So, you’re looking to enter into a job in the customer service industry? Before you start applying for jobs, you’ll need to craft a resume that outlines your past experience and the skills that qualify you for a job in customer service.
But what skills should you list on your customer service resume? That’s a great question and one that everyone faces when they are tackling a job application—whether it’s their first resume or their fifth.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss what customer service jobs involve and why customer service skills are important. We’ll then explore the top five important customer service skills that you should mention on your resume.
What Are Customer Service Skills?
People who work in jobs involving customer interaction need to have good customer service skills. For instance, retail associate, customer service representative, customer service agent, and sales associate jobs all involve communicating with customers, getting to know their needs, and resolving their problems. Hence, it is safe to say that these jobs involve a high degree of customer service skills.
While you may think that customer support skills are only applicable in retail or sales jobs, that is not true. Customer service skills are transferable to other types of jobs. For instance, the communication skills that you hone in a retail position could also be applied to a job in accounting—both jobs involve talking with other team members on a frequent basis.
Customer service skills are the skills that you use when talking with a customer. Whether you are meeting with someone for the first time or providing continued support after a long troubleshooting session, you will be using your customer service skills.
There is a wide range of customer service skills that you may use in your job. You could use communication skills to understand the customer’s needs. Then you may use your technical knowledge skills to solve the problem that a customer is experiencing.
Why Are Customer Service Skills Valued?
Employers value customer service skills for a couple of reasons.
If you are entering into a job that involves working with the public—like being a bus person at a restaurant, or a retail associate at a superstore—then you will need to be able to interact well with others. Businesses want to hire employees who are able to work well with customers, so they can build a good reputation and relationship with those customers.
Customer service skills are also valuable because, as we discussed earlier, they can be transferred into a variety of other roles. For instance, if you find a job as a retail associate, you could use those skills in a management position further in your career.
Top 5 Customer Service Resume Skills
While you could write “customer service skills” on your resume, it’s likely that there are a few skills with which you have more experience than others. That’s why it can be helpful to mention more specific skills on your resume. Doing so will help you showcase your exact skill set and the value you can provide to an employer.
Here are the top five customer service skills you should consider adding to your resume:
If you’re working with customers, you should be capable of empathizing with them. Indeed, a customer’s issue may not seem particularly important, but to them, it is a major pain point. You should be able to put yourself in the shoes of a customer, identify what problems they are facing, and keep an open mind while coming up with a solution.
The key to providing good customer service is communication. You should be able to listen effectively and really get to know the issue that a customer is facing. Otherwise, you may end up trying to solve the wrong problem. Then, you should be able to provide a comprehensive and personable response to their inquiry.
#3: Technical Knowledge
Customer service personnel typically develop “technical knowledge” of range products or services. This is often an underrated skill, but one that is essential in jobs such as retail. You should be able to use listening skills to a customer and understand their problems, then use your technical knowledge to provide an effective answer to that problem.
For instance, suppose you work in an electronics store. You should have a good understanding of the main offerings in the store so that you can provide informed recommendations to customers based on their preferences and goals.
Good customer service personnel are those who are able to maintain a friendly tone while engaging with customers. When talking with a customer, you should use positive language, be mindful of your body language, and maintain eye contact. This will make customers feel more positive and ensure that they walk away with a great experience.
When a customer asks you a question, you should always convey a helpful tone, while maintaining a professional image. After all, customers don’t want to talk with robots—they want to talk with a human. A little bit of politeness can go a long way.
Customer service workers are on the front-lines of a business. Therefore, how you act will have a direct impact on the impression customers get about a business and its offerings. It’s crucial that you are able to be timely in responding to customer complaints and inquiries.
If a customer looks like they need help, you should offer your assistance; if a customer has asked for help, you should try to get back to them with a solution as soon as possible.
How to List Customer Service Skills on Your Resume
Customer service skills can be highlighted either in the skills section of your resume, or the work experience section.
If you are applying for a job that involves a large amount of customer service work, then you may want to consider listing a few of the skills we mentioned above on your resume. You may also want to mention the technical skills you have which allow you to provide effective service, such as experience using a retail management system.
Here’s an example of the skills section of a customer service resume:
Customer service skills: Experience using retail management systems, able to solve problems, patient, timely, empathetic, organized.
You could also list your customer service skills in your prior work history. This section should be devoted to discussing your past work experience and the main goals that you accomplished in your last jobs. Here is an example of a work experience entry that highlights customer service skills:
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
April 2017 – July 2019
- Developed a deep understanding of Best Buy’s product offerings and helped contribute to an increase in monthly sales.
- Exceeded sales targets on nine occasions, and won “Employee of the Month” in May 2019 for providing excellent customer service.
- Strived to resolve customer complaints in a timely manner; escalated issues to supervisor when necessary.
- Maintained a friendly and professional tone while speaking with customers, and built a rapport with a number of regulars.
Customer service skills are not just valuable in retail positions, as they can be applied across any job. That’s because customer service skills are soft skills—communication is just as valuable in an office environment than it is in a restaurant or a superstore.
If you’re applying for a job that involves extensive customer service work, you should consider listing specific customer service skills on your resume. This will help you highlight your main strengths, which will help you get one step closer to landing a phone interview!
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