The 6 Most Undervalued Customer Service Skills

Faith Ocampo Published on February 1, 2017 Last updated on May 5, 2023

Are you screening your prospective employees for these skills?

Tech-savviness and language proficiency often top the list of the most desirable qualities of customer support reps. These are the same things that call center managers look for as they aim to build a stellar support team. But as we focus on these qualities alone, are we overlooking equally critical customer service skills?

No one can deny that your staff’s competence (or lack of it) determines the quality of the customer experience. By ensuring that employees are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and capabilities they need, they can meet—even surpass—customers’ standards for excellent support.

However, familiarity with tech devices and fluency in a particular language aren’t the sole indicators of customer service expertise.

You also have to watch out for specific professional qualifications, which often go unnoticed.

These are the six of the most underrated customer service skills all agents must develop.

  1. Knowing When Not to Speak

    customer service skills depiction rep covering mouth in office

    In cases fraught with conflict or tension, some agents may feel the need to talk endlessly to try to appease an irate customer. But there will be times when this would only worsen the situation. Sometimes, the wiser thing to do is to stay quiet and just listen to the caller’s complaints.

    Recognizing these instances, however, can be tricky. It takes a combination of tact, sensitivity, and empathy to be able to determine when one needs to stop talking.

    This customer service skill, therefore, is difficult to teach. The only way to cultivate it among your employees is to focus on enhancing their overall interpersonal and communication skills.

    The customer support agents who can do this well, however, will be able to resolve issues effectively in a professional manner.

  2. Being Optimistic

    customer service skills depiction excited rep with fist in air

    Customers don’t like getting “no” for an answer. Instead, they evaluate a brand based on its ability to rise to their demands. Of course, you can’t always give customers what they want (especially if it goes against your policies), but great call center reps can always find ways to make a negative situation better.

    Depending on the customer’s concerns, skilled reps may propose alternative solutions or offer simple perks to make up for a brand’s shortcomings. Often, it won’t matter whether they exerted a little or a great amount of effort. What truly matters to customers is seeing brand reps actively working on their concerns and striving to improve their experience.

  3. Being Loyal

    customer service skills depiction generations diverse call center agents

    Many call centers deal with skyrocketing employee turnover rates.

    Customer support reps may leave their jobs because of too much stress, or they may think it’s a dead-end career. This is exactly why companies should value their loyal members. These are the workers who really believe in the organization’s vision. Thus, they always make it a point to be a useful part of the company, which influences them to be diligent and high performers.

  4. Being Able to Work Under Pressure

    customer service skills depiction stressful work holding head headache

    Contact center workers regularly have to deal with physically and mentally taxing situations. In this industry, unpredictable schedules, conversations with frustrated customers, and long working hours are all part of the job. To thrive in such a fast-paced and high-pressure environment, agents must be disciplined and determined. They must be able to remain objective under heated situations and manage their stress effectively. All these would let them perform well despite unfavorable circumstances.

  5. Being Humble

    customer service skills depiction rep closed eyes holding heart

    In the field of customer support, humility is defined as one’s ability to always put a customers’ needs ahead of your own. This means being ready to recognize one’s own mistakes and consistently finding ways to improve the customer experience. The thing is, not everyone is cut out for a support job. Here, employees must have a service-oriented mindset. Cultivating this quality among your contact center reps can help you promote a customer-centric culture.

  6. Asking the Right Questions

    customer service skills rep thinking holding question mark

    Not all customer service interactions can be covered by a generic template. Good customer support agents are creative in coming up with effective solutions, and it goes hand-in-hand with showing expertise on the customer’s concerns.

    Asking the right questions demonstrates how knowledgeable the agent is. It also shows how much they value the customer by being interested in learning more about the caller’s concerns.

How Can You Teach These Customer Services Skills to Your BPO Teams?

Call center outsourcing companies can take several steps to improve the customer service skills of their representatives.

Here are some effective strategies:

customer service skills training call center team leader trainer rep
  • Provide Comprehensive Training Programs

    To improve customer service skills among their representatives, call center outsourcing companies should provide comprehensive training programs.

    These programs should focus on developing and refining skills such as active listening, empathy, problem-solving, communication, patience, and adaptability.

  • Encourage Ongoing Learning and Development

    Another way to improve customer service skills is by encouraging ongoing learning and development. Call center outsourcing companies can provide opportunities for representatives to improve their skills and keep up with industry trends and best practices. This can be done through workshops, seminars, and online training programs.

  • team leader coaching customer service skills call center reps
  • Implement Regular Performance Evaluations

    To assess the strengths and weaknesses of each representative’s customer service skills, call center outsourcing companies should implement regular performance evaluations.

    These evaluations should provide constructive feedback and coaching to help representatives improve their skills.

  • Foster a Positive and Supportive Work Environment

    Call center outsourcing companies should foster a positive and supportive work environment that values and rewards excellent customer service skills. This can be done through recognition programs, incentives, and promotions.

  • Provide Necessary Tools and Technology

    Representatives require the necessary tools and technology to deliver exceptional customer service. Call center outsourcing companies can provide training in using customer relationship management (CRM) software, chatbots, and other call center outsourcing technologies to help improve customer service skills.

  • customer service skills depiction smiling call center agent in positive workplace
  • Promote a Culture of Continuous Improvement and Innovation

    Finally, call center outsourcing companies should promote a culture of continuous improvement and innovation in customer service skills.

    Representatives should be encouraged to think creatively and come up with new and better ways to serve customers. This can be done through brainstorming sessions, feedback forums, and other collaborative activities.

It is important for customer support agents to embody these skills even when they aren’t usually monitored by supervisors and team leaders.

By ensuring that employees are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and capabilities they need, they can meet—even surpass—customers’ standards for excellent support.

These skills will make them great assets to a call center and could lead to a greater appreciation of their roles.

When outsourcing, businesses must only partner with an BPO firm that exhibits a customer-centric culture. Open Access BPO, with its multilingual expertise in the industry, employs well-trained multilingual customer support reps for high quality 24/7 customer experience designed to help brands thrive.

Contact us today so we can start building an ops team to elevate your customer relationships and grow your business.

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Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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