Imagine you’re interviewing a candidate for a customer service position in your organization. You ask the potential hire what traits or skills they have that make them an ideal candidate for the position. If you’re looking to hire a customer service superstar, what would you hope their answer would be? Perhaps you think of things like:
- Friendly and outgoing
- Quick thinker
Now, think about your current team members. Do they have those same traits and skills?
If they do, that’s good news for you. You’ve compiled a team of superstars. However, we’re willing to bet that there are at least a few members of your team who would benefit from a knowledge refresh to make them even stronger assets. If your employees do not have those superstar traits and skills though, it would be worthwhile to reflect on what skills are missing and learn how to support your employees in developing them.
The goal in this reflection exercise is to identify the traits that make an employee irreplaceable. Additionally, because some amount of turnover is inevitable in any field, being able to easily recall the characteristics of a service superstar will help in any hiring decisions that may arise so you can be sure you’re identifying strong candidates. Most importantly though, knowing these traits will help you to develop them in your current team.
If a customer service superstar asked themselves, “who would replace me?” the person they describe should have many of the same qualities that they see in themselves. In order to develop service representatives into service superstars, these are important qualities on which to focus. In fact, when six people, who were identified by their organizations as being outstanding service providers, were brought together on a panel to discuss the ingredients for their success, this very same question was posed. Among a variety of answers, two specific traits were mentioned.
Attitude is everything
It’s no secret that choosing a great attitude each day is an easy change that puts you clearly on a pathway to success. Customer service representatives need to be competent at doing their jobs, solving customer problems, and answering questions. Beyond that though, they should make customer interactions enjoyable. Showing personality, demonstrating to the customer that they care about them as an individual, and using a sense of humor are easy ways to portray a positive attitude in all service situations.
Don’t forget the importance of enthusiasm and energy too. While some people mistakenly believe that a professional demeanor is equivalent to a serious one, this does not have to be the case. Infusing your service with energy suggests to the customer that you enjoy your work and care about providing them with a great experience. According to Microsoft, one in three people believes that a friendly service representative is the most important factor for great customer service. Choose a great attitude!
While it may seem like something we spend all day doing, effective listening is actually a skill that should be developed and utilized. Passively listening to the customer’s problem simply won’t cut it if you’re working on becoming a service superstar. When a customer contacts your organization to ask a question, place an order or make a complaint, the information that you, as the service representative, need to know goes beyond what might seem relevant. Customers often provide contextual information that will allow you to deliver service that exceeds their expectations.
For example, imagine that a customer calls to ask a question about a service from your company that isn’t working as intended. You might know the way to solve their problem, but from listening carefully, you heard the customer say that they need to pick up their child from soccer practice in two minutes. Given that you’re aware that the solution to this problem will take approximately 10 minutes to explain or implement, you suggest that you give them a call back at an agreed-upon time. The customer will appreciate your commitment to solving their problem as well as the care you’ve shown in being considerate of their time. It’s these small actions that set service superstars apart from their peers.
To learn more of the traits that the Service Superstars noted in the person who would replace them, contact a ServiceSkills representative today and request a free demo of the Service Matters Roundtable series. This is a unique peer-to-peer training series that allows your team to learn directly from real service representatives in their own words. Enable your employees to develop the skills they’d identify if asked, “who would replace you?”
Be sure to check out these additional videos and posts from our ServiceMatters Roundtable from the team at ServiceSkills: