TABLE OF CONTENTS
What are customer service skills?
Customer service skills relate to how you serve, assist, talk to or build relationships with a business’ patrons.
They range from how you answer the telephone to your product knowledge and problem-solving ability.
Why customer service skills are important
Customers drive business. So, you’re much more likely to win a job if you have excellent customer service skills! Hiring managers attach great value to your eagerness to please customers, solve problems and complaints, and demonstrate patience and product knowledge.
Employees with strong customer service skills enhance business in the following ways:
- Better customer experience. People who care about customer service do a better job of providing clients with what they need in a pleasant and timely manner. This attention leads to greater customer satisfaction and repeat business.
- Increased profit. Happy customers feel more comfortable spending their money. By being attentive to customers’ needs, you find more windows to provide products and services.
- Higher customer retention. When customers have a pleasant experience with a business, they keep coming back for more.
- Build brand loyalty. When people experience personalized customer service, they may develop a bond with the business. Brand loyalty can create lifelong customers!
- Business referrals. Customers with positive experiences are more likely to recommend you to friends and colleagues, which only increases further business. Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertisement!
Next, we will cover the top 10 customer service skills employers seek and provide additional examples.
However, if you want to jumpstart your customer service skills resume, check out our Resume Builder. You can have your customer service-friendly resume ready in just 15 minutes!
Just input the job title you’re applying for, and the builder will auto-suggest job-specific skills for your resume.
Top 10 customer service skills + examples
1. Communication: Communicating clearly and effectively is at the core of all customer service skills.
Communication skills affect how you listen and respond to customers’ questions. They also determine how you interact with your team to provide seamless customer service.
Examples of customer service communication on a resume:
- Responded to 25+ customer emails per day.
- Assisted 30+ daily Help Desk visitors answering questions.
- Politely directed guests to their seats and resolved ticketing issues.
2. Problem-solving: Emphasize your skill in fixing customer issues and finding solutions to problems. Hiring managers want people who can think quickly and devise solutions.
Examples of customer service problem-solving on a resume:
- Followed troubleshooting protocol to help identify user issues.
- Processed returns to ensure customer satisfaction.
- Handled unhappy customers by providing information and solutions.
3. Patience: Highlight your capacity to remain patient and calm when dealing with challenging customers or complex situations. Customer service can sometimes feel like a thankless job, and employers want to hire people who show patience and keep calm in difficult situations.
Examples of customer service patience on a resume:
- Treated all complaints with humility, respect and focused attention.
- Use low-pressure sales techniques to build relationships and client rapport.
- Overcome technical service issues with dedicated focus and customer updates.
4. Empathy: Sell your ability to understand and relate to the needs and emotions of customers, creating a positive outcome.
Hiring managers want to know that you have empathy to connect and build consumer trust. Beyond that, empathy helps you get along better with your teammates and managers!
Examples of customer service empathy on a resume:
- Anticipating guest needs to provide prompt service and boost sales.
- Express empathy to bond and distemper displeased customers.
- Target sales packages based on client needs.
5. Active listening: Mention your skill in actively listening to customers, ensuring you understand their concerns and can provide appropriate responses.
People confident in their listening skills appeal to employers because this is the key to effective customer service. The more you hear customers, the better you can meet their needs.
Examples of customer service listening skills on a resume:
- Document and review consumer feedback data.
- Encouraged customers to fill out satisfaction surveys, resulting in a 22% response increase.
- Take detailed complaint notes and address them in staff meetings.
6. Product knowledge: Highlight your expertise in the products or services the business you want to work for provides. This knowledge benefits customers.
The more industry background or product awareness you have, the easier it is for you to sell it! If your experience makes you qualified for this new role, make sure your resume highlights it.
Examples of product knowledge on a resume:
- Upsell customers by outlining spec options.
- Keep up-to-date on industry trends.
- Understand system framework to help users solve issues.
7. Time management: Discuss your ability to manage time efficiently, ensuring you complete customer requests on time.
Especially for businesses that need you to multitask or juggle priorities, time management skills are essential.
Examples of time management customer service skills on a resume:
- Responded to 98% of customer emails within a 48-hour deadline.
- Delivered packages by estimated arrival times.
- Managed a busy front desk, ensuring timely check-ins, check-outs and guest requests while consistently maintaining a 95% occupancy rate.
8. Positivity: Highlight your positive attitude and friendly demeanor because they’re very helpful to customer service roles!
Enthusiasm, warmth and smiles can win over customers. Positivity is a great
to focus on, especially for entry-level roles and first-time job seekers, when it makes up for your lack of experience.
Examples of customer service positivity on a resume:
- Welcome all customers with a smile and explain daily specials.
- Dedicated to providing top-tier customer service by delivering information and assistance with a courteous and friendly attitude.
- Increased customer retention by 11% by providing solutions-focused options to people intending to cancel.
9. Adaptability: Mention your flexibility and ability to pivot your approach based on the situation and a customer’s changing needs or moods.
Employees who can read the signs and know when to adjust their handling of a situation are invaluable. Also, businesses often change their approach and digital tools for customer service, making adaptability necessary.
Examples of customer service adaptability on a resume:
- Memorized specs for 2-3 daily specials to upsell customers.
- Adapted to changing service channels, including transition from in-person to virtual support.
- Embraced cross-training opportunities, becoming proficient in various customer service functions, contributing to team flexibility and efficiency.
10. Teamwork: Describe how you’ve collaborated with colleagues and other departments to enhance the overall customer experience.
Customer service is often a team sport, and it’s just as important how you work with your colleagues as business patrons. Since you have to function with your coworkers daily, your teamwork skills are important!
Additional customer service skills employers want:
- Answering emails
- Interpersonal skills
- Telephone etiquette
- Consumer feedback
- Rapport building
- Attention to detail
- Identifying needs
- Anticipating needs
- Following up
- Conflict resolution
- Customer support
- Customer retention
- Emotional intelligence
- Customer-first attitude
- CRM software
- Cold calling
- Reading body language
Every job is different, so look at the job post or ad to identify the resume keywords and skills that apply to you. Then add these to your resume — we’ll show you how in the next section.
Adding the skills and keywords that the employer seeks will help your resume make it past applicant tracking systems (ATS), software that many companies use to prescreen candidates.
If you don’t include the right customer service skills for the job, your resume may never get seen by human eyes!
Customer service skills in a resume sample
After you’ve studied the job post to determine which specific customer service skills an employer seeks in a candidate, you’ve got to add these skills to your resume.
Here’s where resume customer service skills belong:
Doing so will help you write a great resume!
Here’s an example of a job post with customer service skills and a solid resume response to it:
- Respond to customer inquiries via phone, email, and live chat promptly and professionally.
- Actively listen to customers, assess needs, and provide accurate information, solutions, and product recommendations.
- Resolve customer concerns, complaints, and issues with empathy and efficiency, ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction.
- Maintain in-depth knowledge of products and services to assist customers effectively and promote our offerings.
- Collaborate across departments to address customer needs and ensure a seamless support experience.
- Keep detailed records of customer interactions, transactions, and feedback in our CRM system.
- Represent our brand with professionalism and a positive attitude.
- Previous experience in customer service or a related field is a plus.
- Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills with a focus on active listening.
- Adaptability and willingness to learn and grow within the role.
- Strong problem-solving skills and a solutions-oriented mindset.
- Proficiency in using CRM software and basic computer skills.
- A strong commitment to delivering exceptional customer service and a passion for helping customers.
Here is a sample customer service skills resume if you want to copy/paste any of the text:
Customer service skills in your cover letter
Your cover letter is another opportunity to list customer service skills. Check out our complete guide on how to write a cover letter.
Or, if you want a helping hand in the process, use our Cover Letter Builder. It walks you through writing a cover letter and provides recommended skills and expert-written content to add to your letter.
How to develop customer service skills
If you want to improve your customer service skills to better appeal to employers and perform your role, there are many ways to do so!
Here are six great tips:
1. Stay positive and seek solutions.
Avoid saying “no” or “that’s not possible” to customers. Be proactive and positive! Instead of saying something like, “I don’t know,” say, “I’d be happy to find out for you.”
Negative words turn off customers. If you do have negative news to give them, always try to spin it in a way that shows you’re trying to do your best to help.
2. Be open to feedback.
Whether the feedback is from your manager or directly from a customer, take it to heart. You may disagree with it, but giving the complaint or pain point serious thought can help you brainstorm ways to avoid the problem in the future!
3. Build product knowledge.
The more you know the product or service you sell, the better you can serve a customer and solve their problems. Plus, employers will be more apt to hire you if you know their product inside-out.
Also, consider the customer’s experience with your product and put yourself in their shoes. It will help you address their issues and understand their frustrations.
4. Practice active listening.
Active listening is the key to good customer service because it ensures you genuinely understand your clients’ needs. Employers would love to hear how you’ve developed active listening.
Practice by giving people your full attention. Family and friends are excellent places to start. Avoid interrupting or correcting them while they’re still speaking.
Then, repeat some of the key points they made to demonstrate your listening and understanding.
5. Show empathy.
Phrases like “I understand’ or “I feel your pain” go a long way in customer service. That’s because they show the customer that you understand their problem(s) and take them seriously.
You can calm angry people if they feel heard and understood. It’ll help you connect with customers and encourage them to be more patient and understanding of you!
6. Show gratitude to your teammates.
Customer service is a collective effort. While the customers you serve may change all day to day, the team that you work with tends to be more fixed.
That’s why you should make an effort to bond with your teammates and show enthusiasm and appreciation for all the hard work they do! Fostering a positive relationship with your teammates will help you get along and function better as a team!
To recap, here are some of the main points about using customer service skills to win a job:
- Any role where you deal with customers directly needs these skills, not just “customer service jobs.”
- The best way to identify the key customer service skills to focus on is by doing a close read of the job post or ad.
- There are three places to list customer service skills in your resume: the professional summary, work experience and a dedicated skills section.
- When you list customer service skills on your resume, try to show numbers or statistics that quantify the results of your abilities.
- Use your cover letter to tell a story about how you developed your customer service skills or an anecdote that illustrates them!
Customer service requires a lot of attention to detail, so when you do submit your documents ensure that they’re error-free by using our Resume Check.
It scans your document looking for 30 types of issues so that you breathe easier sending it!
If you don’t have a resume to upload yet, make your life easier by using our Resume Builder!
It turns the entire writing process into a series of prompts. So, all you have to do is follow along and enter your information. Best of all, it also will help you write your cover letter too!