Customer Service Experts
Customer service experts play an important role in establishing and maintaining a company’s reputation by acting as a liaison between a company and its clients or customers. The exact nature of the customer service job will depend on the industry. In might involve working in a call center or staffing an in-person help-desk. Some customer service representative roles concentrate on sales, where the focus is on placing orders, up-selling, and generating leads. Other customer service specialists fill a more informational role, where their duties are to answer customer questions, resolve complaints, and keep profiles and accounts updated. It’s a role that requires great communication skills and dedication to customer satisfaction.
Good customer service skills typically don’t come naturally to people. It can be difficult to keep track of multiple communication platforms, manage customer expectations, effectively tell your company’s story, navigate conversations with upset clients, and measure customer satisfaction. However, with the right training, practice, and a strong customer experience strategy, anyone working in customer service—from entry-level representatives to customer service specialists and team managers—can become an expert in the role.
What Does a Customer Service Expert Do?
Regardless of whether the role has a more sales or informational slant, there are some responsibilities that every customer service expert job description contains:
- Customer service experts are the voices and faces of the company for most customer interactions. As the main point of contact for the public, they must maintain a positive, empathetic and professional attitude toward customers at all times. Usually, people only reach out to a customer service department when they’re experiencing some sort of difficulty, and thus are already likely to be upset. Customer service experts are responsible for setting customers at ease, de-escalating situations, and making sure the issue gets resolved as much as possible to the client’s satisfaction. This can also involve following up with cases and monitoring social media and review platforms to ensure that customers don’t fall through the cracks and fail to receive a response.
- A customer expert uses active listening techniques in client interactions. This includes positive reinforcement to signal attentiveness without disrupting the customer’s flow of thought, asking questions to get all the necessary information and clarify details about the issue, effective note-taking, and clearly summarizing and reiterating the main points of the message, giving the customer an opportunity to correct anything if necessary before proceeding on to the next step of assistance.
- An effective customer service specialist knows everything about the company’s products, services, and processes and can quickly determine how to best serve customers—either by working with them or by directing them to the best-qualified person to address the issue.
Customer service experts share best practices, assist with onboarding new team members, and ensure that training materials stay updated. They are focused on customer satisfaction and help the entire team understand the company’s customer experience definition.
Expert Customer Service Skills
While by no means a definitive list, a customer service expert resume should include:
Adaptability & Problem Solving
Sometimes customer service experts will encounter problems that aren’t specifically covered in the company’s guidelines or a customer has an unexpected reaction. They must be able to quickly think on their feet to get the interaction back on track or know who to ask for assistance if the issue is beyond their capability.
It’s important to know how to clearly relay important information to customers in a personable, straight-forward manner that leaves nothing to doubt. This includes understanding and effectively utilizing different best practices for communicating in person, over the phone, or via email or chat.
Patience & Ability to Work Under Pressure
Patience is an absolute must for anyone wanting to pursue a career in the customer service profession. Developing the ability to remain calm when under pressure is one of the greatest attributes to have in the industry.
Customer service experts go the extra mile by considering how they would feel if put in a similar situation and what an ideal outcome would be. By asking these questions, they can channel empathy that allows them to better connect with the customer, showing that they understand their frustration and confidently express their ability to find a fair and desirable resolution to maximize customer impact.
Knowledge of the Product
As previously mentioned, customer service experts must understand the product or service. It’s not necessary to know highly specific production details, but everyone on the team should now how it works on the same level as someone who uses it daily. Otherwise, they won’t be able to effectively help customers who run into problems.
People who work in customer service need to be able to calmly handle all customers, even the most negative ones. A customer services expert must be able to retain a positive attitude and not take it personally when the customer is upset. Doing so allows them to stay in control of the interaction, figure out a resolution, reframe the conversation to go in a more amicable direction, and provide great customer service.
Customer service experts must be able to utilize time efficiently and productively. Depending on their role, they have to balance meetings, phone calls, visit clients, assist customers, help team members, and more. Good time management skills allow them to complete all their required tasks in a shorter period, meaning they have more time to give attention to customer satisfaction and learning opportunities.