There are many customer service skills that are essential to workplace success (even for those not in traditional customer service roles). Quickly rising to the forefront of these are skills for service recovery, dealing with difficult situations and dealing with difficult people.
Our Workplace Interactions Are Changing
The rise of the machine has been an inexorable and accelerating trend over the last few years and it is impacting every aspect of our lives. Automation, algorithms and artificial intelligence specifically designed to decrease human interaction is everywhere, and it is growing exponentially.
The Human Factor In Customer Service Is Becoming a Critical Niche
The movement toward self-service and automation is being fervently championed by companies looking to control costs. Some of it enhances customer experience and some of it detracts from it greatly, but the reality is that it isn’t going away any time soon. Because of all this, human interaction is going to be increasingly focused on doing the things machines can’t do well – problem solving, fixing mistakes, dealing with unique situations, establishing rapport – things like that. THOSE are the skills we are all going to have to master.
Human Customer Service Skills Will Become The Deal-Breaker
Imagine that you are a customer, and something has gone wrong the automated, self-service process you are trying to follow. You reach out to Customer Support and one of two things happen:
a) Instead of getting a human you get an AI (artificial intelligence) program which attempts, but fails, to understand or solve the problem.
b) You get a sympathetic human with the skill and knowledge to resolve things
In the first instance, there were two service failures. In the second, there was only one. Which is most likely to cause a customer to defect?
Over the next three weeks we will explore the specific skills needed to effectively resolve service failures, and deal with difficult situations and people.
“A mistake won’t necessarily cost you a customer.
That will be determined by how you deal with it.”