Customer Service Manager Resume
SKILLS YOU NEED
Support Tickets and Email
3CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS YOU NEED
Today’s customer service involves much more
than a conversation on the phone. Web, email,
chat, and social media are now very important
channels for customers. Still, many customers
prefer to contact companies with a phone call.
From a company’s perspective, the phone is not always
the most ecient channel, particularly for larger
companies dealing with high volumes of customer
Soft skills for providing customer support on the phone, such
as empathy, the ability to “read” a customer’s emotional
state, social graces, communication, and friendliness
remain important, but additional skills for the newer
channels need to be developed to make these channels
equally—or more—viable choices for customers.
This paper delves into today’s main customer service
channels and the associated soft skills which make for
a rock star agent. Naturally, the skills overlap and can
apply to more than one channel.
4CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS YOU NEED
•Smile, literally. A smile can “translate” through the
phone, causing your voice to sound friendly and
warm. But be careful not to “smile” at a very angry
customer. Wait until the time is right.
•Mirror your customers. Try to match their tone
and emotion. Mirroring doesn’t mean to yell if a
customer is yelling at you. However, an initial increase
in volume or intensity might help the interaction at
the start. Then it’s important to quickly bring the
intensity down. Be yourself, and mirror in the best
way you can to create quick rapport.
•Reect and validate. When a customer is upset or
frustrated, they might not be able to take in what you
say—even when it’s the right answer. First, really listen
to help them calm down. After saying all they need to
say, they’re more likely to be receptive to hearing the
solution you oer.
5CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS YOU NEED
•Acknowledge. Tell customers you understand their
problem and the reason for their call. Make sure they
•Give the customer time.Let customers vent if they
need to, even if you understand the issue right away.
People often need to nish expressing themselves
in their own way before they are ready to proceed.
•Summarize. Repeat back what a customer has told
you in a supportive way. This demonstrates that
you understand the problem.
•Communicate hold time.Before you put some
one on hold, get confirmation that it’s OK to
do so. General rule: don’tleave acustomeron
hold more than 2 minutes withoutchecking
back, even if it’s to say it may takelonger. Ifyou
know it will be an extended hold, tell them ahead
of time. Oer to call back, if that’s preferable.
6CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS YOU NEED
Support Tickets and Email
•Hone your writing skills. Tickets and email require
excellent writing ability. That means writing with
clarity, precision, and brevity.
•Use templates, not boilerplates. Don’t use the
exact same prewritten text when responding to
tickets. Start with a basic, standardized template
specic to your support team and personalize it
when replying to customers.
•Inject personality into responses. Feel free to
use your own voiceandapproach.You can
reect the company’s persona and philosophy in
your own way. Consider using a dierent
signature and closing macro based on the tone
and resolution of the interaction.
7CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS YOU NEED
•Aim for specic times. Make sure all tickets are
resolved or escalated within a certain time frame.
Time to rst reply is critical, so dene expectations
with your team and with your customers. Systemic
alarms and triggers are imperative to ensure
that tickets don’t get stale. Ifyougetanupdate
fromengineering, product, or operations, make
sure a systematic process exists to update
•Don’t be robotic.Emails should have
personality, reecting the fact that they come
from an actual person.
•Prioritize. The ability to prioritize tickets while
keeping esponse times in mind is immensely
•Mimic phone skills in writing.Smile, mirror,
summarize, acknowledge, etc.
8CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS YOU NEED
•Combine phone and email skills.Chat is very
similar to phone in that it is a conversational,
real-time interaction. However, like email, chat
requires strong writing ability.
•Toneis often difficult to decipher in chat which
tends to be a series of short, quick statements.
Therefore, pay close attention to the way things are
written while chatting. Word choice and a gentle,
informative tone are key. A good rule: if you didn’t
have the ability to include an emoticon (smiley face),
would the recipient understand the tone? Be kind
with your words.
•Multitask.A seasoned customer service agent
canhandleseveral tickets at once on chat, but this
should never be done at the expense of providing
9CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS YOU NEED
your customers with great service. Only take on what
youcanhandle.If your customers are waiting more
than a minute or two between responses, then
you’re eectively puttingthem onhold.Treat
them the same way you would on a phone call
(see above) and give them time expectations.
•Be a keen reader.As with email and support
tickets, customers are often less able to express
themselves or explain problems in writing. Read
carefully and ask questions. Don’t jump to
10CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS YOU NEED
•Acknowledge. Make it known that you are aware of
the customer’s tweet, Facebook post, etc.
•Make quick contact. Get in touch with
commenters as quickly as possible. (Suggestion:
•Publicly acknowledge that you’re following up with
them (within the same 10 minute time frame).
Oncesolved, consider returning to the channel
(Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to publicly thank them.
(Close the loop!)
•Don’t respond to baiting, or obvious attempts to
pull you into a pointless altercation in a public space.
Nobody gains from this kind of interaction.
•Forward “love tweets” (compliments, etc.) to Marketing
in case they want to retweet and reach out to the
11CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS YOU NEED
• Respond. For actual support requests, if it’s a
question you can answer, just respond publicly
(rather than asking them for contact info and
following upinanother channel). It’s much faster.
•Create tickets. If someone reportsan issue thatrequires
troubleshooting or more information from that
person,pulltheconversation into a ticket and
send them a link to it. Inthesesituations,it’s
better than engaging in a backandforth
conversation on Twitter or Facebook. Simply respond
via a tweet with a link they can use. Then
continue working with them inside the ticket.
No matter what channel you use to communicate with
your customers, always close the loop. This means
keeping them up to date during every step of the
process, and following up on resolution to make sure
they’re completely satised.