How To utilize Call Recording Software to Improve Customer Service and Soft Skills

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Take your customer service center performance to the next level by improving agent soft skills utilizing call recording software.

Customer service is vital for every company. It provides an avenue for businesses to engage with customers and an opportunity to drive revenue from satisfied customers who become enthusiastic brand advocates through word-of-mouth promotion.

This is accomplished when the customer perceives that the representative genuinely cared about addressing their concerns. The key to demonstrating how to be genuine is by employing soft skills.

This article will focus on the soft skills customer service representatives must develop to be successful in creating brand advocates and how to leverage call recording to help them achieve this goal.

What are Customer Service Soft Skills?

Soft Skills in Customer Service are also known as interpersonal skills. These skills provide customer service representatives the ability to respond to social ques, empathize, and understand the needs of their customer.

The goal is to demonstrate to the customer that they genuinely care and they are committed to resolving their issues. Some individuals may possess these skills naturally while others must develop them through training.

Developing Customer Service Soft Skills and applying them in calls will not only improve the customer experience but will also drive the success of the company.

How does a company develop and train Customer Service Soft Skills?

Companies must implement a coaching program to develop the Soft Skills in their Customer Service team. This involves the deployment of a call recording system to enable managers to listen to calls.

Listening to recorded calls will allow managers to pinpoint the individual weaknesses of each representative and apply coaching techniques to help their representatives develop soft skills.

Call recording may also be used in training sales teams and other departments within the company to improve overall performance.

What are the top 10 Customer Service Soft Skills to develop?

There are many Soft Skills a Customer Service representative can develop. The list below identifies the Soft Skills that will have the most impact on the success of the team, how to coach to improve these skills, and how to improve customer service experience.

1. Active Listening

Involves listening and observing both verbal and non-verbal cues. The representative demonstrates attentiveness by providing feedback.

The purpose of Active Listening is to ensure the listener understands the speaker, provide clear communication, and enable a mutual understanding between the customer and representative.

This eliminates misunderstandings and develops a rapport between the customer and representative.

Call recording review

Pay attention to the agent’s verbal responses such as acknowledgements. Does the agent say “I understand”, “I see”, or any other confirming phrases? Direct the agent to repeat or summarize the problem or concern the customer has when the customer completes their statement.

2. Attentiveness

Involves listening to the customer’s concerns and applying a level of problem-solving skills. It is important to understand the feedback the customer provides and identify the root cause of their concern.

For example, the customer will not say “Please improve your contact form,” however; the customer may mention, “I tried to complete the contact form but decided it was easier to call.”

Call recording review

Listen to the concerns customers have and the way they voice their concerns. Instruct the representative to listen for keywords for common root causes and how to understand what the customer is saying without them directly saying it.

3. Clear Communication

Requires the representative to articulate what the customer needs, the recommend a solution, and explain complex ideas using words that are easy to understand.

Clear Communication skills are key because a miscommunication can lead to an unsatisfied customer. It is best to be concise and remove ambiguity from the conversation.

Call recording review

Take note of the representative’s speech and focus on enunciation, volume, and tone. Train the representatives to use proper grammar, speak loudly at a proper volume, and maintain a positive attitude.

4. Patience and Self-Control

There will be moments when a customer will be completely frustrated and contact customer service.

These moments will test the patience of representatives. Good customer service representatives understand that they must remain calm no matter how heated a customer may become.

Call recording review

Focus on the representative’s tone and voice to ensure they remaining calm and maintaining a positive attitude. Instruct the representative not to take the matter personally when the customer is upset. It is important for the representative to provide more listening, understand the customer’s needs, and find the root cause of the problem.

5. Ability to empathize

Is the ability to understand the customer and have the representative place themselves into the customer’s position. This is a critical soft skill which can be taught and improved within the representative.

Call recording review

Review the entire conversation and determine if the representative is actively listening. Are their responses formed by understanding and concern? Review the call with the representative and ask them if this is how they would want to be treated during a phone call.

6. Positive Language Attitude

Can make a huge impact in customer experience. Ensure the representative understands the benefits of the products or services offered by the company and alternative options as well.

Call recording review

Concentrate on the tone and the recommendations the representative provides. Train agents to provide alternatives if there is an issue with the product or service.

For example, if a product or service is discontinued or out of stock, does the representative provide an alternative with comparable benefits? Or does the representative tell the customer the product or service is discontinued or out of stock and ends the conversation?

7. Creativity

Clients often contact customer service without knowing how to solve their problem and there may not even exist a company solution.

Sometimes the representative will need to take initiative and produce a resolution without a known solution.

Call recording review

Encourage representatives to report their creative resolutions to management. Review the call and determine if the solution meets company standards.

Share the call recording to the customer service team and identify how the creativity took place if the solution is approved.

8. Persuasive

A representative that is skilled in persuasive speech can steer a customer in the right course of action.

This reduces the time to resolve problems. Occasionally, customer service may even receive sales inquiries.

The customer may need to upgrade their existing product to accomplish their needs. Persuasive speech is necessary in these situations guide the customer to a higher product offering.

Call recording review

Train the representative to listen and understand their audience and adjust for their behavior. Placing emphasis on the benefits of the representative’s solution will save time may convince the customer to follow.

9. Accountability

Taking ownership or responsibility is a necessary soft skill in customer service. Representatives should know when to apologize on behalf of the company for mistakes that the company or another representative made.

These could be from a defective product, late shipment, or any other issue that was not the fault of the representative.

Call recording review

Listen to the tone of the representative. Ensure the speech is genuine. A customer may feel better when they hear an apology, however; the apology must be sincere. Advise the representative to obtain a complete understanding of the situation and repeat the words back to the customer.

10. Willing to Learn

The most important soft skill for any customer service representative to have is a willingness to learn, grow, and become better at their role.

Representatives that seek out knowledge, understand the company, and the products or services will become more successful. This benefits both the company and the representative.

Call recording Review

Look for conversations from representatives that consistently make the same mistakes after training. Bear in mind, some agents may need to be trained upon the same topic multiple times. During these training sessions, pay attention to their attitudes. Are they willing to learn?

How to improve Customer Service for your team

What will set a company apart from the competition and leave a memorable experience to the customer are the soft skills representatives use to make the interaction pleasant.

A positive interaction will generate brand advocates and improve growth for the company. This can only be accomplished through training.

The greatest tool any company can deploy to properly train their customer service staff is call recording software.

Set expectations with the customer service team early. Provide clear guidelines for what is expected for all representatives.

Inform the representatives that all calls will be recorded as soon as the call recording software has been implemented.

Establish a regular meeting schedule where all representatives will listen to recorded calls with examples of great customer service.

Set aside one-on-one meetings with representatives to review calls, identify problem areas, and provide training to improve their soft skills. Set goals for each of the representatives and provide a path to successfully achieve them.

Recognize and reward representatives as they improve and develop their soft skills. Encourage more experience representatives to guide new or struggling representatives via peer-to-peer coaching.

Most companies will see the performance of their customer service team improve once these systems are in place.

About the Author!

Jim Shay is the Senior Copywriter at Versadial Solutions, a Call Recording Software company. With a background in technology and Journalism, Jim specializes in improving the performance of customer service and sales teams by providing direction and teaching companies how to fully utilize powerful incident recreation, liability control and workforce optimization tools such as Versadial. He accomplishes this by breaking down complex strategies into easy-to-follow tactics.

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