Customer experience lies at the heart of UGP and has been instrumental in the growth of our reputation as well as the business. We believe that “customer care is an attitude, not just a department” and we embed service excellence into every part of our business – from the initial sales call, through to client onboarding and aftercare.
The cornerstone of this approach are the people we employ in telephone-based operational support teams, who month after month hit 100% SLA across all aspects of the customer journey, from onboarding to query resolution, complaints handling and credit control. These highly skilled people all demonstrate key personality traits that we believe make them successful in their customer-focused roles.
Here are the top personality traits we look for when we recruit customer services professionals:
- Communication Skills
It goes without saying that communication skills are essential for a person continually dealing with customers. Great communicators listen, speak (or write) with clarity, have organised thoughts and demonstrate empathy. While all of these elements in themselves are core skills needed for customer services representatives, the combination of these skills makes a great communicator.
To truly interpret and understand what a person is saying, especially over the phone where visual clues are absent, listening skills are critical. Effective listening relates to more than simply hearing what someone is saying – it involves understanding what is being said as well as what might be unsaid. Great listeners allow others to talk and demonstrate they’ve understood what’s been said and/or implied by repeating it back in their own words.
To be respectful is to treat others as you would wish to be treated. Respectful people are polite, non-discriminatory and have a basic consideration of other people’s feelings. This is an essential skill for any customer services professional. By showing respect, your customers will feel valued and an agreeable call outcome will be far more likely.
Inevitably, people who work in customer services will come across customers who are unhappy, and even if they’re not unhappy – some customers will just want to talk. Whatever the reason, having the patience to sit back and listen, allowing the customer to explain their situation in as much detail as they want to without interrupting is a core skill for any service professional.
- Empathy/Showing Concern
Great customer service skills include showing concern and empathy for the well-being of the customer regardless of their issue. The best call centre professionals acknowledge the customer’s problem and empathise with their situation. They are encouraging, supportive and allow the conversation to flow rather than follow a script.
More than anything else, customers want the person they are speaking with to take responsibility for their issue. The best customer services professionals will take it upon themselves to get involved, not take things personally and remove the burden from the customer’s shoulders by moving towards a resolution. They’ll be tenacious in their search for a solution and go above and beyond to ensure that the customer has a positive experience.
Being creative and flexible is one of the core traits we look for in the people we recruit for customer facing roles. No one person or problem is exactly the same as the next and our people need to be flexible enough to make exceptions from time to time as well as think creatively about the solutions they offer.
Being efficient in dealing with customer issues, especially then there are multiple issues that need resolving simultaneously, is paramount to success. Highly efficient people are able to prioritise tasks, make decisions quickly and recognise when they need to seek additional help.
- Positive Attitude
A positive attitude is important, for both the customer and customer services employee. Maintaining a positive attitude can go a long way towards making the customer feel comfortable and confident that a solution will be reached. In addition, being able to stay positive and focused even when customers complain or become agitated is essential to the emotional wellbeing of the employee.
While some customers might accept a given solution immediately, others may need some persuading before they agree. The ability to be persuasive without being pushy is a skill that we believe sets great customer services professionals apart from the crowd.
At UGP, we’re proud of the reputation we’ve cultivated by offering our customers a top-notch experience throughout their entire sales journey with us. If you’d like to deal with a business energy supplier that puts your need first, with people who consistently deliver an exception customer experience, call us on 0800 669 6697.
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