callnovo Contact Center support businesses – like your very own – with strong customer service outsourcing solutions, ensuring top-tier CX, leading to heightened customer acquisition/retention and long-term brand loyalty.

Some of our outsourcing advantages are:

  • High-quality Expertise: our global CS teams share expert service backgrounds/skills to ensure quality service with the utmost success; we ensure personnel are skilled in such areas as:
    • interpersonal communication,
    • customer-centric enthusiasm/service attitude,
    • logical thinking,
    • management/operations, and
    • product/troubleshooting.
  • Omnichannel Support: our CS teams ensure accessible contact solutions through all communication channels (i.e. phone, live chat, SMS, email, social media, etc.) – guaranteeing always-available support, leading to enhanced CX and influencing long-term brand ambassadorship/customer loyalty.
  • Native Language Support: our native language support ensures customers’ needs are met efficiently, conforming to cultural expectations, improving brand loyalty.
  • Full Coverage: our tailored plans ensure you can maximize customer satisfaction/CX by continually meeting customer needs – without limit.

Conclusion

Via the above-mentioned key customer service soft skills for customer service every CSR should master to enhance customer engagement, your CS teams’ CSRs can proportion top-tier CX that further builds your brand’s long-term customer base, leading to strong, long-term competition in the global sales market – as well as long-term, global sales growth, permanence, and success. To fully support that reality, our Callnovo Contact Center offers a comprehensive multilingual, omnichannel customer service outsourcing solution to help your business meet customers’ CX expectations, improving customer acquisition/retention numbers and securing global sales success.

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