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The top skills you’ll need to be the best in customer service – from some of our very best

Anyone who’s worked in customer service knows that it’s very much a multi skilled role. You need to be able to adapt yourself to deal with a range of scenarios, people and needs. And that’s particularly true with us. Our customers come from all walks of life, each with their own variety of needs.

But before you worry, I talked to Tom and Hassan who work for us in customer service - they’re the first people you’re likely to speak to when you call us. They highlighted the main customer interactions they come across and what skills they use to make sure they deliver excellent customer service, every time.

The not so everyday banking

Day-to-day, we speak to our customers who need support with a range of different things, for example, sending payments, checking transactions and cancelling that card they left behind in the chip and pin machine – we’ve all been there!

At first glance these seem like simple and quick interactions. But as Tom explains, ‘you have to make sure that you fully understand and grasp the customer’s query so you can go above and beyond for them’. This means listening closely, as you might spot ways to help these customers that they weren’t aware of before talking to you. ‘What starts out as a simple conversation can turn into a customer walking away with more interest, earning rewards or saving money’ says Hassan. ‘This is how you can go the extra mile for your customers, and sometimes you’ll make a real difference for them. It’s important that you gather the facts and, above all, make sure that you do what’s right for that customer’.

Know your digital

In our digital age, the way in which customers can do their banking is changing. Most of us can’t remember what we did without the mobile banking app. But, as Tom says, ‘The main concern customers have about digital banking is security worries. It’s so important to educate our customers on how to prevent online fraud whilst reassuring them about our online security’.

That means you’ll need to be patient and clear with your instructions and have all the up to date information on how to use digital banking safely. Hassan is a digital expert on his team and has built a great depth of knowledge around what digital banking can do for our customers. ‘I take the time to educate each customer, I talk to them on how secure the app is if it’s used correctly, and most importantly that it’s the best way to keep on top of their everyday finances. This way, they don’t have to travel to the branch or wait for their statement’.

Empathy is everything

Unfortunately, sometimes our customers need our help due to something distressing or difficult and they find themselves in a vulnerable position. Some will be victims of fraud or sometimes, often due to difficult enough moments in life, customers might find themselves in financial difficulty.

‘The key skill here’ says Tom ‘is empathy. Show compassion and this will help you deal with any difficult situation and allow you to help the customer. Some people will have buried their heads in the sand. But in showing empathy, you can ask difficult but important questions and customers will regain some confidence as they know we’re here to help them’.

“It’s often the little things like verbal nods and confirmations that you’re listening which tend to go a long way”.

Take ownerships of complaints

Despite our best efforts to deliver excellent customer service every time, some of our customers will come to us with complaints. Customers might come to you frustrated, angry or upset, so it’s important that we deal with any complaints effectively and fairly; this is our opportunity to learn from our mistakes and put things right for our customers.

‘Remember to listen, remain calm and not take it personally; treat them as an individual and not another number or case’. Hassan explains.

Naturally, these can be your most difficult interactions. But, as Tom points out, they can become the most rewarding. ‘I always feel a sense of achievement when I have dealt with a difficult complaint as you’re the person taking ownership. You have the chance to make a real difference, regaining the customer’s trust and rebuilding the relationship at a critical time’.

Last but not least…

Finally, we asked Tom and Hassan for their number one tip for excellent customer service, every time.

Hassan: ‘I’ve worked in numerous areas of the bank and the best skill I’ve learnt is to listen to customers attentively. When you’re in a busy call centre, you can miss important information if you allow yourself to get distracted. But when you’ve been listening properly, you can use your knowledge to find the best outcome for each individual customer’.

Tom: ‘What I tend to find is that people buy into your personality. If I’m polite, courteous and empathise with customers, then excellent customer service comes naturally. Often this is met with thanks from the customer and brings real job satisfaction to your role’.

Empathetic, can take ownership and clued up on your digital banking? Take a look at the customer service roles we have available and apply for one today.

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