Customer service is not limited to your customer service department. Anyone in your business that will come in contact with users of your product by phone, by email, or through social media will eventually have to provide some form of customer service, either before making the sale or after. In this post, we’re going to look at five customer skills that every employee in your business needs to acquire and retain happy users.

  1. The ability to empathize with your users.

One of the first skills that everyone in your business needs is empathy, or the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Empathy will help everyone in your organization, from product development to sales and support.

  • It takes empathy to build a great product because you have to understand your user first before you can create something for them.
  • It takes empathy to sell that product with passion because you have to truly believe that because you can understand your user, you can help them by onboarding them to your product.
  • It takes empathy to support that product when problems arise because you have to be in your user’s shoes to understand how they arrived at the problem and how they need it to be solved to be satisfied again.

If every employee of your business treats users with empathy, from the first point of contact to after the sale, they will feel understood and thus, valued. A user that feels valued by your business will likely stay with your product for many years to come.

  1. The ability to be patient with your users (even when they are anything but).

The next skill that is highly important when it comes to customer service is patience. Depending on how irate your user is, they may have very little of it. This means you have to have enough for yourself and for them to keep from losing your cool.
When you have empathy for your users, you can atleast understand why they are upset. You may even be able to share some of their frustration.  
The key is to be patient with them. Don’t let their negativity influence how you treat them. Once you are able to solve the problem, they will likely be grateful and, even if they don’t express it, sorry for any irritation they may have expressed.

  1. The ability to have a calming affect on others.

One way to tone down a heated situation is to be calm yourself. You don’t have to be face to face with someone to have a calming effect on them. Your tone of voice over the phone can do it. The succinct nature of an empathic email response can do it too.
When your customer senses that you are frazzled, it will get them even more, frazzled. This will probably escalate a situation that does not need to be escalated. In contrast, if you can remain calm in your tone (offline and online), then you can remain in control of the situation.

  1. The ability to quickly and creatively solve problems.

Can you solve problems in your sleep? Can you think of creative solutions that aren’t written in the manual? If so, then you have great customer service skills. When users need help, they want it fast. No one wants to wait hours (or worse, days) to get a solution to a product problem.
This is why your customer service team has to be on the ball. Users will likely run into problems that aren’t covered by your FAQ or support documents. Problems that never came up during testing or during the beta launch. It will be the customer service person’s job to find solutions to problems that spring up out of the blue.

  1. The ability to write in a way that is easy to follow and understand.

Last, but not least, in a customer service environment where support is provided by email, services like Zendesk, or on social media, writing skills are an absolute necessity. Your employees will need to be able to write back and forth with users, get to the root of the problem, and send directions on how to fix it.
This means that their writing skills have to be better than average. They need to be detailed enough to solve the problem, but not so detailed that it confuses the user even more.
On top of that, it will be up to customer support to document problems that arise so that others can troubleshoot similar. While you could do a screencast, ultimately, you will want written directions to reference. Especially if you have customer support by phone, as you don’t want the user to hear a screencast in the background.

In Conclusion

These five skills – empathy, patience, calm, problem-solving, and writing – are the core skills every employee needs to give users the best customer experience possible.