Underrated Customer Skills You Need To Learn This Year

Customer service is one of the areas of business that many companies suffer because they lack employees that have the proper training to deliver stellar customer service. Nextiva makes mention of the connected world has made customer service an even more important part of a business’ marketing plan, where less than a decade ago it was much less of a concern. The reason why customer service is such a big deal is because of the increased amount of options that the average customer has. Not only does a business have to fight for individual recognition in order to market their product, but their customer service needs to be on point, lest they use future business due to bad customer reviews. For a business, customer skills are a necessity, and even though there are massive training regimens that companies can utilize to increase their customer service rating, a handful of soft skills are overlooked and underrated but can bring a different sheen to a company’s customer interaction.

1) Being Spontaneous in Solving Problems

Having a training system that utilizes a set of canned responses might work if the customer service agent is trying to interact with a robot, but real people tend to need more of an interactive dynamic. As Aircall notes, personal interaction with a representative gives the customer a sense of their needs being taken care of. Improvisation is not a skill every customer service representative has, but it is one that can be trained and practiced. The key to training this sort of interaction is going above and beyond the knowledge that the representative has about the customer. Having a system that provides background information about the customer makes the customer feel secure in the knowledge that the representative is truly working to solve their problem. Customers prefer having information at their fingertips on sites like ProductExpert, and getting their problems sorted out in a short time. Being good with improvisation allows for a more in-depth experience when dealing with the customer.

2) Having Authenticity

In a world where each advertisement is looking to sell a product to a consumer, being authentic is not all that common. Even in customer service, one of the things companies tend to teach their representatives is to upsell, neglecting to mention that it might rub customers the wrong way. ICMI notes that authenticity in communication is something most customers prefer and by incorporating it into customer service training, companies can tap into that feeling. The development of authenticity comes from doing away with canned responses. Again, offering freedom of communication to employees working with customer service is essential in providing a truly authentic experience for the customer.

3) Managing a Project

When taken in its simplest form, dealing with customers is simply a series of projects that can be managed, once the customer service representative has the skills to do so. Breaking down the customer service experience into the five stages of project management help to make these situations a lot more manageable:

  • Initiation: The initial call through which the customer makes contact with the company through the customer service representative
  • Planning: After hearing the customer’s issue, the CSR figures out a way forward and develops a plan
  • Execution: After outlining the steps to fix the customer’s problem, the CSR puts those steps into action and attempts to resolve the issue
  • Monitoring: The CSR collects feedback from the client as to whether their problem was resolved and if not, then the planning and execution phase are redone until there is a solution
  • Closure: Once the issue is resolved, the CSR can update the client on the solution being found and implemented. This feedback is relevant since it puts the customer’s worry to rest

Customer Service is an Ongoing Training Program

There is no end to training when it comes to customer service. Delivery of good customer services rests on not just the employees that make up the service center, but the company’s training in order to deal with situations that may arise. There is no way to cover all the possibilities that may occur and attempting to do so with a series of canned responses is possibly the worst way to develop a customer service system. Trust the CSR’s and their judgment and allow them the freedom to engage the customers organically while still adhering to a handful of guidelines in dealing with them. the result will be significantly better customer service, through the application of a few overlooked and underappreciated customer skills


Alex is a small business blogger with a focus on entrepreneurship and growth. With over 5 years of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Alex has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, approachable and entrepreneurial-minded blogger. He has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Alex has interviewed successful entrepreneurs, and covered major small business events such as the Small Business Expo and the Inc. 500|5000 conference. He is also a successful entrepreneur himself, having started and grown several small businesses in different industries.