The 11 Skills Every Customer Service Representative Needs
Anyone looking for a job as a customer service representative will need to have certain essential customer service skills in order to be considered for the role. If you don’t, your customer service resume will be lacking, and you will struggle to answer interview questions if you get past the application stage.
Why is customer service important?
It’s important that any customer support representative is able to provide excellent customer service, because companies rely on reps for customer retention and selling. So, without those working to improve customer experiences, most businesses wouldn’t have a viable business model.
This becomes even more pertinent when you take into account the fact that 54% of customers in 2020 had a higher expectation for customer service than they did just a year before.
As such, anyone job searching in the area of customer service must have a strong, skills-based resume, so they can prove they’re capable of delivering.
11 crucial customer service skills for your resume
All customer service professionals worth their salt have to have certain skills, including soft skills such as listening skills, teamwork skills, and a broad knowledge base.
They also have to provide customers with everything they need to ensure they have a great experience with the company. In other words, customer happiness has to come first. If you want your customer service representatives resume to stand out, then check out these 11 skills employers look for.
Prove that you can assist customers with top notch communication. Requiring emotional intelligence in your interactions with customers, it will be your responsibility to employ excellent communication skills as a way of improving customer experiences.
From guiding confused customers through difficult online processes to dealing with complaints and upselling, you will have to have great interpersonal skills and know a lot about the business you work for.
And, during all customer interactions, you have to make sure you speak on their level. So, avoid jargon at all costs. Remember that you are both an authority and a helping hand for the customers you speak to, so it’s important to be accessible.
2. Product knowledge
Great product knowledge is sort of an extension of good communication. In a majority of cases, the dealings you have with customers will be all about the products and services your company offers.
You have to know everything about your company’s product, to ensure that you are able to answer any and all customer questions about it. It will also be important for you to really understand the benefits of those products for each different type of customer. That way, you will be able to sell and upsell with ease.
A good customer service rep will have excellent attention to detail. For one thing, an in-depth knowledge of the company itself is essential if you are to be an effective ambassador for it. Beyond that, quality customer service is rooted in details.
To ensure customer satisfaction, you have to be thorough and timely in everything that you do. And, to do so in a way that leaves each customer with a favorable impression of the business, remembering little details from their personal information (for example their name) will go a long way.
Your problem solving skills are sure to come in handy when you work as a customer service representative. That’s because, when your work is focused on improving your customers’ experience, you have to be totally capable of providing the right answers at the right time.
In fact, being able to solve customer problems is kind of what it’s all about. As such, it’s one of the key skills for customer service that recruiters are sure to keep an eye out for. If you can prove you’ve got what it takes to face up to difficult situations and come up with a solution, then you’re onto a winner.
Time management is absolutely essential for any customer service worker, no matter what department they work in or the company they work for. Without good time management skills, you’re all too likely to let important tasks slip through the cracks. When that happens, it is very often the customer’s experience that suffers.
Other important organizational skills include effective filing, scheduling, and setting realistic goals. They will be similarly necessary if you want to maximize productivity and maintain performance. And, ultimately, if you’re the ambitious type, they are also key management skills that big bosses will look out for when there’s an opening higher up.
It’s important that any customer you deal with feels heard at all times, whether they’re coming to you with a question, praise, or a complaint. Active listening can help you do just that.
With active listening skills, you will be able to demonstrate that you have paid close attention to what the customer has said and how the customer feels. This can also be helpful when trying to onboard potential customers or when listening to customer feedback.
7. Going the extra mile
The very best customer service experts are dedicated to going the extra mile. They think beyond just what the customer says they want or need, and find a way to fulfil their expectations in a more creative way.
Going the extra mile truly is a marker of exceptional customer service, as it makes for positive experiences that your customers will truly appreciate. So, give those you serve something to smile about, by putting the time and effort into thoughtful, thorough solutions.
8. Closing ability
Offering a great customer experience is just one part of the job. Being able to close a deal, though, is a whole other story. Whether you’re selling products or offering technical support, you have to be able to end the conversation with confirmed customer satisfaction.
That might mean finishing an interaction having made a sale. Or, it could be related to services that you’ve scheduled. Either way, the main objective remains pretty much the same: stay in the interaction until all things have been taken care of. Have the customer hang up the phone or leave the store before the conversation is over, and chances are you won’t have fulfilled your duty.
9. Acting skills
It may come as a surprise to you to see acting skills on this list. But, the reality is that your dealings with customers won’t always be good. Some customers aren’t easily pleased and others are downright angry. However, a positive attitude and using positive language are as important in these situations as any other.
As such, acting is in many ways an essential customer service skill. It will allow you to keep your upbeat persona, in spite of any difficulties you face. And, at the end of the day, that persona is crucial to maintaining good customer relationships.
In addition to good acting skills, you’re also going to need to be tough, because resilience is a necessity for all customer service workers. You just never know when customer complaints might turn nasty, or when you might need conflict resolution skills to help manage customers issues.
A frustrated customer can cause disturbances in your workplace. However, you need to care about customer success, even when the customer in question is difficult. It will, therefore, be imperative that you put any upset behind you and focus solely on customer relationship management. Remember that the customer's expectation has to come first, always.
11. Hard skills
While you’ll need to be able to draw on a good range of soft skills, there are a number of hard skills that you’ll have to nail down, too, if you want to do a customer service job. However, the exact skills will likely vary between organizations.
For example, some customer care roles will require computer skills and other technical skills, while others will need you to be proficient in data entry and customer service software.
These are just some of the top skills that will be expected of you. To ensure you have the right ones for the roles you want to apply for, read the job descriptions carefully. You could always use a resume builder to pull them all together in a pleasing resume format, or compare your application to a successful resume sample.
How to learn essential customer service skills?
If you’re dedicated to customer satisfaction but don’t yet have the experience to build out the skills section of your resume and cover letter, then you should consider completing an online course. Otherwise, without the right skills on your resume, you might struggle to secure a job interview.
Take, for example, the Courses for Success Call Center Training online certificate course, for those who want to provide excellent customer service over the phone. It requires no prior qualifications or experience — only a willingness to learn how to become the best customer service agent possible.
Or, if you’re not sure what skills for a resume you need, you can pursue some career advice. With expert guidance, you can find out what you’ll be expected to do to provide excellent customer service in the sector of your choice.
Why Courses for Success?
Courses for Success offers over 10,000 online courses, all of which aim to help you in your personal development and career progression.
Not only that, but you can also study them anywhere and at any time, and take them at your own pace, too.
You don’t need career diplomas or specific experience to get started. With every course we offer created to be as accessible as possible, you can be sure that all of them, from our coding courses and trading courses to design courses and developer courses, will help to boost your prospects, no matter who you are.
Beyond just the education itself, students will be issued with a certificate online after successful completion of each of the learning courses they do. Our customer service representative skills courses are no exception. Our customer service representative skills certificates are recognized by industry leaders. You could really make a name for yourself in the business world by signing up for a Courses for Success short course.