The support industry is rather unusual when you think about it: It’s a customer service role but also a very technical job. When you work in the support industry you need to be able to act fast and prioritise your work. It’s a difficult job… that can be incredibly rewarding. Lets explore the best customer service skills required.
The sense of accomplishment you get when you’ve helped someone resolve their problems is what makes working in the support industry so gratifying. And that’s just one of the reasons why so many people choose to work in the support field.
If you want to work in the support industry what qualities do you need to have? There are a lot of qualities that will help but we’ve outline five that we feel are the most essential.
Confidence is an amazing quality to possess in any industry. But in the support industry it is almost indispensable. To get people to follow your instructions, you need to sound and act confident.
A lot of today’s support work is done over the phone and email so you need to be able to be confident on both of these channels as well. Many people can be confident when speaking to someone in person, but a nervous wreck when on the phone.
So good telephone manner is a must. You can be the most knowledgeable and logical person in the office but it won’t matter if you don’t sound like you know what you’re doing. A good way to improve your confidence is to just be bold and break out of your comfort zone.
Be careful here though… there is a thin line between confidence and arrogance and it needs to be balanced very carefully.
When you’re working in the support field one of the first things that become apparent is the need for patience. Patience certainly is a virtue in the support industry and an essential quality. People who need help will usually be stressed so you’ll need to be patient and understanding while they express and explain their problems to you.
Compassion and understanding are also very important and will grow alongside your patience. Work within the support industry is usually slow so you need to be patient and channel your energy into being as understanding and helpful as possible. The worst thing you can do is be snappy. Remember that for the majority of people you will be the first point of contact for their issues.
Some tips on how to be a good listener
Virtue of Patience will make you a good listener and a good listener will understand the customer issues better and be more confident when replying.
Being knowledgeable about all the products and services you’ll be providing support for is essential in support work. People could be asking you for help about a wide range of issues so you need to know exactly what you’ll be dealing with. You should also try to keep up to date with all the latest developments and improvements as well. Being informed about your work will also go a long way in helping you build confidence.
Being polite and kind can help a lot… especially during volatile situations. Remember when it comes to support work, people asking for help or assistance will sometime be stressed and angry. By being polite and kind you’ll be putting them at ease and build a stronger rapport with them.
This will help you defuse any potentially tricky situations and ensure you’ll be able to provide professional support. Being polite is more than just about good manners – even though they are very important – it’s about being direct and friendly. When you’re polite and professional, people will be more respectful and willing to listen, which is exactly what is required to be awesome at your job.
What not to do to be polite:
When you work in the support field, you are in a great position to showcase and inform customers and clients about complimentary products, services and potential upgrades. But telling customers about them when they’re asking you for support is unlikely to get them to take you up on your offer.
Just blurting out information about complementary products, services or upgrades isn’t going to get people to engage with you. They will most likely ignore what you say or they may even get upset. To have the best chance of success, you need to be tactful and charismatic. Remember to always wait for the right time to bring up the offers. This can be soon after you’ve solved their problem or provided them with the information they need.
Or, you can try to work in the complimentary products and upgrades into your natural dialog with them. Keep in mind that you’re not making a sales pitch – you’re just informing them. Being tactful will require some practice but is a great skill to have. It’s not hard to learn and it gets easier with experience.
How Can these Five Qualities Help You?
The above five qualities are incredibly useful, even essential, for anyone working in the customer support field. The great thing about them is that they open the door to many more skills and qualities. By being polite and patient you’ll learn to be more compassionate and understanding. And by learning to be tactful and confident you can improve your communication skills.
Working in the support industry is very rewarding… but it can also be quite challenging. Strive to be great at these 5 essential skills and you’ll be able to deliver to the best of your abilities.
If you want to contribute other qualities you feel are essential, leave a comment below. If you find the information in this blog useful, please share it on your social media. Thanks in advance for your input. We look forward to reading your comments!