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5 Customer Service Skills that Drive Every Business - PATLive - Blog

5 Customer Service Skills that Drive Every Business

Customer service departments don’t just exist to address issues after they’ve already happened; they’re meant to be proactive parts of your overall business strategy.

The level of competition in almost every field is so high that customer service has become a key decision making factor for most buyers today. 96% of consumers, for example, stated that customer service is an influential factor in their choice of brands, and 93% are more likely to make repeat purchases with customers who have strong customer service.

According to Salesforce, 88% of high-performing service decision makers are making significant investments in agent training, versus only 57% of decision makers with low-performing service. There are certain customer service skills that are particularly valuable when it comes to driving your business forward, helping you to attract and retain clients both immediately and long-term while improving your overall brand reputation. So let’s take a close look at the five most important skills you need your staff to develop.

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1. Empathy 

Imagine that you’re calling the customer support line of your credit card company, frustrated beyond belief because your purchase of an online Lowes gift certificate was flagged as suspicious and your account was locked. You need that credit card, which you’ve just opened to buy all your new furniture for your first house, but now it’s temporarily frozen.

Do you want someone on the other end of the line who is cold, clinical, and maybe apologizes but only keeps repeating company policies back to you? Of course not. This is a stress-inducing, blood-pressure-raising incident that could bring on a breakdown even for people who aren’t in the middle of buying a home or moving, so the only thing that might make you feel better is someone who genuinely apologizes, expresses that they’re stressed for you, and conveys that they have a quick solution.

Empathy is such a crucial skill for strong customer service agents, that it’s one that can impact your business’ success moving forward. It allows your team members to really connect with your customers and is a core component in how your clients view your brand. 

2. Personalized Problem Solving 

Let’s go back to the example above. Do you want to just be told “Sorry, that’s policy, good luck,” or do you want the agent you’re working with to actually try to find you a solution that works for you? 

Personalized problem solving is an insanely valuable skill set that all good customer service agents should have if you want to drive your business forward. They’ll be able to deliver true customer service excellence in a way no other competitor can, because you’ve given them the training and the ability to reasonably take matters into their own hands.

In order to enable your team to deliver personalized problem solving, give them guidelines they can work within to help their customers, and while you can offer suggestions for how to handle specific circumstances, let them know when they can go off-script. 

3. Active Listening 

Plenty of people listen half-heartedly, thinking about what they’ll say next instead of really concentrating to what the other person is saying.

Active listening, on the other hand, is all about paying careful attention to what the other person is saying and letting them know that you’re doing so. It’s no surprise that this is a huge skill your customer service team should possess if you want them to be a standout part of your business.

Active listening will not only increase the likelihood that they retain what the customers are saying, but also that the customer will feel heard and understood.

A few ways to practice active listening over the phone include:

  • Not interrupting the caller
  • Asking clarifying questions at the appropriate time to show that you’re listening and want to understand
  • Offering short “I see” and “ok” statements to show that you are engaged in the conversation
  • Summarizing the client’s main points to ensure you’re on the same page and show that you were paying attention

4. Knowledge of Your Customers 

When your customers call your customer support numbers, they don’t want to have to do a ton of explaining or state the same thing over and over to different agents. Instead, they want you to have a basic idea of who they are, their past purchases, and their past experiences with you. If this is the fourth time they’ve called you because you’ve frozen their account, they expect that you’ll have some of this history down in your notes somewhere.

Understand your customers as a whole. In general, who are they and what motivates them? What are their pain points and what solution does your company’s product or service offer them? Someone who is using your online portal because they’re stressed and overwhelmed for time, for example, is going to be frustrated beyond belief if they have to keep calling because there was a glitch that caused them to lose half an hour of work.

Your customer service team - and any agencies that you hire to take on calls, like PATLive - should have access to your CRM (customer relationship management) software, allowing them to quickly get up to speed on the individual customer at the start of each call.

5. Knowledge of Your Product 

You don’t just need knowledge of your customers in order to deliver great customer service; you also need to know a great deal about your product or service. Plenty of people will call customer service with questions, concerns, or complaints. If the representative isn’t familiar with company policies, available services, or how to use or care for different products, they won’t be able to best serve the client they’re working with.

Imagine, for example, you’re running a bakery. Someone calls to ask about your cupcakes, and they want to know if they’re certified as gluten-free because they’re allergic. Your customer service rep says, “Yes, they’re definitely gluten-free”, but in reality, they’re only made without gluten ingredients but are prepared in an area with a high likelihood of cross-contamination. They can’t be certified gluten-free because of this, and a customer service rep who hasn’t been trained to know the difference could cause someone to become very sick, which could lead to a legal liability. 

Make sure your staff and any answering service agency working for you have a deep dive in knowledge about your products, service, and brand. This will go a long way. 

Great customer service can be a powerful differentiator that helps your business stand out, even in the face of fierce competition. In order to deliver great customer service, however, your team needs to be more than just friendly; they need to come equipped with an effective and versatile skill set allowing them to best serve your clients across the board. 

When it comes to customer service, we pride ourselves on training and nurturing these soft skills. In a note from our CEO, Austin Davidson, during Customer Service Week 2019, he noted, “As we all know, answering the call is about a lot more than just ‘being on the phone’. It’s about being on point – being friendly, professional, and engaging with every single caller. That’s hard to do… But day in and day out, what I see, is a team of agents doing an amazing job.”

Ensure that your customer support staff is fully trained in each of these five key skills and you’ll start to see the benefits of a proactive customer service process in no time at all. 


Publish Date: November 12, 2019 5:00 AM

2021 Buyers Guide Inbound Call Handling Services


2Ring Gadgets for Cisco Finesse
2Ring Gadgets for Cisco Finesse, offered in three bundles (standard, enhanced, premium), empowers supervisors and enables agents to become more efficient.

Supervisors are able to handle everyday tasks on their own from within Cisco Finesse: reskill agents, view detailed information about agents and customer interactions in real-time, receive alerts about important call center events (RONA, Calls in Queue, ..), send messages to agents, or even change wallboards on the fly. Be flexible to provide help when needed.

Agents gain all the features that they need to serve customers faster - repetitive tasks are automated, alerts about important call center events pop-up on top of all the appli...
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Calls are received by the right person or department. The right corresponding information is shown to the agent which makes that appointments are handled quicker and more secure.


Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.

Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

Connect Assist

Contact Centre Services
We’re a specialist Contact Centre business and market leaders helping socially focused organisations deliver quality support to their clients and service users. We do this by providing 24/7 helplines, software solutions and consultancy services.

Since launching in 2006, we’ve operated at the sharp end of customer service, supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people. We’ve pioneered in our space to become a specialist in helplines, whilst using the most advanced communication and database technologies available.

Our social mission has remained a constant throughout, providing many meaningful career prospects and growth opportunities to people within our local communities and fur...
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Jointly International Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Front office is your Company’s first line of customer interaction and serves as the mirror of your business. Focus on your core business and let our competent staff handle your various front office needs such as:

* Customer Service via chat, email or phone
* Technical Support via chat, email or phone
* Helpdesk
* Virtual Assistant/Receptionist
* Answering Service
* Lead Generation
* Appointment Setting
* Verification
* Surveys
* Debt Recover, Collections

MattsenKumar LLC

Contact Center Outsourcing
By catering valuable, usable and enjoyable customer service, businesses can increase their CSAT Score and Customer Retention Rate. We help organizations to provide quality customer service through varied channels like email, phone and live chat. Ensuring quality after-sales support is our USP and we rely on proven approaches to ensure quality customer service.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Performance Monitoring


VADS Inbound Contact Center
VADS Inbound Contact Center Services provide live operators who answer incoming calls as you would yourself. A team of professional script writers is available to help you script a greeting and experience programmers will set up a time and money saving program. Our unique approach to call center services is client-focused, and takes each project’s unique needs into account to our client’s satisfaction. We offer solution as part of our service to keep you in touch with your client and drive sales.

- Customer Service
- Walk In Center
- Service Desk

Technosys IT Management

Customer Support
Technosys IT Management Bpo, the business process Outsourcing, gives end-to-end transformative administrations for its customers over the globe. The organization's coordinated IT and BPO arrangements approach empowers it to open business esteem crosswise over ventures and administration lines, and address business challenges for its customers. Using inventive business perfection structures, progressing profitability changes, process reengineering, mechanization, and front line innovation stages, Technosys IT Management empowers its customers to accomplish their cost diminishment goals, enhance process efficiencies, upgrade viability, and convey unrivaled client encounter

Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Any part of your business operations that requires constant end-customer facing task is an essential part of your business.

This task requires a good customer experience results for every customer interaction. Our extensive experience in handling Front Office related tasks can help you focus on your core business while being cost-efficient at the same time.

View more from PATLive

Recent Blog Posts:
Can Your Small Business Afford A Call Answering Service?July 15, 2020 5:00 AM
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