In an industry that highly values technical skills such as programming and design, it’s easy to forget just how important basic customer service skills are.
Is this because the amount of time we spend honing our hard skills has deprived us of the opportunity to interact with the very people that we are trying to help? Maybe so, but it is an undisputed fact that many experts in the digital industry are, by their own admission, in need of some assistance with regards to their soft skills such as communication and empathy.
We asked global education manager Rick Sullivan about the importance of soft skills in technical support world.
So why are these soft skills important?
Knowing how to communicate with your team members is essential to maintain a good atmosphere in the office, but so too is knowing how to communicate with paying customers and clients by telephone email or livechat for example.
In this modern age where the vast majority of the world’s population makes use of a digital device on a daily basis, it’s becoming more and more common for technically minded employees who staff technical support desks to have to deal with upset, disgruntled, or even confused customers. Unfortunately, these people, which are more used to programming than explaining a quick fix for a software bug, are finding themselves increasingly under pressure.
Rick stresses: “With no formal customer service training, it’s quite difficult to manage customer queries efficiently and in such a way that both parties are satisfied. And with customer experience being a hot topic and some of us are measured on customer feedback reports and surveys, now is not the time to avoid help in acquiring soft skills.”
Every customer counts
Regardless of how many customers your clients had, it’s imperative that each one feels valued. A positive attitude and polite demeanor go a long way in the world of customer service as both have an almost immediate calming effect on customers with issues. And such a favorable experience has a knock-on effect as your professional support is noted and discussed as a positive for the company.
So, how do we ensure that all customers have this positive experience?
It’s never too late
Some of the most successful people in the digital industry (and quite a few that work here at Tek Experts) were once quite nervous about dealing with people. But with a little training, they overcame their fears and opened up their careers to a whole new range of possibilities.
In-depth customer service training, such as that which we provide here at Tek Experts via multiple channels like ebooks, online courses and mentoring, can help you learn to feel at ease with people and avoid cold sweats each time a phone rings But, more importantly, it teaches you how to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and to empathize with their situation. Once you’ve learned how to do that, you will realize that it can help you in every aspect of your daily life and not just at work. That’s why we value and are passionate about our customer service training program.
A step by step program is custom tailored to our workforce, with every member of our global team offered the opportunity to study the fine art of customer interaction.
This might involve learning which words and phrases we can use to diffuse a tense situation or which words or actions might trigger negative responses.
Your training program needs to be designed to put you at ease with various stages, covering all the angles for your particular skillset. For example, if you are fluent in Japanese or German (contact us, we need to talk)
then we would tailor your training to make the most of your impressive language ability.
Whether you’re an introvert or an incredibly outgoing person, you can certainly benefit from training such as this. The advantages of developing excellent customer service skills include:
> The ability to view problems through the eyes of someone with no technical background – to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
> Better communication skills which you can use to foster positive working relationships with your colleagues.
> The ability to remain calm and patient no matter what work (or life) throws at you.
As you can imagine, the skills and abilities listed above are useful traits to possess in an industry within an ever-changing environment. Knowing how to communicate and express yourself appropriately might just help you adapt more comfortably to new processes or integrate yourself into a new team.
Quan Ngoc Son, Software Support Engineer based in our prestigious office in Hanoi confirmed: “Having customer orientation soft skill training was important for my day- to-day job, because I always want the customers to be happy and satisfied when working with me. The internal training courses helped me improve my soft skills, my communication skills are better than before and I have also learned how to schedule time and handle multiple tasks better. I have also been able to transfer the knowledge and understand how I can improve my technical support skills myself and how to handle different projects at home too.”
How soft skills can help your career
Furthermore, as we mentioned earlier, there are many people in the digital industry that can achieve success based solely on their technical skills. These skills are their passion, and they studied long and hard to hone them. Yet, having that slight edge over the competition in an interview process is always beneficial.
Rick summons up why we care about our people and their training “At Tek Experts, we believe in helping our staff to develop their skills so that they can, at some point, take the next step on the career ladder. We fully believe that having strong soft skills can set you apart from other candidates for a position anywhere.
“We’re confident, though, that once you have joined the Tek Experts family and start to reap the benefits of our in-house training, you will be climbing that career ladder with us at your side.”