We’ve all been on the phone with customer service representatives. The first expectation is that they can fulfill our requests or answer our expectations. The second expectation is more nuanced, however. Were they friendly? Or in some cases, were they empathetic? The first expectation revolves around hard skills – being able to complete tasks, essentially. The second expectation is soft skills. This is what really seals the deal for businesses. If they have operators representing their business who are not just helpful and knowledgeable but have emotional intelligence and people skills, then a full positive customer experience is created, which goes a long way for customer retention.
When it comes to live answering services, there are a few key soft skills a virtual receptionist should have.
Customer service requires patience, especially when trying to solve an issue. Patience is needed when a customer is upset or can’t explain the issue properly. A customer service representative must keep to the script, ask relevant questions to problem solve and not raise their voice or become snippy with a customer. A customer will leave the conversation happier if the operator maintains patience.
Active listening is also an important soft skill. First and foremost, a live answering service operator needs the basic listening skills to handle customers’ complaints or questions. But actively listening lets customers know they are being heard. This could be simple affirmations or repeating back the customer’s own words.
In customer support and service, conflict resolution is going to come up. Having no unhappy customers only exists in a perfect world. From time to time, your business will run into someone with a complaint. And some customers will be angry when they call. It’s important to maintain a level head and emotional control when handling these types of calling. Getting angry back will only escalate the situation. It’s an especially critical moment handling an angry customer. This could be a decision moment for that customer whether to stay with your business. By resolving the conflict well, the angry customer may feel appreciated and valued by a friendly, helpful virtual receptionist.
Operators with the best soft skills
At VoiceNation, we train our operators not only in the necessary hard skills for call handling, but also in soft skills. We know growing your business goes beyond answering your calls, but by treating your customers with respect and kindness. Check out our virtual live answering services or give us a call at 877.679.3777.