Customer service - where representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders and provide information about an organization’s products and services – spans several industries including call centers, banks and retail stores. Over the last few years, Singapore’s customer service industry has made a concerted effort to improve its reputation and enhance the level of service excellence. Even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that his government is committed to building a strong service culture.Do you have the skills to make the cut for a customer service job? Rank yourself on the following parameters to find out:
Pleasing PersonalityAn agreeable nature is a necessary attribute for customer service professionals. A positive temperament must be accompanied by good grooming as well. If you don’t have good manners and look presentable, customers simply aren’t going to be interested in talking to you.
Time ManagementIn customer service, you’ll have to juggle several responsibilities such as meetings, phone calls, client visits, presentations, etc. You can only handle it all efficiently if you know how to organize, prioritize and make quick decisions.
Communication SkillsCommunication skills are critical to the job. Tact could be your biggest ally as you frequently end up dealing with a range of tricky situations. Your ability to diffuse the situation, calm customers and solve the problem is going to prove critical under the circumstances. The ability to think on your feet is an added plus.
Willingness to LearnSince customer service professionals need to deal with people who have purchased the company’s products, a thorough knowledge of the product is essential. Over the years, the products you deal with will change. A willingness to learn new things and the ability to grasp things quickly will be extremely useful in this situation.
TenacityA willingness to do what needs to be done, without taking shortcuts and at times under extrenuating circumstances, is a key to providing good service.HumilityA big ego is hurtful to any career but this is especially true in a customer service job. In your role as the interface between the customer and company, you may be required to swallow your pride and let the customer’s view prevail. Your willingness to lose a battle to win a war will take you a long way in this field.
While product knowledge and goal-oriented thinking are also important skills for a person seeking a career in customer service, strong soft skills will help you perform best in this profession. At the end of the day, it is a combination of several factors and not one particular trait that will help you deal smartly with customers and take your career places.
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