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Important Soft Skills for Good Customer Service

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  • 0:03 What Makes Great…
  • 0:42 Key Customer Service Skills
  • 4:07 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Pamela Souza
This lesson focuses on the interpersonal, or soft, skills needed to provide great customer service. We'll spend some time discussing why these skills are important and how they can help you provide the best service possible.

What Makes Great Customer Service?

If you've ever experienced truly exceptional customer service, it may have seemed like it just came naturally to the person who provided it. He or she probably seemed friendly and willing to do whatever it took to make sure you left satisfied with your experience. While that individual may just naturally be good at his or her job, it's more likely that some effort and training went into providing that level of service. Some of the skills most essential to providing excellent customer service are interpersonal skills, also commonly referred to as soft skills. In this lesson, we'll look at some of these skills and see how they can help you provide the best customer service.

Key Customer Service Skills

Communication: Whether you are interacting face-to-face, over the phone, or via email, clear communication might be the single most important component of providing good customer service. Speaking clearly in a polite, respectful tone will go a long way toward making your customer feel valued. If you are speaking to a customer in person, be sure to make eye contact and keep a smile on your face. When speaking on the phone, maintain a friendly tone - and keep smiling! It may sound silly, but the customer really will be able to tell that you're smiling, and a friendly attitude is contagious! In written communication, use proper grammar and spelling. This goes a long way to show that you care about your work and will help make the customer feel valued.

Active Listening: To provide great customer service, you must first hear what the customer is asking. This seems simple, right? It can be, but most people don't listen as closely as they think they do when someone is speaking to them. Be sure you are giving the customer your full attention. Listen carefully to what they are saying; if necessary, paraphrase what they've said and repeat it back to them to be sure you heard them correctly. Don't formulate your response until they have finished and you are sure you understand what is being said. It is also important that your body language indicates your openness to what is being said - maintain a friendly posture - don't stand with your arms crossed and a scowl on your face.

Positive Attitude: Maintaining a positive attitude sends a message to the customer that you are interested in providing a good service experience. If you have a good attitude, and seem happy to be there, the customer will feel better about what you are selling. If the customer is unhappy or is having a problem, you can help resolve the situation by staying positive and focusing on the solution.

Empathy: Show that you understand how the customer feels. Try to put yourself in the situation and see how you would feel - this may help you determine the most appropriate course of action. But don't get too personal. The customer does not want to hear your own customer service woes; simply acknowledge that you understand their point of view and move on toward finding a solution.

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