One factor can set your business apart from the rest, bring about the kind of loyalty that lasts a lifetime and generate word-of-mouth recommendations that practically do your marketing work for you. It all comes down to customer service.
As businessman Sam Walton once said: “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.”
For a contact center, customer service is of the utmost importance. The whole purpose of a contact center is to manage customer interactions and provide efficient, knowledgeable service to better every customer’s experience.
Our contact center agents are among the best of the best, learning everything there is to know about your business, adhering to strong security standards and delivering results in sales, customer care, and support. Of course, there is always a new skill, a technique tweak or a compelling resource that can make customer service that much better. We have collected these free resources to help improve your customer service skills.
Blog Posts, Articles, and Infographics
Sometimes, all it takes to refresh and improve customer service skills is a read-through of someone else’s perspective. Here are a few of the blog posts, articles, and infographics we have found helpful in encouraging customer service professionals to reach ever higher.
“10 Essential Customer Support Skills Every Rep Needs” (HubSpot): This article by Swetha Amaresan breaks down service to its essential elements. Amerasan reminds us of these top 10 skills: patience, empathy, improvisation, positivity, persuasiveness, competency, product knowledge, understanding, emotional intelligence, and adaptability. She does this while high-lighting statistics that prove why these factors are so important. Amerasan also gives practical advice as to how to put these skills into action. Any time you need a refresher, articles like these are quick, effective reads.
“Top 10 Things Not to Say to Angry Customers” (Helprace): Another top 10 list, this one covers the phrases most likely to make an unhappy customer feel worse, as well as much-preferred alternative statements.
“11 Types of Difficult Customers and How to Handle Them” (Fundera): Anyone involved in customer service knows that not every customer is a delight. That said, difficult customers are the hardest to win but often will become your biggest champions if you can correctly handle the situation. This infographic highlights the most commonly challenging customers you may encounter, complete with tips on how to help each one successfully.
“10 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew About Them” (Help Scout): This infographic helps customer service professionals remember their empathy and work toward understanding customers and their needs. It is all based on social psychology research and designed to improve the way professionals and businesses relate to their clients.
Videos are an excellent resource for improving customer service skills. Sit back, relax, and take in these presentations from industry experts without having to leave the comfort of your home.
“Hostmanship: the Art of Making People Feel Welcome” (TEDxMaastricht):
In this video, Jan Gunnarsson talks about how attitude matters more than strategies and tactics when it comes to customer service. While Gunnarsson is a hospitality industry veteran, his concept is applicable to customer service representatives in all industries. It all comes down to remembering that everyone is human, and that customer service reps play an important role as the professionals to whom customers turn with their needs.
“I Was Seduced By Exceptional Customer Service” (TEDxBryantU): This video features John Boccuzzi Jr., who explains how the companies he’s been loyal to for decades convinced him to stick around.
“It’s what they all have in common,” he explains in the video. “They all focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences each and every day.”
In this video, Boccuzzi dives into how giving customers what they need is different than giving them what they think they want, and how that promotes long-term loyalty like his own.
Customer Service vs. Customer Experience
Author: Flamingo Images.
(Valuetainment): Part of an article by Patrick Bet-David, this video asks viewers to identify their own lists of preferred companies and why they are loyal to those businesses. The qualities that keep people coming back are often applicable across the board, including customer service and better yet, customer experience, the proactive, personalized approach to meeting customer needs.
From webinars to e-books, the internet is a constantly evolving treasure trove of information that can help improve customer service skills. Here are a few of our selected favorites.
1. Scripts for Sales and Customer Service
(Comm100): While some may not want or need to follow a generic customer-service script, these prompts are a good way to spark some ideas around what chat service looks like and how it can be improved. It also shows what the most common scenarios are, so you can consider their approaches to these situations and whether they are meeting the mark.
2.Technical Support Fundamentals
(Coursera): A free online course offered by Google, this specifically focuses on information technology support while diving into customer service skills, including problem-solving methodologies. It takes students through real-world scenarios, requiring them to use empathy and strong communication to successfully manage their roles.
3. Support Ops Podcast
A weekly podcast designed to help professionals deliver better customer support and experiences, Support Ops is well worth the listen. Check out “Customer Support is a Feature,” an additional article that explains exactly how strong customer service can set a business apart from its competitors and why it’s worth every penny. They also have a Slack community for other support professionals, offering real-time assistance and camaraderie.
4. The Helpful Newsletter
(Userchamp): For an ongoing list of articles all about learning from users and building great products, this newsletter subscription will continually deliver the latest and greatest information to those who want to stay on top of industry trends and new ideas in the world of customer support and user experience.