10 Ways To Improve Your Craft As A CX Agent
In case you’re an entrepreneur, you probably know that, nowadays, it doesn’t only matter how great your product or service is because if your customer service is weak, customers will have a problem with it, complain about it, and eventually decide to spend their money elsewhere.
The good news here is that it’s not impossible to turn things around. Successfully converting your existing customer service from poor or mediocre to great won’t happen overnight, though. Instead, it demands a significant commitment to meaningful change, a team of rockstar customer support agents who’ll give their best to fulfill the customers’ needs, and constant work throughout the entire organization.
Nevertheless, while delivering uniformly excellent customer service demands work and alignment across the entire organization, the customer service representatives, the ones who are standing on the front lines and make or break each customer experience, are the ones who carry the heaviest burden of them all.
And if you’re currently working as a customer service agent, or as we like to refer to them, customer experience agent, this blog post is for you. This blog post won’t talk about customer service strategies, tools, or software that upper management needs to incorporate to make things easier for you.
Here, we’ll talk about the most critical skills you need to have as a person to thrive in your role as a CX agent and how you can improve your craft over time. You don’t need to possess any particular checklist of previous job experiences or carry a load of expensive college diplomas to be the perfect CX agent. Instead, you need to focus on your interpersonal skills and qualities that can’t necessarily be taught at a college or university but can be developed with hard work and extreme dedication. Without delay, here are the ten ways you can improve your craft as a CX agent.
Why Having Strong Interpersonal Skills Is Essential To Be An Excellent CX Agent
Interpersonal or soft skills are often underrated when it comes to speaking about the most remarkable traits each CX agent should possess and nurture. This is because soft skills can be rather challenging to master but believe us, they are precisely the ones who can make you stand out from a sea of customer support professionals and propel your career as a CX agent.
Anyway, interpersonal skills require a considerable amount of neurological strengthening and psychological work. That is why they are something that demands a great deal of effort and fine-tuning to master. Besides, according to a LinkedIn survey, soft skills are both essential and more challenging to find, as 60% of executives surveyed say that they have trouble hiring people with the right interpersonal skills. For that reason, the question remains, how do you master these skills in customer service to become the best CX agent you can be.
You see, no one is born with the flawless capability to master their interpersonal skills, and no one marches into their first job with a complete set of skills. Even though some can be personality traits, it’s hard to find someone who masters them all. However, with interpersonal skills training for customer service, learning and mastering can be done in time.
In this day and age, there’s not a single employer who would hire you as a CX agent without evaluating or at least asking about your soft skills because, in one way or another, they will aid your employer’s business performance. Below, we’ll showcase the ten skills you should consistently identify and strengthen to improve your craft as a customer support agent.
Ways To Master Your Craft As A CX Agent
Work On Your Ability To Listen
According to an article by AllBusiness, the majority of all business problems can be attributed to poor communication. That means that as a CX agent, you need to be able to listen and listen well. Therefore, working on your ability to listen better should be the first skill you need to work on as a customer representative.
Since phone calls are still the customers’ favored method of contacting customer service, the ability to listen can reap valuable returns for you as an excellent agent and the organization as a whole. Even if the communication happens on another customer service channel, be it email, live chat, or else, there are still ways and methods which you can use to ensure that the customer knows that you are closely following and monitoring their situation and will give maximum effort to solve their problem.
Bottom line, mastering your ability to listen not only consists of understanding your customer’s problems but also how they feel about it to respond the right way.
If you want to improve your craft as a CX agent, you need to understand emotional intelligence and work on it over time. Emotional intelligence is practically the ability to understand and manage your emotions and the emotions of others, in this case—the feelings of your customers. Providing a pleasant customer experience and successfully managing the customer’s happiness is precisely what emotional intelligence is all about.
Three out of the five components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy, are a direct result of you becoming fully aware of emotions and are the three pillars of making customers happy with your service. So, if you want to master this type of intelligence and become a better agent, we suggest researching the web, as it’s packed with emotional intelligence training programs that are practically free of charge.
Showing Empathy Is Important
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. When speaking to a CX agent, customers want to feel heard and understood, particularly with the chaos and anxiety these days, thanks to the ongoing pandemic. And to effectively validate your clients’ wants and needs, showing empathy toward their problems is crucial. Moreover, according to a recent study, almost 80% of customers want customer service agents to be more responsive and empathetic in the post-pandemic world.
Suppose the client knows that you understand their issue entirely, can see where their frustrations come from and work tirelessly to find an adequate solution with their emotions in mind. In that case, you are practicing empathy, and they will feel much more understood and comfortable with your service. Even more, empathy can not only boost customer experiences but can also rescue bad ones. Fortunately, empathy is an interpersonal skill that can consistently be improved and trained through practicing some of the best customer service empathy statements.
Be Enthusiastic About Your Job
No customer in this world wants to call your company, reach the customer service department, and talk to a CX agent who’s clearly hating each second spent on the job. So even if you’re not naturally enthusiastic, you always need to bear in mind that you need to employ an outgoing front when speaking to a customer and trying to resolve an issue. Because if the customer thinks that you don’t care about your work or the company you work for, they will also believe that the company doesn’t care about them.
Learn How To Work Well Under Pressure
From time to time, everyone gets nervous, panics, and has to deal with pressure. So, when you’re dealing with an urgent or challenging situation with a customer, remember that you can’t afford to panic and put your and the company’s reputation on the line.
Because stressful situations in customer service can’t be entirely unavoidable, it’s essential to understand how to channel and deal with the pressure productively and healthily.
We can offer one unfailing tip: you should start practicing keeping a calm voice and speaking coherently in all situations instead of in a confused, rushed manner to inspire confidence in your customers.
Always Remain Organized
CX agents deal with numerous customer issues, and those experiences could easily blur together for not well-organized agents. In fact, customers don’t want you answering the query that you promised another agent would like 15 minutes ago. Therefore, customer experience agents must keep their cases organized and communicate the correct information for the specific request.
If you want to automate your customer support efforts and see what Y Meadows AI-enhanced solution can do for your company and the customer service department you work in, click here and learn why customer service automation is vital for success nowadays.
Anyway, remember that organizational skills are fun interpersonal skills because there are many different ways to stay organized in the workplace. Also, some people are better at higher-level organizational tasks, while others are better at a more collaborative aspect of the organization. So find your place, and always remain organized in your work.
You Need To Have Strong Writing Skills
Nowadays, writing well is essential for almost any job position, and for any CX agent out there, the ability to come up with a carefully worded but informative, positive, and brief written communication is a must. In addition, this skill helps customers feel more cared about and important, mainly if their problem will take some time to resolve or if their agent is currently busy dealing with other requests.
Work On Your Follow-Up Skills
In relation to your writing skills, follow-up skills are also essential for customer service agents. For instance, every time something goes unresolved, the agent is responsible for following up with the customer. As a CX agent, you’ll find yourself in this situation hundreds of times, so if you ever need more time to get more information and circle back, ensure that your customer knows that you need a bit more time to resolve their issue and knows the steps you’re taking to help them.
As a matter of fact, feeling unappreciated is the no.1 reason clients switch away from businesses. If they ever feel forgotten or neglected, you’ve probably lost the opportunity to impress them and strengthen customer trust and loyalty, so make sure to work on your follow-up skills and staying in touch with your customers.
Having A Closing Ability Will Also Make You A Better CX Agent
Knowing how to close with a client as a CX agent means ending the communication with confirmed customer satisfaction, or as near to it as you can achieve, with the customer knowing that everything has been taken care of or will be. Because getting booted before their issues have been addressed is the last thing that clients want, ensure that you work on your ability to take the time and confirm with the customers that each problem they had with your company was entirely resolved.
Willingness To Learn
Although this is the most general skill on our list of ten ways to improve your craft as a CX agent, it’s also one of the most important. In the end, willingness to learn is at the core of growing skills as a customer service representative professional.
As an agent, you need to be willing to learn your products and services inside and out, willing to discover how to communicate competently, willing to listen to better, show empathy, how to follow up the process, and so on. Bottom line, those who don’t seek to improve their craft as customer service professionals will get left behind by people eager to invest in their skillset.
While many of the skills we listed above come with training and time, many can also be inherent, so you must be fully aware of which skills you need to address more and get better in the areas which were not “God-given to you.” Nevertheless, some of the best and easiest ways to train your interpersonal skills are through role-playing activities, practice, and recognizing the situations in which these skills are essential.
The bottom line, the nature of your job is to interact with customers in positive and meaningful ways. For that reason, invest in your ability to become a CX agent and watch how your customer experiences will get better and better over time.
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