Customer care experts have been touting the importance of hiring Communicators with technology skills, as more contact centers are implementing technology to improve productivity and increase efficiency. What experts are forgetting, however, is the importance of a positive attitude.
When it comes to the customer care industry, communication and interpersonal skills are everything. After all, researchers found that the number one reason customers would abandon a brand was due to poor quality and rude customer service, according to a Customer Experience Report by RightNow.
When looking for qualified Communicators to join your team, forget technological prowess or business savvy and consider their attitude as the most important asset they can bring to table. You might interview someone who looks good on paper, but in person their demeanor could be dismal.
Below are a few interpersonal skills to keep in mind when bringing a new Communicator onto your team.
- Empathy: When a customer contacts your business, there’s a good chance that he or she is frustrated or upset about something. Rather than come off as stand-offish or uninterested in their problem, Communicators must display empathy. This will put the customer at ease and help to build a good rapport.
- Listening: There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than trying to communicate with a Communicator who doesn’t listen. Don’t try to talk over a customer, as this will just upset them more. Instead, listen carefully to what he or she is saying so that you can clearly understand his or her problem. Intently listening to your customers will make them feel like they’re not just another ticket they need to complete.
- Friendly: If a customer has a problem, focus on what you can do to help him or her. While you don’t want to seem overly happy when a customer is upset, being friendly can help a customer stay positive under not so great circumstances.
So next time you bring a new employee on board consider their personality more than what their skills look like on paper.
Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.