Original Column Posted on August 29, 2016 : http://fitsmallbusiness.com/customer-service-skills/
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Are you planning to hire someone for a customer service position, but not sure what attributes to look for? While your technical requirements may vary, there are universal soft skills that you need to look for in your hiring process.
Emotional intelligence is in many ways more important than proficiency in computer skills or other job requirements because you can teach those. It’s a lot harder to teach empathy, interpersonal behavior, and how to control one’s own emotions.
We spoke with small business professionals to find out what customer service skills they look for when hiring for a customer service position. Here are their answers:
Ramonica Gamble, Ramonica Gamble Consulting
I look for someone with great communication skills. They must have the ability and desire to connect with people. Customers expect a customer service person to be able to understand and meet their needs. Communication is a must. Failure to execute would make the customer’s life difficult.
Peter Jensen Kurki, Yacht Broker, Commodore of Business Development, Bennett Brothers Yachts
The number one quality a customer service employee must have.
If the associate assigned to the position of customer service can properly listen to the information being spoken or shown through body language the corresponding business can enhance profitability, proficiency and credibility…
The art of listening, than restating the information back to the client is a skill set. Restating validates, diffuses tension, and begins the process to purchase, repair or conclude business.
Ryan G Wright, CEO, Do Hard Money
The customer service skill I like to look for the most is the ability to really listen for the actual problem instead of going into a conversation with a preconceived idea of what the problem is. Some one that can discover what is really causing a problem and solve it is better than someone who just gives out canned answers or assumes they know what the problem is before listening.
Ray McKenzie, Founder and Principal, Red Beach Advisors
The top skill I desire when hiring for a customer service position is amazing verbal and written communication skills in the language required to communicate with customers. The ability to communicate with clients and customers when they need service and support is extremely important. Language barriers result in frustration and miscommunication. If a customer service and support agent is able to communicate well and explain themselves, they will leave the customer with a feeling of understanding and that they were heard.
Travis Bennett, Managing Director, Studio Digita Co. Ltd.
For a customer service agent there’s only one thing that matters, the ability to drop everything and put the needs of the customer first. I hire staff who have shown me they’ve got the ability to be proactive, and are willing and able to find actual solutions for my customers. If they can’t keep the customers happy, we’re not going to stay in business for long!