According to Zendesk, approximately two out of three people have raised their customer service expectations in the last three to five years. Businesses must strive to provide their clients with a higher level of service during every interaction. Otherwise, their brand image will suffer, and customer satisfaction will plummet.
While providing exceptional customer service is important for all industries, it is particularly vital to businesses in the hospitality sector. Hotels, restaurants, and similar businesses must nurture a positive reputation among customers. Researchers have found that a one-star increase on review sites can boost revenue by 5% to 9%.
This figure begs the question, “What skills are needed to be great at customer service?” Before companies can improve their hiring practices and enhance their level of service, they must first answer this vital question and determine what skills they should be screening for.
This article identifies some of the essential skills needed for customer service. It also reveals how your business can effectively test for these abilities using a proven pre-employment screening tool.
Top Skills Needed for Customer Service Professionals
While all customer service professionals must possess a broad range of abilities and talents, a few of the most mission-critical skills include:
Communication Skills: Customer service agents should be able to communicate with consumers of all ages and backgrounds. They must be able to identify customers’ needs and address their concerns to leave them feeling satisfied after an interaction.
Attention to Detail: the best customer service agents have impeccable attention to detail. They carefully listen to customers to identify the root cause of their concerns.
Sales Knowledge: Customer service professionals should have a strong knowledge of basic sales practices. Additionally, customer service staff must have comprehensive knowledge of their company’s products or services. Otherwise, they cannot be an effective resource for clients.
Empathy: Whether an individual works in retail, a restaurant, or the hospitality industry, they must be able to demonstrate empathy towards customers. When consumers encounter an issue, often, they want to be heard and understood. An empathetic employee can salvage customer relationships and foster feelings of brand loyalty.
Of the skills outlined above, empathy and communication are two of the most vital. Individuals working in the hospitality sector must effectively communicate with co-workers, management, and, most importantly, consumers. If they cannot, then the customer experience will suffer.
Must-Have Customer Service Manager Skills
Customer service managers need to have the skills outlined above, but they must also possess the following abilities:
Conflict Resolution: If line-level personnel cannot resolve an issue, the problem will need to reach a manager. When this occurs, managers must be able to handle the customer’s concern without undermining the efforts of their staff. This balancing act requires finesse and nuance. In addition, managers need to be able to resolve conflicts between employees to keep things running smoothly.
Multitasking: Managers must “change hats” frequently during any given workday. They should be able to seamlessly transition between various tasks while also remaining productive and supporting their team.
Time Management: With so much on their plate, it can be easy for managers to lose track of time. However, top customer service managers remain aware of looming deadlines and other obligations.
Leaders can make or break a business. A great leader has customer service manager skills that bring out the best in every team member, identify organizational weaknesses, and proactively work to remedy those shortcomings. In addition, effective leadership will positively impact staff morale and employee retention.
How to Measure Skills Needed for Customer Service
Skills tests allow you to accurately measure skills needed for customer service personnel. These screening tools can be used for pre-employment purposes and to gauge the abilities of current staff.
Skills tests can yield measurable data on either job-specific abilities or more general skills, such as multitasking and attention to detail. While there are many great skills tests available for screening customer service professionals, some of the most effective include tests of chat simulation, attention to detail, and emotional intelligence.
By incorporating skills tests into your screening protocols, you can expedite the hiring process. Your hiring team can identify which applicants are a good fit for your organization and rule out underqualified candidates. Ultimately, this will pave the way for better hiring, reduce turnover, and improve the level of service that you provide your valued customers.
As an added benefit, skills testing allows you to justify hiring decisions. You can retain testing data to demonstrate that your business engages in fair and equitable hiring practices, which can protect you from civil liability.
Testing Solutions from eSkill
As the premier provider of online skills testing solutions, eSkill can help you assess candidates for customer service manager skills and other essential abilities.
Skills tests help you improve hiring and training by helping instantly identify candidates with the skills needed for customer service. Contact us to request a demo.