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List of Good Customer Service Skills

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Good customer service skills are as essential during routine transactions as when you're handling a customer complaint since a business' ultimate goal is to keep its customers happy. Customer complaints can actually help a company as satisfying unhappy customers tends to make them more loyal to the business than customers who never have complaints. Skilled customer service representatives are crucial to making these outcomes possible.

Active Listening

Listen attentively to your customer, making sure that you learn exactly what her problem is and how she wants you to resolve it. Be sure that, through your responses and body language, she knows you're paying attention and you're committed to resolving the issue. Repeat in your own words what you understand her concerns are to ensure that you've understood her fully and that you know exactly what she wants.

Communication

Always enunciate clearly and use proper grammar when speaking with customers. You'll make an impression of professionalism and competence in this manner. Communicating inarticulately with customers lowers their confidence in you. Be conscious of your tone of voice while speaking -- it can be easy to sound curt or dismissive when you don't mean to, particularly if you're under pressure. Stay aware of your facial expressions, especially when you're handling complaints. Demonstrating irritation will only further agitate a customer while showing that you empathize with your customer's concerns, by maintaining a calm, pleasant demeanor, is more likely to calm and reassure the customer.

Research

Whether you're in technical support or on the sales floor, you need to keep current on your company's offerings to be able to provide customers with reliable information. You also need to have the research skills to quickly fill any gaps in your knowledge when you don't have an immediate answer to a customer's question. Stay up to date with your company's product literature and take advantage of any product or service seminars that are offered. Familiarize yourself with your workplace's information technology, ensuring that you'll be able to field questions concerning inventory and when a particular item will be in your store without making your customer wait for an answer.

Self-control

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employers seeking customer service workers look for a poised, professional demeanor in candidates and the ability to remain cool under pressure. You have to be able to remain detached from a customer's anger and remember that it's not you he's upset with. According to Roger Nunley of the Customer Care Institute, nine times out of 10, simply letting a customer vent will calm him down. Never get into an argument with a customer -- it's always a no-win situation. The customer will only get angrier and become more likely to take his future business somewhere else.

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About the Author

Since 2006 Jim Orrill has produced reviews and essays on popular culture for publications including Lemurvision and "Sexis." Based in Western North Carolina, Orrill graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor's degree in office systems.

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