At the core of any software there are humans: they create software so others can use it. At HSDS we create a positive customer experience for our software, offering exceptional support to our customers so they can make the best possible use of the software we build. Behind e-mails and online calls, we have a dedicated customer support team. But what are those skills that make them so exceptional? Besides knowledge and technical skills, a good customer support representative needs to have a wide variety of soft skills, that can be developed on the go, through every-day experiences and that can also be taught from more experienced colleagues or team leaders. If you consider working in this field, or you already are, here is our list of 5 skills that every good customer support representative needs to have:

1. Communication

Communication skills are essential, as a customer support representative should know how to address and how to adapt their language in any situation according to whom they are addressing to: a client with no technical knowledge or a developer.  Moreover, language should be clear and precise and using positive words such as “will”, “can”, “certainly”, “great”, “help” should come naturally. Also, having in mind the golden words: “please” and “thank you” will only lead to rewarding outcomes.

Remember, when it comes to communication: keep it simple and sexy!

2. Product Knowledge

To know the product inside and out is the key to a successful customer support service! By taking your time to study and learn the product, not only that you can give accurate information about it to the customer, but it will also be easier to locate the problem and come up with solutions to solve it. Moreover, it will boost your confidence and you will be able to come up with clear and accurate answers to any addressed questions.

3. Problem-Solving

Considering knowing the product, whenever the customer has or reports a problem, the customer support representative will know where to find it and how to find the best possible solutions.

Therefore, identifying, analyzing and reporting the problem to the developer should be a no-brainer.  Making plans, a list of possible solutions, and evaluating the results come hand in hand.

4. Active Listening

Even though eye contact is not possible when having online calls, behind the computer screen, customers can feel your energy and attitude.

This skill is the sum of your abilities to listen, understand, summarize, clarify and to have a non-judgmental attitude. Practicing active listening constantly, will help you feel more connected to the customer and vice-versa and will also improve your emotional intelligence abilities.

5. Professionalism or “going above and beyond”

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule: Always give people more than they expect to get.”

Nelson Boswell (self-development author)

Professionalism is a matter of attitude.  Besides knowledge, professionalism comes from forming a set of personal values that are visible in the work you do and that eventually reflects on the company as a whole. Going above and beyond to get the job done contributes to the whole customer support department’s success.

This is our list of 5 essential skills that every good customer support representative needs to have. Working with customers, is an on-going learning process, so don’t be afraid of failure, as Bill Gates also pointed out:

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”