19 Outstanding People Skills of Best Customer Service Reps
by Kate Nasser | 11 Comments »
Best Customer Service Reps: What They Do Well
A Verizon Wireless Customer service rep worked through confusing issues on my account with an inquisitive intelligent approach while taking care (and I do mean care) of me. I would definitely rate her as one of the best customer service reps I have had.
In the past I have written about The 25 Worst Customer Service Stories to Train the Best CSRs. I am very pleased to outline how the best customer service reps use outstanding people skills.
Best Customer Service Reps: Their 19 People Skills Behaviors
- Communicates sincerely and does not recite a script.
- Listens for the customer’s personality and demeanor and then adapts to it.
- Is objective and caring even when the customer is upset and angry.
- Senses the customer’s pace and adapts to it. It varies with personality type, culture, and geographic location.
- Listens to every piece of information the customer offers without jumping over words.
- Shares control of the interaction with the customer instead of driving it through a predetermined path.
- Detects the customer’s level of knowledge and speaks to that level (not above or below).
- Thanks the customer for input during the call not just at the end.
- Apologizes once for the length of time it is taking to resolve it and keeps moving toward resolving it.
- Asks permission to access the customer’s records and then uses the information to go the extra mile.
- Continues to listen to related questions and answers them clearly.
- Uses confusing moments to learn and then teach the customer instead of just saying. “I don’t know.”
- Finds workarounds to obstacles.
- Sounds happy to be at work even when doing overtime or having a tough day.
- Invites future contact by giving an updated phone number to call.
- Uses positive forward focused language instead of negative phrases.
- Shows responsibility and initiative in resolving the problems. Never blames the customer.
- Resolves the current issues and considers future needs to prevent trouble.
- Expresses sincere action-oriented tone of voice throughout the interaction.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said … but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou
As much as I love helping teams to improve poor customer service, I am thrilled when I encounter the best customer service reps and their people skills. I offer my thanks and write letters of praise. Do you?
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
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©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email email@example.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
Sounds like a wonderful experience. Reading this got me thinking. Great servcie goes overlooked many times. Where as the bad service gets talked about over and over. The old word of mouth that can hinder or benifit a business. I wonder if we as consumers spent as much time RAVING about great service and perhaps less time RANTING on the negative, if that, would start to gererate an overall motivation to the world of service providers to go that extra mile.
Thanks for sharing this Kate!
Kate, great post. It is encouraging and rewarding to interact with people who “get it” regarding customer (or any other kind of) service. When they empathize with your level of urgency and bring their personal character, “who-they-are” to resolve your problem, it is energizing and inspires reward in blog posts and repeat business. Kudos to you for passing along the praise.
Thanks for putting the flip side up here 🙂 I agree with your 17 points (if only they were universally embraced in the CSR universe), and I would expand on #11, regarding the work around, to include handling as much of the issue themselves as is possible, versus saying “I can’t do thus and so from my department, I’m going to transfer you.” There is nothing more deadly to a brand’s relationship with its customers than bouncing the customer from person to person, with the associated wait times for each bounce. Much better to be on hold with one person who is running all the interference than to have to repeat the issue over and over again to each new CSR. At the very least, if a CSR truly can’t fix the issue themselves and must involve another person or department, the CRS should stay on the phone during the transfer of the call, and make sure the “hand off” is smooth.
Thanks for starting the day off with some positives!
Allows customer to vent frustration, not indefinitely though, as this can easily turn into verbal abuse. A CSR has the right to respectful conversation/interaction, and to terminate or transfer call or contact if it crosses the line to abuse.
Reflects back what customer says, and checks for accuracy of reflection by asking open questions.
I know most of us have mortgages and obligations so we have to work, but I agree with Seth Godin’s quote: “The less a project or task or opportunity at work feels like the sort of thing you would do if this is just a job, the more you should do it.” Hiring CSRs for characteristics of being energized by interacting with people and problem solving sets everyone off on the right foot!
I really enjoyed reading this post, Kate. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It reminds me that success with customer communication is most often down to attitude.
This is clearly a person who’s attitude is not just positive, but positively inspiring. When we come across someone that is willing to take the time and effort to make your experience with them both pleasurable as well as helpful, it inspires us to do the same. That’s a wonderful kind of infectiousness. After all, it inspired you to write this post and share your pleasure with us. The example makes us want to share it too. In fact, I’m going to send out a link to this post right now over Twitter…
Excellent list, Kate. I especially like your two points about a sincere, unscripted conversation, as well as not blaming the customer. These two points alone can go a long way towards earning a customer’s respect, as they bring an empathetic tone to the conversation.
Excellent list. Now if only we could have more companies that marry excellent quality customer service with excellent product and/or service.
My fiancee and I were getting fed up with the service we were receiving from Blockbuster Online (it has seriously gone downhill in the last couple years–I swear it /used/ to be a better service than Netflix) so we called their special quitting service line. WOW–the CSRs you talk to on that line are incredible. I was so mad when I called and couldn’t help but get calmed down and chit-chat with this CSR. She had all kinds of great answers and explanations for me and suggestions of how to try and optimize the service. We agreed to try it again free of charge for a month. Unfortunately, the actual service just did not even come close to matching the excellent quality of the customer service.
So, alas, I would add that if your product or service doesn’t measure up, then it doesn’t matter how good your CSRs are. You need to have the quality product or service first, and then the excellent customer service second.
Very interesting story Sarah. I am glad you had wonderful service from the CSRs on the “special quitting line” — wouldn’t it be great to have that service on all their customer service lines so that customers would always feel that positive. I do agree with you that if the product the company is delivering doesn’t meet your expectations, you will be dissatisfied and possibly leave. Yet if their product improves you will give them a second chance if the service line has treated you well! The customer service is the relationship base upon which customers give companies a second chance.
Many thanks for sharing your story.
[…] Best Customer Service Reps: Their 19 People Skills BehaviorsCommunicates sincerely and does not recite a script.Listens for the customer’s personality and demeanor and then adapts to it.Is objective and caring even when the customer is upset and angry.Senses the customer’s pace and adapts to it. It varies with personality type, culture, and geographic location.Listens to every piece of information the customer offers without jumping over words.Shares control of the interaction with the customer instead of driving it through a predetermined path.Detects the customer’s level of knowledge and speaks to that level (not above or below).Thanks the customer for input during the call not just at the end.Apologizes once for the length of time it is taking to resolve it and keeps moving toward resolving it.Asks permission to access the customer’s records and then uses the information to go the extra mile.Continues to listen to related questions and answers them clearly.Uses confusing moments to learn and then teach the customer instead of just saying. “I don’t know.”Finds workarounds to obstacles.Sounds happy to be at work even when doing overtime or having a tough day.Invites future contact by giving an updated phone number to call.Uses positive forward focused language instead of negative phrases.Shows responsibility and initiative in resolving the problems. Never blames the customer.Resolves the current issues and considers future needs to prevent trouble.Expresses sincere action-oriented tone of voice throughout the interaction. […]
[…] In the past I have written about The 25 Worst Customer Service Stories to Train the Best CSRs. I am very pleased to outline how the best customer service reps use outstanding people skills…[READ MORE] […]