Enhancing Your Customer Service Skills

You’ve heard of customer service employees, (or maybe you have even been one), but who are they, exactly?

Customer service workers are the friendly faces you see at the front of a store or on the phone when you have a question about a product, or service; they help keep customers happy and satisfied. Here’s a guide to the skills they need, why those skills are important, and how to show them off on your resume.

Let’s start with the basics!

Why are customer service skills important?

Good customer service means keeping customers happy and coming back for more. When customers trust a brand, they stick with it, give it good reviews, and tell their friends and family members. So, from a business perspective, it’s crucial for these stores and service providers to have employees who can build positive relationships with customers and who display excellent social skills.

What customer service skills are good for the workplace?

Customer service skills are useful in many jobs, not just customer-facing ones! They can be helpful as a business administrator, a telephone marketer, a store manager, and more! Here are some important ones:

  1. Communication skills: We cannot emphasize this enough! Being able to talk and listen well, including understanding complex information and different kinds of people is extremely valuable to employers.
  2. Technical knowledge: Knowing enough about your workplace’s computer systems, products, and/or services to provide your customers with comprehensive support and solutions. And yes, technical skills are also important to customer service jobs! We have some tips for you on how to add those to your resume, and why they’re important in our article “Why Add Technical Skills to your Resume?”
  3. Problem-solving skills: Finding solutions that work for customers and the company; this can be tricky, but remember that you can always ask for help, and learn from each of the interactions.
  4. Empathy and emotional intelligence: Understanding and relating to how customers – and your coworkers – feel.
  5. Adaptability and resilience: Being able to handle tough situations and bounce back from setbacks. We know customer service isn’t always easy, and there are going to be people who come into your business or service and they’re angry or upset; being able to have those skills in place to bounce back or adapt to the situation will help you out immensely!

How do I improve my customer service skills?

You can get better at customer service even if it’s not your main job, or if you are still applying to jobs (besides, many of these skills are applicable across various fields). Here’s how:

  • Work on communication skills and active listening (check out our article “Social Skills in the Workplace” for some more ideas and help).
  • Ask for feedback and learn from it.
  • Take part in training programs and practice with coworkers.
  • Learn from experienced customer service providers.
  • Read feedback from customers, and identify your personal and professional strengths and how you can apply those to the feedback. (We have another article on “Identifying Personal & Professional Strengths” if you need some ideas)!
  • There’s always room to learn and grow, so keep improving your skills to open up new opportunities.

How can I add customer service skills to my resume?

If you’ve worked in customer service before or want to, showing off your skills on your resume can help. Here’s where to put them:

  1. In your resume summary, talk about your customer service skills.
  2. In your work experience section, use action words to show how you’ve used those skills.
  3. In a separate skills section, list specific skills like communication and problem-solving.
  4. If you’ve done extra training, include it in a certifications section.
  5. Check out our articles “Communication Skills and Your Resume” or “Creating a Resume as a High-School Student” for additional help.

Some Extra FAQs

How can I improve my customer service skills?

Practice active listening, empathy, and learning from feedback.

Empathy, communication, and problem-solving.

Highlight skills mentioned in the job description throughout your resume.

Customer support, detail oriented, proactive, communication skills, troubleshooting, flexible, adaptable, reliable, creative, problem-solving.

Yes! They’re useful for solving a wide variety of problems efficiently.

Companies like Amazon and Apple prioritize quick solutions and friendly service.

Give examples of times you connected with customers emotionally to solve problems in the past/relevant experience description portions of your resume.

Any that show extra training in customer service, such as the Serving it Right, or Superhost Certifications (both of which you can access funding and support for through Kootenay Employment Services and WorkBC)!

Hard skills are specific abilities, while soft skills are interpersonal qualities like empathy and communication.

Focus on transferable skills like communication and problem-solving and include relevant volunteer or extracurricular activities.

Overall, customer service skills are valuable, and applicable across all types of job fields and all experience levels. We encourage you to work on some of the skills and ideas mentioned in this article, and we wish you the best of luck in all of your job hunting! You’ve got this.

Here are additional resources to help you get started!

Kootenay Employment Services offers several online tools, one of which is our resume and cover letter builders. Get started on your resume today!

Kootenay Employment Services has a collection of articles on various career advice topics, one of which may give you a hand with applying for jobs! We have an article on preparing for interviews that might be handy for those customer service job applications.

Indeed is a job-seekers’ website with job postings from across the world. They are a widely used platform for job seekers and employers, alike!

Kootenay Employment Services also has an online job board! Take a look at what’s available in your region today, and start applying!