Oct 22, 2018 Written by David Barlev

Every company wants to provide a better customer experience. Whether you’re a startup or an established national brand, keeping your customers happy is a top priority.

But, when you’re a SaaS business that counts on subscriptions, user retention, and customer success, keeping your existing customers happy is everything. Without this key element, a SaaS business will never have the ability to scale or grow, let alone survive.

And how do you keep people happy over a long period of time? It’s not by creating a stellar product or app for them to use, or because you’re the lowest priced option. Keeping people happy long-term requires relationships – plain and simple.

If you want your company to have the ability to create lasting relationships with your customers, it’s essential that the people you hire have the right skills. Whether it’s your customer service rep who interacts with the customers, or the software developer behind the scenes, each and every person is a representative of your company.

Relationship-building isn’t just about what happens with your brand and your customers. It’s also about what happens behind closed doors. Your team is what makes your business possible, so the relationships they build amongst themselves are just as important.

What I’m getting at here is that countless studies, along with expert advice, are pointing toward the importance of soft skills for any business or team that relies on building internal and external relationships.

Soft skills, commonly understood as people skills, are the things you can’t measure. You won’t see them on a resume, and their importance can often go overlooked. But there is a direct, proven correlation between soft skills and improved customer experience.

Here are just a few of the soft skills you want to ensure your CX professionals, along with your entire team, are demonstrating they possess:

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: can the person listen carefully, treat kindly, and explain clearly?

EMPATHY: does the person truly desire to understand where other people are coming from, so they can help them be successful?

WILLINGNESS TO HELP: does the person have an instinctual drive to do more than just put out fires and go the extra mile to truly make an impact?

INTEGRITY: can the person tell people what they need to hear, instead of what they want to hear?

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: does the person have the ability to recognize when they are acting or reacting emotionally, and have the discipline to choose a different behavior?

LISTENING SKILLS: does the person genuinely hear what customers and internal team members have to say?

STRESS MANAGEMENT: is the person able to manage their daily stress levels without deflecting onto others?

PROBLEM-SOLVING: does the person have enough confidence to tackle tough situations and stick it through until a real solution has been achieved?

LEADERSHIP: is this person inspiring to others and helping them become the best versions of themselves?

TEAM-BUILDING: is the person a natural at building relationships and bringing those around them together in a positive way?

I could go on, but I’ll stop there. There are literally hundreds of soft skills that appear to be beneficial in the world of business, but the 10 listed above are the most important ones when we’re talking about improving the customer experience.

If you want to build relationships with your customers, start with building out your team of people who already demonstrate the soft skills that have been proven to correlate with things like your net promoter score, customer satisfaction scores, and your number of referrals and recommendations.