Did you just get a customer service job and need some soft skills to improve on? Allow our article on Soft Skills For Customer Service, to guide you on how to go about this process.
Having good customer service soft skills is incredibly important when you are in this industry. These are the general skills that span various fields and apply to every customer care representative.
There are plenty of soft skills of customer service you must possess if you want to provide premium care to your customers and clients. This is why developing a vast array of soft skills can help you become an ideal candidate for employers and more successful at serving customers.
In this article, we explain what soft skills for customer service are, and how they are different from hard skills, list out the types of soft skills for customer service, and leave advice on how to develop yours.
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What are customer service soft skills?
Customer service soft skills vs customer service hard skills
Customer service soft skills examples
How to highlight soft skills for customer service resume
How to practice customer service soft skills in the workplace
What Are Customer Service Soft Skills?
Customer service soft skills refer to those characterisitics used to related with customers that does not involve marketing your product, services, or company. These include attributes like communication, organization, and problem solving which all aid in making customer experience better.
Developing your soft skills for customer service representatives, can be a great way to prepare yourself for a thriving career in this field as you will be using them in vast range of situations.
Many of the soft skills you will master are behavioral which means you can easily apply them to a career in customer service. By developing these skills, you can interact with customers effectively and offer the premium care.
Soft Skills For Customer Service VS Customer Service Hard Skills
There is a difference between soft skills for customer service and customer service hard skills. And while you may possess one, you may be sorely lacking in your execution of the other.
When availing both skills to an employer, it is important that you add both your soft skills and hard skills to your resume.
For more clarity, we have broken down both skills below to help you understand which is which.
Customer Service Soft Skills
The soft skills for customer support are usually intangible and basically describe personality traits or talents.
These customer service representative soft skills entail applying attributes like compassion and listening abilities when interacting with a customer. Soft skills can be reproduced by customer service personnels across industries.
Customer Service Hard Skills
Customer service hard skills on the other hand require special education or training to master. These call center hard skills can be learning how to use customer service software.
Although customer soft skills can be seamlessly recreated across industries, hard skills are more specific and cannot be recreated in many other industries or informal situations.
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Customer Service Soft Skills Examples
There are many customer support soft skills you can improve on throughout your career. Most of them are social, which makes them an important aspect of customer service.
To help you, which have made a list of the most essential soft skills customer service examples to develop if you want to be successful in this profession.
1. Call Center Soft Skills
When companies are recruiting call centre agents, educational requirements or experience in the field might be a criterion for getting hired.
However, these factors do not guarantee productive employees or reduce the high turnover rate in call centres.
So, what are some core call center soft skills employers look for during recruitment? We explained them below:
As a call centre agent, you'll spend most of your time talking to clients you've probably never met before.
Being able to hold conversations about complex information and your company's message with them in a meaningful way is a huge part of your job.
You'll be challenged constantly to master new scripts, products, and computer systems. If you can catch on fast you might be put aside by employers.
At a call centre, you'll be required to make a minimum number of calls daily or hit a specific conversation percentage. You must master these goals, and know how to achieve them or even exceed the set numbers.
Helping Clients With Enquiries
Although there is a script to stick to, there will be times when a customer may have questions that are not part of what you were taught.
It is at this point critical thinking can come in handy. If you can speedily find answers to these off-the-script enquiries the client has you'll accomplish your objectives more effectively.
Based on the structure of your company, you can research company resources or go to outside sources for answers.
Flexible And Objective
Possessing the ability to change according to situations and react appropriately to them is important as a call centre agent. Flexible agents who can adapt to the situation's needs, are invaluable to companies.
Developing your problem-solving abilities will be useful in the face of challenges and how you want to overcome them.
These skills can also help you adapt to computer systems or resolve quarrels with other employees.
2. Telephone Soft Skills
Telephone soft skills are those communication tactics you deploy when speaking to your customers.
Since you can't meet these clients in person, having conversations over the telephone is a good way to stay in touch with them and communicate in real time.
A good customer service representative is one that can be engaging and personal even on the phone. In addition to these two attributes, we listed other telephone soft skills you'll be needing.
Clarity And Good Diction
Be clear and enunciate your sentences when speaking to customers on the phone. Using everyday phrases and words to speak to them makes it easy for the conversation to flow freely.
For clarity's sake, pause a few no times when speaking to allow yourself to think about what to say next. The helps you make sense of and avoid using filler words. Let your speech be slow and steady so that the customer can understand what you're saying.
Using active listening skills helps a customer feel cared for and lets them know that you're truly there to provide assistance.
You can prove your listening skills by repeating information back to them and giving audible feedback with words like 'okay' or 'yes'.
When you speak with clients on the phone, you become creative with the way you show professionalism. Sit up straight and ensure that there is no static or any other unwanted noises during the phone conversation.
Maintaining a professional air down to the way you dress for your call, can translate into your conversation with customers and make it better. Test your phone audio and headset before every call.
Ensure you stay polite from the beginning of a work day to the end when you talk with many customers in a week.
Even in the face of solving client problems or simply providing information, always keep your cool and don't let any customers rattle you even if they are disgruntled.
Take occasional breaks in the midst of speaking to clients to clear your head or do a relaxing activity. This will rest your brain and aid in you being patient with the customers you speak with.
Be Engaging And Interactive
Be engaged and interactive when talking to customers, and keep your responses regular. This also helps clients be engaged and not bored with the call.
Asking questions, repeating what they said to show your listening, and genuinely providing assistance is how to make them more at ease. This can also boost their trust in you to help them solve problems.
3. Conflict Resolution Skills
Conflict resolution skills is one of the best customer care soft skills to have. It is the ability to identify solutions to a problem or discover a new approach towards solving it.
Effective conflict resolution can entail taking the calm route when working with a customer who is upset. It can also be managing customers who feel they haven't been adequately attended to in terms of a product or service expectation.
4. Ambiguity Management
Product knowledge is one of the areas customers and customer service representatives experience friction.
While the support office is a product expert and understands all the terms associated with your brand, the customer may not be knowledgeable enough in that environment and this may affect the way they explain a problem.
Where ambiguity management as a customer service representative soft skills comes in handy is you having all the necessary information you need to solve the problem, while still working efficiently with the customer?
You're asking the correct questions, using examples, saying it in terms they understand, and relying on your knowledge to solve their problem. At the end of the call, the customer should feel properly engaged and happier because they found a solution.
5. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is another soft skills examples for customer service you should demonstrate if you want to succeed in this industry. It simply means understanding and managing the emotions of others and yours too.
As a customer service representative, this also means that you'll manage the customer's feelings.
There are 5 components of emotional intelligence you must master as a support representative, three of them are - self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy; these are a direct impact of being aware of emotions.
Customer support staff must understand customers' feelings and also learn to deal with their own emotions when interacting with clients.
Customer service can be hectic so you have to allow yourself the patience to deal with lengthy customer enquiries.
Patience is one of the top 10 soft skills for customer service jobs you should possess in this industry.
If the customer picks up that you're in a hurry or impatient, it can make them upset and could lead to a conflict. It can also cause them to leave negative feedback for you.
Positivity is another core customer service representative soft skills which you need to possess.
Ensure you know the benefits and prices of all the products or services your company offers and related this to customers.
If a customer has some issues with any of the products or services, turn your mind to what you can do to assist them. Although you don't want to seem too giddy speaking to an upset customer, practising proactiveness and being optimistic can help the client stay positive too.
Assertiveness is one of the top 10 soft skills for customer service jobs and it is a quality you always want to have handy. Being assertive means taking charge of the situation and being efficient when handling customers.
If you sound timid or passive over the phone, then you want to inspire confidence from the client. But, this doesn't also mean that you should be aggressive or talk over the customer as this can offend them.
Speak in a confident and articulate manner when asking or answering questions. Create a safe speaking space that allows the client to clearly state their concerns.
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Humour appears as a soft skills examples for customer service because finding joy and doing things other people find funny is a good way to lighten up difficult situations.
While humour shouldn't be used in every situation, when applied correctly you can boost the mood of your customers, allowing you to provide them with the best results.
Memory is the ability to retain the information you read or hear. It's a no-brainer that this skill should be one of the top 10 soft skills for customer service jobs to possess because as a customer service representative, you are the first point of contact clients have with your company. This means you need to know answers to questions about your products, services, prices, delivery, and packages too, off the top of your head.
In addition to this, you should also hold information about customers. Their names, personal interests, preferences and the type of relationship they have with your company.
A good memory helps you serve clients better and even build a strong interpersonal bond with them, ultimately improving their relationship with your company.
You have Organization as one of the customer care soft skills if you can keep files and objects in a way that makes them accessible when needed and hidden when not in use.
This skill can also be useful when you need to organize physical items or digital files.
Above all, it can help you find client information quickly, curb delays and ensure you provide assistance in a timely manner. Additionally, it helps your workspace look professional when receiving work from clients.
12. Pressure Management
Being able to work in stressful situations while still maintaining professionalism is good Pressure Management. This is one of the customer care soft skills that help you keep your cool and wits about you when attending to upset customers looking for a solution.
Pressure Management assists you in making analysis-driven decisions rather than emotional ones. This can defuse the situation and get the customer help efficiently.
13. Time Management
Time Management is one common customer service skill that is present in almost all customer support cases.
Clients have a timeframe within which they expect you to attend to their case. This is why they should have an allotted time for when they should expect a response from your team or from you if the solution is within your abilities.
14. Writing Skills
Writing Skills became one of the vital customer care soft skills for customer service representatives to have when it became apparent that they'll be communicating with clients a lot both verbally and in written form.
You must be able to craft well-worded positive information and concise written communication if you want to be a good customer care personnel. This is because the messages you send out should make clients feel seen, heard, and valued.
In case of a delay in resolving an issue, writing a short message to them reaffirms the belief that they will get their solution from you.
15. Friendly And Approachable
Ensure you don't have a careless and argumentative tone when speaking to customers. Be friendly and approachable always even when speaking to clients on the phone or over chat. Always create a human feel for every aspect of customer service operations.
Make customers feel comfortable enough to share their problems and confidence that you can indeed help them out.
16. Taking Responsibility
As a customer service personnel, there are a lot of times when you'll need to take responsibility for certain actions. If you or your company name an error, you need to address it.
Knowing when to apologize and own up to a mistake; taking responsibility, on your own end are one of the vital customers care soft skills you should develop.
In addition to saying sorry, you should also know how to come up with working solutions or temporary fixes until you can permanently solve the customer's challenge. This attribute is what will make you stand out from your colleagues.
How To Highlight Soft Skills For Customer Service Resume
There are several soft skills for customer service resume that many employers look for in an ideal candidate.
Knowing how to highlight these skills in your CV, cover letter or during an interview can significantly boost your chances of getting hired.
Here are three ways you can highlight soft skills for customer service resume:
1. Add Customer Care Soft Skills To Your Resume's Skill Section
To draw attention to the customer care soft skills on your résumé, add them to the Skills section.
For your cover letter, you can give brief instances of how one of your skills came in handy when dealing with a customer or others in a real-life situation.
2. Use A Functional Or Combination Resume
Another thing you want to do is use a functional or combination résumé that allows you to expand on one or more skills, using bullet points to show how you developed and used them.
3. Highlight Skills Included In The Job Posting
Note down any skills mentioned in the job posting to improve your résumé using soft skills. If a potential employer focuses on a particular skill it means they value it highly.
By including how you've used these skills in your resume, you can give a strong defence on why you're the best person for the job.
Your résumé and cover letter are the first impressions you'll make on a potential employer, so don't hold back on showcasing your skills.
Read: How to Write a Good CV for Students - Resume Examples for Students (PDF)
How To Practice Customer Service Soft Skills In The Workplace
Customer Service Representatives can cater to different needs across different industries. These general hacks can help you practice customer service soft skills in the workplace effectively no matter the industry you find yourself.
1. Understand The Company Culture
When you understand the company's culture, you can also learn its standard approach to customer service and the tone they take with its customers. This can help you develop a consistent experience for clients.
2. Listen To Feedback
Feedback from others is perhaps the best way to know if you're performing your customer service role well.
When you get notes from colleagues, supervisors or customers, assess how to implement those notes into improving your general performance.
3. Focus On Being Empathetic
Developing empathy can be an effective way of improving your performance in the workplace. Giving clients an empathetic response will also create an opening for you to use your other customer service soft skills.
4. Understand Your Job
Understand what your primary role is within a company. Know what supervisors and customers alike expect from you.
Remember, different companies might have varying goals from their customer service departments or expectations for your roles within the department.
Understanding those goals allow you to align your service to match the company's needs.
How To Improve Your Customer Service Representative Soft Skills
Improving your customer service representative soft skills can make you more efficient and qualified personnel when applying for job positions.
These steps can help you become the best:
1. Do a Self-Assessment
Analyze those areas you'd like to work on. Note down how effective your interactions with customers are and aspects you feel you can improve on. Self-assessment is more effective if you constantly analyze and improve your performance.
2. Pay Attention To Performance Reviews
A performance review is a great way to gain insights about your work as support personnel. Your supervisor can point out areas they feel changing will make you better. Acting on these changes can improve future assessments of your work.
3. Talk To Colleagues
If there's something you feel you're doing wrongly, talking to your colleagues in the same department can help you correct yourself. They may also have observations about your work they noticed that can help your professional development.
4. Watch Customer Reactions
Interactions with customers can be a key metric on how your employer judges your performance. By monitoring the responses customers have for you, you can identify which of your behaviours elicited positive feedback and use that to improve or change your methods. Doing this continuously can help you know if your new methods are working or not.
Customer Service Soft Skills Training
If you want to improve your skills as a customer service representative, you can take online call centre soft skills training.
We mentioned some that can help you get started below:
1. Jobberman Soft Skills Training
The Jobberman Soft Skills Training is a course that'll help you master those in-demand skills that will improve your employability level and ability to perform better at work.
Learn more about Jobberman Soft Skills Training.
2. Customer Service Team Soft Skills Training Module on Customer Service Edu PPT
This customer service soft skills training ppt module discusses the vital soft skills for a customer service team. It contains the dos and don'ts for attending to customer complaints, a real-time case study, and the golden rules of customer service.
Learn more about Customer Service Team Soft Skills Training Module on Customer Service Edu PPT.
3. Call Center Training Program Part 1: Soft Skills and Empathy
The first part of this course on soft skills for call centre agents ppt will give you the foundation of the basic terminology that all customer service representatives should know, what makes a good operator, as well as the skills and methods you should master.
Learn more about Call Center Training Program Part 1: Soft Skills and Empathy.
4. Call Center Communication Skills: In-Depth PPT
This soft skills ppt for customer service guide will teach you how to communicate effectively with customers through call centre interactions in this comprehensive material.
Learn more about Call Center Communication Skills: In-Depth PPT.
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