Customer Service Skills List and Examples

customer service woman with headset
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A company that relies on customers or clients to keep it in business will want to know what customer service experience and skills you have to offer. Before you fill out a job application, write your resume or walk into the interview room, research the company and the position you are applying for. The skills an employer will view as an asset can vary from job to job.

Become familiar with what the company is seeking and brainstorm a list of customer service skills you have that pertain specifically to the job for which you're applying.

Try to be specific when mentioning the skills you can bring to the position in your cover letter and, if possible, have real-life examples you can share with employers during interviews.

Focus on Your Strongest Skills

During your interview, you should highlight the customer service experience and skills you can offer to the company. Don’t hesitate to mention your attention to detail or your ability to stay positive when faced with a challenge. Again, the more specific you can be, the better.

It's also important to be sure the interviewer knows you will be a team player. Think about the positive and negative experiences you have had working with both clients and coworkers. A question about either one of those situations may come up, especially if you're being interviewed for a managerial position.

Examples of Customer Service Skills

© The Balance, 2018

Contrary to popular belief, giving good customer service does not require being an enthusiastic people-person, though it does help. Some types of customer-facing jobs do require an outgoing personality, but others do not. An honest desire to help other people is probably the one indispensable characteristic. Without that drive to help people, you may be able to act the part, but you will not enjoy it.

Learn how to communicate clearly and honestly, and how to anticipate what the customer needs to know. If there is a surcharge, or a product warning, or another rack with a better selection in aisle 4, don’t neglect to mention it simply because the customer didn’t know to ask.

The other half of communication is receptivity; customers will tell you what they need. Be sure you know how to listen.

Empathy, Product Knowledge and Diligence

Empathy also is crucial for customer service workers. Not everybody wants the same thing in the same situation, so for empathy to be effective, you will have to keep an open mind and carefully observe others’ signals.

Product knowledge is perhaps one of the most underrated customer service skills, and unfortunately, the one most lacking in the majority of retail positions. All the willingness to listen or to help won’t do much good if you can’t actually answer the customer's question, or handle the problem.

Try your employer’s products, learn about its services, and when you get a question you can’t answer, go do some research.

Diligence is the one customer service skill companies seem most likely to neglect, yet without it, service is just a show. Diligence means honoring deadlines, keeping promises, and maintaining standards.

Have a Pleasant Personality

And finally, politeness, cheerfulness, and tact are the skills everyone associates with customer service. These skills come easier to some people than others, but they can be learned and do improve with practice.