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Written By: Hafiz Asri
Published: 1st March 2022

Not everyone is cut out for customer service – having to interact head-on with customers comes with its fair share of challenges and requires a specific combination of skills. Yet, everyone in the organisation plays an integral role in creating the best experience for their customers. For example, a packager in the factory should understand how their actions can also subsequently affect the customer’s experience further down the line. This illustrates how everyone has a part to play in ensuring that their customers leave with a great experience.

 

So, what makes one a stand-out customer service professional?

 

Patience

Let’s be honest. Being a customer service professional is often a thankless job.

 

It can take a mental and emotional toll on those who lack the right mindset. We meet many different customers every day. 99 of them could be absolutely perfect, but all it takes is for one customer to be difficult to spoil your mood.

 

Having the patience to deal with difficult customers and ensure their satisfaction is just as important as knowing how to compose yourself after an unpleasant incident.

 

Knowledgeable

 

Source: Freepik

 

Customers seek solutions.

 

The last thing they want to hear is “I’m not sure” or “I don’t know.”

 

As a frontline service staff that’s the “face” of the company, you must be knowledgeable about your company’s product, service, and the organisation as a whole.

 

A good customer service professional will offer solutions that meet their customers’ needs and elevate the overall customer experience.


Adaptable

 

Unlike virtual methods of engagement such as email, you will often find yourself having to come up with answers on the spot to quickly appease the customer standing in front of you – who may also be running out of patience with every passing second.

 

Being able to reply to the customer with accurate information under pressure is a skill that requires practice. Some individuals are naturally more quick-witted, but fortunately, this is a skill that can be learned and honed with time.

 

As a last resort, if you need more time to think of a response, excuse yourself to buy some time or seek advice from your manager. Remember to make it seem natural and not as though you are trying to avoid the customer. A quick, “Let me check with my manager on this and I’ll get back to you” ought to suffice.

 

Empathy

 

Empathy is an important trait to have, not just in a working environment, but also in one’s personal life. Empathy helps us put ourselves in the shoes of others. The ability to recognise others’ emotions is incredibly important for a customer service professional. This enables rapport to be built between the customer service professional and their customer.

 

Daniel Goleman, a psychologist, makes an insightful connection between high emotional intelligence and customer service:

 

“How customers feel when they interact with an employee determines how they feel about the company itself. In a psychological sense, the ‘company’ as experienced by the customer is a sum of these interactions. Loyalty is lost or strengthened in every interaction between a company and its customers.” (Process.st, 2018).

 

Thus, high emotional intelligence and empathy in a customer service professional is closely tied to the success (or even downfall) of a company.

 

Positive Attitude

 

Source: Freepik

 

Not to be confused with patience, having a positive attitude creates a calm and pleasant environment for customers. This can set you apart from other competitors.

 

Having a positive attitude does not merely entail smiling and speaking in a cheery tone of voice. In fact, the proper mindset helps to convey your sincerity to customers.

 

Hence, the key to creating a good experience for customers is to have a positive outlook. Having an upbeat attitude is often infectious, bringing cheer to your customers and colleagues, creating a far better environment to work and shop in.

 

Passion

 

Needless to say, customer service forms a core part of business. It is not easy to cope with the demands of the organisation and customers. Having the passion to help people solve problems is an essential trait that every customer service professional should possess to keep them going in the long run.

 

You know what they say, “Love what you do, and the rest will follow”.

 

Of course, there are numerous other traits that a customer service professional should have apart from the few we have listed above. Fortunately, the Internet contains a great deal of resources that you can consult to discover other desirable qualities that all customer service staff should have.

 

Should you wish to learn more, you could also utilise your SkillsFuture Credits to attend Customer Service courses and develop the aforementioned character traits in this article.

 

At All Hearts, we offer a Level 1 Service Excellence WSQ certified course that starts from S$38/pax only.

 

In our course, learn how to:

 

1. Recognise individual roles and how they each contribute to a great customer experience

2. Identify different types of customers to better understand their needs

3. Adopt the hallmark traits of an excellent customer service professional

4. Create a positive customer experience by offering customised service in line with organisational guidelines

 

Click here to find out more on how to provide excellent customer service experiences.

 

Hafiz Asri, Programmes Development Manager

 

Disapproving headshakes accompanied by a disappointing sigh is how Hafiz spends his time during the weekends whenever his wife suggests watching cartoons (yeah, yeah, anime, same thing).