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Customer service skills you must develop for business success

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This guide outlines the most crucial customer service skills to avoid angering clients.

In the age of the internet, no small business can afford to take its customers for granted, and that means having great customer service skills! With nothing more than their favorite search engine, the average modern-day consumer can find hundreds – if not thousands – of competitors within seconds.

That being the case, it’s in every business’s best interest to remain on their respective patrons’ good sides. Among other things, this entails being extra mindful of the way you interact with customers.

Key customer service skills

So, if you’re looking to avoid inadvertently angering your customers, take the following customer service skills pointers to heart.

Own Up to Your Mistakes

We’ve all known people who refuse to own up to their mistakes or offer apologies under any circumstances. More often than not, these individuals are an absolute chore to be around, and to call them “difficult” would be an understatement.

Needless to say, when such behavior is present in a business owner, many customers are likely to take their patronage elsewhere. After all, there are plenty of businesses whose proprietors are perfectly willing to acknowledge and apologize for their mistakes, so why waste time with someone who’d sooner lose customers than admit to any wrongdoing?

This isn’t to say that every grievance brought forth by a customer is legitimate. In fact, some of them are liable to be downright absurd. However, you shouldn’t approach every customer complaint with the mindset that you and your staff are completely bereft of blame. If a patron comes to you with a problem for which your business is either partly or fully to blame, you shouldn’t hesitate to provide an apology and make amends.

Far from being a sign of weakness, a willingness to admit your mistakes and apologize for them as part of your customer service skills can help endear you to patrons. Showing them that you aren’t afraid to be humble is liable to make you seem approachable and illustrate a desire to learn from your errors. Additionally, the more willing you are to own up to your blunders, the more likely inconvenienced patrons are to give you a second chance.

Provide a Text Messaging Option for Customer Support

These days, many consumers prefer to take care of customer service issues via text messaging, as they find this more convenient than phone calls or email. So, if your business doesn’t currently offer a text messaging option for customer support, this is liable to rub some patrons the wrong way. That being the case, make a point of providing customers with readily-accessible texting options as art of your customer service skills. Luckily, you should have no trouble tracking down the right 2 way SMS.

Be Mindful of the Differences Between Text-Based and In-Person Interactions

When communicating with customers via email, text messaging or any other text-based medium, customer service skills include that you should be mindful of the differences between these types of interactions and in-person ones.

For example, when interacting with someone face-to-face, certain tones and body language can help convey that something is a joke, whereas such subtleties are largely absent from text-based communications. As such, when communicating through writing, it’s often easy to come off as curt and/or glib. So, before hitting “SEND” on a text message or email, take care to read it over and scan for signs of potential offense.

Don’t Keep Customers Waiting for Replies

Even setting aside the fact that we’re living in an age of instant gratification, no consumer is crazy about waiting exorbitantly long periods for replies from businesses. Understandably, delayed responses give them the impression that they’re being ignored and that their questions and concerns are unimportant to you.

You can nip this in the bud by making replying to customer communiques one of your foremost customer service skills. All queries received during your normal hours of operation should be answered by the end of the workday, and all queries received during your off-hours should be prioritized the following morning.

Be Responsive on Social Media

In 2022, every small business needs to maintain an active social media presence. So, regardless of how you personally feel about social media or how keen you are on popular social platforms, it’s in your best interest to make social media a priority moving forward. As you’ll quickly discover, a social media presence stands to benefit your brand in a number of ways – especially when it comes to customer communication.

For many of us, the ability to reach out to our favorite businesses, brands and public figures is among the main draws of social media. And the more brands engage with us on popular social platforms, the more connected we feel to them – and the more incentive we have to offer them continued patronage.

With this in mind, make a point with your customer service skills of being responsive to the feedback, questions and comments you receive via social media. In fact, social media communications should be regarded with just as much importance as phone and text-based communiques.

You should also do regular searches for your business’s name on various social platforms, as this can help you stay abreast of what customers have to say about your overall service and business practices.

Conclusion

Given how important loyal customers are to the success of any enterprise, you’d do well to regard patron satisfaction as paramount, and focus on your customer service skills. You and your employees should take measures to avoid inadvertently doing things that anger or annoy your customers.

Without even realizing it, some businesses engage in customer service skills bad behaviors that rub patrons the wrong way and cost them repeat business. Fortunately, correcting these bad customer service skills habits doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. In the interest of staying on your customers’ collective good side, heed the tips discussed above.

 

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