As Administrative Assistance, client interactions – in person, over the phone and online – are the core of our business. For this reason, it’s important we exemplify excellent customer service skills in our everyday communication.
This might be easier said than done as not all of our daily interactions are pleasant – clients can be agitated, managers can be demanding, and tensions can arise.
Our Administrative Assistance Program at Robertson College takes the necessary steps to ensure all its grads are well equipped with customer-dealing skills.
Here are 8 customer service skills essential to success as an Administrative Assistance.
1. Actively Listening
Active listening is the difference between listening to someone without actually retaining what they’re saying, and making your audience aware that you care about what their concerns and are invested in the outcome of the conversation.
To become an active listener, you may try asking your client or coworkers questions, rephrasing a point they’ve expressed to you, and taking notes to remember important details.
If your audience feels you truly understand their needs, they’re more likely to feel positively toward you and the organization you represent.
2. Knowing Your Audience(s)
Your organization undoubtedly deals with a number of personality types, so the more effort you make to get to know your client base, the easier it will be to anticipate their needs and navigate through daily communication.
Asking your clients questions about themselves is a great way to establish courteous relationships. This can be as simple as finding out how a client spends their free time, or where they’re traveling to on their next family vacation.
A good tip to remember is that your communication should reflect the nature of your audience, so in some relationships this may mean getting straight to the point and cutting out any small talk.
The more you know about your audiences’ communication styles, the better your work relationships will be, and the quicker you will be able to navigate through tough conversations when those situations arise.
3. Presenting a warm and friendly face
We’ve all heard the expression, ‘a smile goes a long way’ but when you put this to practice you realize it’s an extremely valid point, and an essential customer-dealing skill.
We’ve established that Administrative Assistance are often the faces of their organizations and as such, they’re the first staff members that clients encounter when visiting a workplace.
Even if you’re on the phone or conversing with someone when a client enters the room, a smile indicates you acknowledge their presence and will assist them shortly.
Administrative Assistance, understand their readiness to smile is what makes them approachable, thus highlighting their employers as welcoming places to visit
4. Keeping Client Information Confidential
Our Administrative Assistance Program at Robertson College places an important emphasize on the ability to be discreet and confidential when it comes to dealing with clients and the information they share with organizations.
This may seem obvious, but occasionally coworkers or friends outside of the business may pressure you to share client details and it’s your responsibility to remain professional and politely decline these invitations to gossip. Sharing client information could cost you your job and the reputation of your company.
5. Understanding the Services and/or Products Provided by Your Organization
One of the exciting prospects of a career as an Administrative Assistant is the range of industries you will have the opportunity to work within.
Once you begin working as an Administrative Assistant, you will need to familiarize yourself with the organization, its employee base, and the nature of the organization’s output. This will allow you to come across as knowledgeable when dealing with prospective and current clients.
Even after you’re established in the workplace, make an effort to read up on the products or services your employer provides so you’re equipped to answer client questions correctly and efficiently.
6. Overcoming and De-escalating Interactions with Difficult Clients
Depending on the industry you work within, clients may become agitated over situations they perceive as unfair. Administrative Assistance are often the first point of contact for these disgruntled clients, and as such, they should be prepared with excellent customer-dealing skills.
This can be as simple as reminding a guest you’re there to listen to their concerns and help them find a solution, and it can also involve passing the interaction off to a coworker who may be better equipped to handle this particular problem.
Whatever the problem may be, it’s important for Administrative Assistance to support in finding the appropriate solution.
7. Regularly Using Common Courtesies
Saying ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and other common courtesies are something we’re instructed to do from a young age.
Surprisingly, not every individual in the customer service industry has remembered this lessons from childhood.
We’ve all experienced interactions with representatives from an organization who are less than polite, and usually these unpleasant conversations lead to negative perceptions about the representative’s employer.
It never hurts to add additional an ‘your welcome’ into a phone chat, or to open the door for an office guest in a wheelchair.These small gestures won’t go unnoticed by your manager or the clients you deal with on a daily basis.
8. Conducting Regular ‘Follow-ups’
Always follow up on situations where client satisfaction is in question. If a client has a problem and you’ve suggested and implemented a solution, make sure you follow up with a phone call or an email to confirm the problem has been solved and the client is happy with the results.
In our Administrative Assistance Program, you will learn calendar organization strategies, including how to set reminders and task lists to support with any follow up that may need to be completed.
Now that we’ve gone through the 8 essential customer service skills for Administrative Assistants, your toolbox of customer-dealing skills is sure to support you in becoming a standout representative for your organization.
If you aren’t already in the exciting and dynamic world of administrative support, or are looking to develop additional skill sets required for a specific industry, click here to learn how our Administrative Assistant Diploma program can help you unlock your full career potential.