Key skills to develop in customer facing staff

Customer Service is becoming increasingly important as customers frustrations can now be aired much more easily and with rise of social media much more publicly. It’s no longer just word of mouth businesses have to worry about but word of Facebook, Twitter, forums and ironically enough, blog posts.

One negative experience can lead to a huge loss of potential custom: We all know the impact a bad Trip Advisor review has when searching for our dream holiday and with so much choice why shouldn’t we go elsewhere?

Key to gaining and retaining customers and is great customer service, it’s a great way of to differentiate your business from competitors. So what skills are essential to nurture in customer-facing staff?

Listening: The idea of listening twice as much as we speak, though not entirely practical, holds a valuable lesson. Finding out what the customer want could completely change a conversation and when dealing with someone who’s angry or upset, listening to their grievances can go a long way to calm them down and help to find a solution.

Patience:  People like to feel valued and part of this is time.  Having a customer in a coffee shop queue who doesn’t know what they want is frustrating for all involved. But providing advice and guidance can be a great way of leading them to a decision and whilst this requires time and patience, if the drink is good they’ll remember it.

Communication: Talking to people as people can go a long way in making your customers feel important, reacting to what they say in a positive way can change a conversation from a trial into a good experience for those involved. Being an easy company to deal with can make you that ‘go to’ for that item in a customer’s mind.     

Willingness to learn: At Intec we believe being willing to learn is essential to any role and can really make a difference, not just your customers but to your business in general. No two people are the same and one customer will react to a situation very differently from another. Everyone makes mistakes and it’s identifying where a situation went wrong, learning from it and gaining the skills and knowledge to handle it similar situations in the future, that will help your business go from strength to strength.

Deliver on promises: Okay so it’s not a skill, but being able to follow through on the things you’re saying is essential to keeping customers satisfied. If you promise something will last 10 years, make sure it will last 10 years.  One way to combat ‘false promises’  is making sure your customer-facing team have a sound product knowledge, with regular training updates as new products come out. Maybe even experiment with ways of selling them with a couple of role play activities.

For more information on visit the Customer Service or Retail page and download our factsheets or call 0808 100 1155.