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Customer support services benefit massively when technically-minded people combine knowledge with so-called "soft" interpersonal skills.

How Outsourcing Gives You Access to Technical-Minded Staff with Exceptional Interpersonal Soft Skills to Ensure Quality Customer Support

When it comes to customer experience, customers will be happy if: 1) Their problems are solved; and, 2) They are treated with respect and compassion. Although solving customer problems is a big part of customer support services, how you solve them and how you treat your customers in the process will affect overall customer satisfaction. You could have an expert tech guy providing useful support, but if he lacks interpersonal skills, he may end up scaring away customers.

Customer care requires a combination of technical expertise (hard skills) and intangible qualities (soft skills). Examples of soft skills include being responsive, friendly, and empathetic while striving to help the customer.

When training customer support staff, skills development and training should focus on both technical expertise and soft-skills to improve attitudes and motivation. If staff can interact well with others, especially customers and team members, then they will perform better and contribute to the company’s overall growth.

Quality customer support services will emphasize the importance of both hard and soft skills in training, so customer support staff can effectively solve customer issues while interacting in a friendly, kind, and courteous manner.

Check out these key soft skills outsourced customer support staff and every business process outsourcing professional should have:

Negotiation Skills

A common customer support interaction is handling customer complaints. A product may have stopped working, or a service isn’t what the customer expected. Whatever the complaint is, when a customer is unhappy with a product or service, they expect a prompt solution. In many cases, they also expect something extra in exchange for their continued customer loyalty.

Whether they want a free product or a discounted service, it’s up to your customer support team to negotiate well and be willing to compromise so your customers are satisfied without hurting your bottom line. Smart negotiation skills are an important skill set for effective problem-solving in all interpersonal situations.

Critical Thinking

Another skill that improves the ability to problem solve is critical thinking. Critical thought processes also require creative thinking to find solutions to complex problems, especially while under pressure. One way to exercise and develop these soft skills is through games, tasks, and activities that require imagination and being resourceful.

Willingness to Collaborate

Being a good team player is an essential interpersonal skill for any job. After all, it helps staff work together and grow as individuals and a team. In the customer support field, a willingness to collaborate helps staff:

  • Work comfortably with others;
  • Contribute ideas and advice;
  • See things from a bigger perspective; and,
  • Accept constructive criticism.

In turn, these benefits of teamwork will help to further improve their skills and work toward a shared goal of improving customer service and the company’s overall success.

Adaptable

Change is inevitable in any business, whether it’s a change in technology, competition, or market behaviour. And as these changes occur, customer support staff must be on board. An openness to change will help staff adapt well to their work and continue providing excellent customer service even as a business grows and customer needs change.

Although technical skills are a big part of customer support, you can’t provide exceptional customer service without these soft skills. Quality customer support services have trained staff for both hard and soft skills so support staff can interact with customers effectively while providing solutions to their problems.

Supportibles

Contributor at Supportibles, Inc.
Since 1999, Supportibles has been offering office and customer support outsourcing services to businesses and websites that wish to outsource their customer service, project management, and marketing and sales assistance tasks. Whether you wish to outsource customer care or simply need assistance with your online marketing, Supportibles can help! Ask for your free quote today.