Patience. Customers may be frustrated when they make contact, so patience is certainly a virtue every agent needs to have. Agents should give customers a chance to explain their situation in full and never react negatively to an unhappy customer.

Timeliness. Timeliness is critical in customer service. Agents should be swift in responding to inquiries and prepared to switch to another channel if a case needs more attention.

Clear communication. Agents need to strike a balance between giving thorough answers, using a professional vocabulary, and being conversational and approachable all at the same time. It’s no easy task, but agents should aim to keep their exchanges concise and relevant and resist the urge to overdo small talk.

Empathy. It may seem dramatic, but empathy is among the most important customer service skills. A frustrated customer definitely needs attention and reassurance, but even satisfied customers need attention.

Knowledge about products and services. Among the essential customer service skills is simply possessing the knowledge to discuss products and services. Agents need to receive thorough training to better understand what the company offers, and they should be updated regularly on important events such as recalls and promotional sales.

Positive attitude. No matter how upset a customer might be, agents must keep a positive attitude. Using positive language that reflects confidence in finding a solution will reassure a customer and encourage sustained loyalty in the brand.

Attentive listening. If a customer wishes to explain a situation in detail, agents need to be willing to listen. In addition, customers may not necessarily accept the solutions an agent has to offer or have questions about them, so attentive listening is critical to showing respect for customer opinions and offering them the best eventual solution.

Organization. During customer service exchanges, agents must be organized at all times to deliver timely service. This means being able to navigate efficiently between different windows in a CRM database as well as switching channels when necessary. Organization is vital to taking notes in a timely manner and delivering great service.

Adaptability. Of the most essential customer service skills, adaptability to changing situations is crucial. Agents need to be ready to handle varying customer demands, possible technical issues, switching to other channels, and the like. One service interaction may completely differ from another, so a readiness to go with the flow and adapt as needed is an important skill to master.

Willingness to go the extra mile. Customers appreciate great service, but they love a gesture that shows real appreciation for their business. Agents who go the extra mile often win over customers.

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