CORE COMPETENCIES—THE KEY TO CUSTOMER SERVICE
In any business, poorly administered customer service will spoil a customer’s experience and is likely to result in loss of repeat business. Employees must possess key skills---core competencies---which enable them to deliver excellent customer service. Superlative customer service begins by hiring the people who display qualities such as effective communication skills, empathy, flexibility, a passion for getting it right; then, these employees are encouraged to develop a sense of ownership for their jobs, empowered to solve customer issues, provided training to maintain skills and given a supportive environment to share their knowledge with other fellow employees and manage organizational change. Six core competencies for excellent customer service are: ability to communicate effectively; acceptance of ownership; ability to use empowerment; ability to manage knowledge; and ability to manage change.
Effective communication skills are critical to customer service. Equally important is the ability to listen carefully and to understand what the customer is trying to convey. Employees can demonstrate this by repeating what they’ve heard in order to show that they understand. Employees should be aware of what they say and how they say it. Focus on the customer’s need and get to the point quickly and simply. Customers should sense an enthusiastic attitude and hear positive language. Employees should be able to read their customers in order to keep their employee-customer interactions positive. A calm presence, persuasive skills and the ability to handle surprises may be required to defuse an angry customer. In all communications with customers, it is vital that employees promise only what they can deliver and avoid making empty promises.
On the other hand, with technology we have to communicate with the customer by Email, text messaging and social networks and this has provided additional means for...