5 soft skills you can use to master customer support

CAneyt HAzal / E+ via GettyImages

CAneyt HAzal / E+ via GettyImages

By Caitlin Russell

Anyone in customer support knows that sometimes you just get those calls. The person on the other end of the line is frustrated and defensive. But according to Paul Glen, industry consultant and award-winning author of “The Geek Leader’s Handbook,” there’s a way to turn those negative calls around.

Those irritated customers may just feel incompetent because they don’t know the answer; so what really is an internal irritation gets projected onto you, the technical support representative. What might be a simple fix for you is an impossible feat for them, so if you know this and a few essential soft skills, you can make sure no customer hangs up feeling underestimated, belittled or insulted.

In a recent free webinar, Glen spilled his secrets and his top-five soft skills for how to handle any customer support situation.

His answer? For starters, it’s definitely not wise to add that implied “you idiot!” at the end of any instruction. You know you can hear it now: “Did you try restarting the device (you idiot!)?”

Support fails when customers feel bad, but that doesn’t mean you have to add a therapy degree to your engineering one. To really master customer support you need to project confidence, listen for what’s important (to the customer, not to you), communicate empathy, express commitment and take responsibility for helping the customer.

Want to know exactly what those skills mean? Check out the webinar to hear Glen describe exactly how to build these soft skills, what situations need them and why they are so essential for making your life — and your customers’ lives — a little less stressful.

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