The customer support team is what can make or break the customer experience. And happy customers are loyal customers who will help businesses bloom and add to their revenue.
In brief, good customer support is a revenue generator. That’s why it’s essential to provide the customer support skills teams need through thorough and skill-focused training.
You already know the basic skills any customer support agent should have, like communication, for example. And your teams probably have them. In this article, we’ll explore what skills will turn a good customer support team into a great one.
Job-related customer support skills
Job-related customer support skills are the so-called hard skills that are necessary for customer support agents to conduct their daily tasks seamlessly. Such skills are usually technical and quantifiable.
People in customer support teams should be able to successfully analyze data and then create actionable insights to boost their performance. Such data could be directly linked to the way they work, or it could be customer-related.
For instance, customer support agents can use such data to:
- Delve into customer preferences in communication, buying patterns, or characteristics
- Notice common customer pain areas and resolve issues faster
- Assess their performance on an individual and team level
Training tip: Include training courses in video format through an LMS so that employees can easily understand, step-by-step, how to analyze such data.
More and more customer support teams transition to remote or hybrid work environments. This is why mastering digital skills is essential. People should be able to work seamlessly with other team members and customers by properly using digital tools, resources, and workspaces.
In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, acknowledging the significance of digital literacy is essential. This skill should never be overlooked or assumed, regardless of the diverse backgrounds or ages of employees. The capacity to navigate and effectively utilize digital tools is a critical asset that empowers individuals to thrive in a digitally-driven work environment.
Training tip: Create short tutorials on tools your customer support team uses daily. This way, they’ll be able to refer back to those resources as often as they need to. Also, by using screen recording videos, you can showcase advanced features and use cases so that employees make the most out of their customer support software.
With AI and bots being the future of work, tech and AI proficiency is one of the most essential customer support skills training should focus on.
AI tools like chatbots are extremely useful in customer service and are here to stay. Thus, customer support agents should be able to know how to work with such tools to offer more comprehensive support to customers. Besides that, AI tools and bots automate repetitive and redundant tasks. So, as the customer support team is able to make the best use of these tools, they will be able to focus on more complex tasks.
Training tip: Training on AI tools can be challenging. Support training courses on AI tools with videoconferences through an LMS where experts share tips, tricks, and best practices for using such tools at work.
Product knowledge is one of the most important customer support skills. But what will make the customer support team stand out from the competition is industry knowledge.
Customer support training should include industry knowledge so that agents can go beyond product knowledge and dive deeper into the industry, the customer profiles, and their pain points. These details will help teams better understand customers and provide faster and more specific recommendations to enhance the customer experience.
Training tip: Plan a series of presentations inviting industry experts to share their perspectives once a month. Create a hybrid learning environment so all customer support agents can attend, regardless of their location.
Exceptional writing skills
Good writing is one of the most essential customer support skills. Teams don’t only communicate with customers face-to-face or voice-to-voice. Agents will sometimes have to communicate with customers through emails or other messaging apps.
Training on writing skills will help agents adjust the tone of their voice for different scenarios while at the same time staying true to the company’s brand. The way an agent phrases a sentence can make a big difference in how things are communicated.
Training tip: Add coaching and mentoring sessions to customer support skills training so that employees have the opportunity to practice their writing skills with experts.
Troubleshooting and creative problem-solving
Competent customer support agents need to polish their troubleshooting skills to provide targeted solutions to customers quickly. Creative problem-solving goes hand in hand with troubleshooting, as both focus on recommending solutions for customers’ pain areas.
Even if employees may come across customer issues they’ve never seen or heard of before, building these two customer support skills through training will help them use any available resources and prior knowledge to find answers to these questions. Or redirect customers to the person that can help them in case they get stuck.
Training tip: Job shadowing is an excellent way to enhance troubleshooting and problem-solving training sessions. Employees will have the opportunity to see how more experienced customer support agents deal with customer issues in real-life situations.
Soft skills for customer support teams
Soft skills are also important for customer support teams. These are transferable skills related to workplace behaviors and interactions. The good news is that soft skills can be taught through effective training.
Being a good listener is one of the most crucial customer support skills agents should master. Employees should be great listeners in all interactions, whether on the phone, through video, or in person.
Even if active listening may be a given for customer support teams, training should be adjusted to make sure employees still practice it. Why? For example, some of the employees might have been used to having in-person conversations, but now they shifted to working in a remote work environment. So, in-person interactions are now replaced by phone or video calls, and being an active listener in these settings can be challenging.
Training tip: Scenario-based training can enhance active listening skills for customer support teams. Agents can practice their listening (and communication) skills in a safe, risk-free environment.
Receiving critical customer feedback isn’t always easy. Sometimes, customer agents will hear things they don’t like. And there’s no way you can avoid that.
Help teams in managing customer frustration by boosting resilience skills through training. Employees will then be able to tackle criticism and feedback gracefully.
Resilience training can also help customer support teams enhance their quality of life, as they will be able to decrease stress and anxiety by looking at challenges as opportunities.
Training tip: Provide ready-made, bite-sized video courses through a built-in LMS library on resilience, conflict management, and other customer support skills for dealing with difficult situations. Customer support agents will boost their knowledge in these areas without suffering from cognitive overload.
Customers need their issues resolved asap. But besides that, they want to feel that customer support agents listen to and understand them. This ability is one of the most crucial customer support skills.
A high-performing customer support agent will put themselves in the customer’s shoes and resolve customer issues from their perspective. Enhance this ability by investing in customer support skills training.
Training tip: Activities like scenarios and gamification are excellent for building empathy skills in customer support teams. With gamification, people build their empathy skills by participating in interactive experiences where they explore different viewpoints through role-playing and scenarios. This helps them better understand others’ feelings and needs, leading to more empathy overall.
Setting up customer support teams for success
Building customer support skills is not a one-time initiative.
Customer-facing roles that involve close interaction with people require more than one-and-done training programs. Continuous learning is the best way to boost customer support skills to build strong, effective, and high-performing customer support teams.
A well-equipped customer support team reflects well on your brand. And bottom line.
Improve your employee, partner and customer training with our enterprise-ready learning management system. Book a demo now and see why our diverse portfolio of customers consistently give us 5 stars (out of 5!)