What is Customer Experience?

Nov. 7, 2022 · 4 minutes

Communication Skills for Customer Service Agents

Customer service requires agents to simultaneously examine all the facts and handle the customer's emotions, which is a delicate balancing act. It takes a little bit of mental jiujitsu to listen to both the factual and the emotive parts of a discourse at once. However, anyone can accomplish it with practice. You will learn how to master the art of customer service in this class by using active listening techniques, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence.

It All Starts with Active Listening

In regular conversation, we frequently focus more on our next words than what the other person is saying. Different is listening actively. When you actively listen, you do not listen to respond but rather to understand.

Active listening at a contact center is carefully hearing what the consumer has to say before repeating it back to them.

It is a process that involves some back and forth.

  • Set judgments aside. Beginning with an open mind Don't make any judgments or assumptions before hearing everything the consumer has to say. Ask open-ended inquiries like, "And then what happened?" to capture the full picture.
  • Aware of your feelings. When a customer expresses anger, disappointment, or frustration, pay attention and allow them to. Unspoken feelings frequently worsen instead of getting better. By noting their emotional tone and letting them know you heard them, say something like, "I can see how irritating that must have been."
  • Watch out for problems and effects. It's crucial to identify precisely what irritated the consumer in the first place so that it may be resolved. You should also be aware of how it has affected the client or their business. Say something like, "I hear how this difficulty is putting you in an embarrassing situation," to express your understanding of their problems.
  • Reiterate what the client said. Restate what you heard after paying close attention and hearing everything out loud in a cool, objective tone. Start by asking, "If I understand you well," or something like. After paraphrasing what the consumer stated, ask, "Did I understand that correctly?" to conclude.
  • Obtain consent. It's okay if they disagree after you ask the client to confirm your summary. Allow them to repeat, restate, or elaborate before reflecting back to them your updated understanding. Ask them once more if they concur. Continue doing this until you can communicate effectively and identify potential solutions.

In a nutshell, that is active listening in a customer service scenario. Here are a few more suggestions to help you master it:

  • Leave the customer's speech uninterrupted. Even agreeing with or attempting to clarify something during a client interaction will probably aggravate them.
  • Be tolerant. Let them complete. Perhaps the most crucial trait for a customer service representative to possess is patience.
  • When feasible, let the customer lead the dialogue. They get the chance to lay out the entire scenario during the meeting.

Customer Experience Journey

Critically evaluate the situation

Many calls to customer support are a mix of information and feelings. Knowing which part of a customer's complaint to handle first is one of the most frequent problems contact center operators run across. Critical thinking is useful in this situation.

When you use critical thinking, you evaluate and analyze a situation objectively before making a decision. You may remain composed and firmly categorize problems into factual and emotional categories with the aid of critical thinking, allowing you to rank them appropriately in your response. Here are two instances that show how using critical thinking in the contact center enables you to make an assessment of the issue.

Using emotional intelligence, repair the harm

Simply fixing a problem with a product or service is insufficient in a world when brand reputation is essential. Positive one-on-one encounters are necessary to restore any damaged client perception of the brand.

Emotional intelligence assists you in repairing the customer's overall perception of the experience and relationship with the organization while analytical thinking assists you in resolving the customer's issue. There are five key components that make up emotional intelligence.

  1. Self-awareness: The capacity to perceive one's own feelings, aptitudes, flaws, and values, as well as how they influence others.
  2. Self-regulation: The capacity to manage one's feelings
  3. Empathy: The capacity to perceive and comprehend the emotions of others
  4. Social skills: The capacity to maintain connections and form new ones
  5. Motivation: The capacity to use your emotional energy into achieving objectives and overcoming challenges

Unspoken problems and unspoken feelings might make it difficult to rebuild trust. Focus on these three areas as you deal with the emotional components of the problem using empathy and social skills.

  1. The client's perception of how you view the circumstances
  2. Customer satisfaction with the offered solution
  3. General opinion of the business held by the client following this encounter

Make a mental check list of everything you need to do to make sure you've covered everything and to ensure that your business keeps its consumers happy.

The resolution of issues is a constant emphasis for contact centers. But it is a skill—and a very important one at that—to be able to take incoming information, assess it, and respond correctly. You may quickly learn the art of customer service if you start with active listening and then add critical thinking and emotional intelligence.

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