Customer Service Skills: Examples for Career Success & CV

Customer service skills are the abilities that help you meet and anticipate customer needs and create a positive customer experience. They’re generally centred around communication and problem-solving and consist mainly of soft skills.

 

They’re incredibly important for success in the workplace, but you can’t just say you have ‘excellent customer service skills’ and hope for the best. So we’re here to help. You’re about to see a list of the most important key skills for customer service. You’ll also learn how to improve them and how to include customer service skills on your CV. 

 

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Customer service skills example CV

 

Vanessa James

Ph: 0777 777 7777

Email: vjames_lcuk@gmail.com

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/vjames_lcuk

 

Dedicated and empathetic customer service advisor with 6+ years experience in customer support. Patient and highly knowledgeable about products and services with a determination to solve complaints at the first point of contact. Dedicated to delivering positive customer experiences through professional and personalised complaints handling.

 

Work Experience

 

Customer Service Advisor

Krypton Inc., London

July 2017—Present

  • Provided customer support and complaints handling for an organisation with 80,000+ customer accounts across England and Wales.
  • Beat complaints resolution feedback goal of 90% achieving average score of 95%+.
  • Solved 85% of complaints at the first point of contact, beating the company average of 75%.
  • Onboarded and mentored new starters and assisted with creating onboarding training material.

 

Customer Service Assistant

Orange Finance, London

September 2014—July 2017

  • Provided telephone support for 40,000+ account holders across the South of England.
  • Achieved an average call resolution time of five minutes, beating team target of seven minutes.
  • Received four written customer compliments for delivering a high quality customer experience.
  • Maintained a detailed and up-to-date knowledge of Orange Finance’s products and service offerings.

 

Education

 

A-levels: Business, General Studies, Dutch, September 2012–June 2014

Silver Birch College, London

 

Skills

 

  • CRM software. Advanced user of Zoho desk and PureCloud.
  • Conflict resolution. Calmed challenging customers and successfully resolved majority of complaints at FPOC.
  • Time management. Exceeded all time-based goals for call waiting and complaint resolution.
  • Resilience. Maintained professionalism and positivity despite a high workload and challenging complaints.
  • Written communication. Drafted formal written responses in accordance with company style guides while ensuring a professional and compassionate tone.

 

Languages

 

  • Dutch—fluent

 

What is customer service?

 

Customer service can be both a set of skills and a type of job. Customer service professionals meet and anticipate the needs of customers, solve their problems and ensure they have a positive experience. Customer service skills are the abilities that enable them to do this and they’re an important part of many jobs, not just those that specialise in customer service.

 

So understanding what customer service skills are and how to demonstrate them is key to success in many different careers.

 

Top 10 examples of good customer service skills

 

By 2030 it’s estimated that 2.6 million workers will be lacking the basic skills necessary to deliver good customer service. So developing and being aware of the most important skills needed for customer service will stand you in good stead, now and in the future. Here’s the top customer service skills list you’ll need for career success.

 

1. Good communication skills

 

Communication skills are well deserving of their number one spot. Ultimately, having excellent customer service skills boils down to your ability to effectively communicate with customers. You need to be able to communicate effectively through a variety of channels and methods, face-to-face, on the phone, online, through speaking and through writing. And you have to be able to communicate clearly and concisely too. Good communication skills are in short supply too, with around a third of applicants lacking the basics. 

 

2. Patience

 

Patience is undoubtedly one of the top skills required for customer service. Irate customers often take out their frustrations with a product or service on the person they’re speaking to. Taking it personally can negatively affect your own well-being and your ability to do your job effectively. Remember that you’re not the reason for their anger, and that by remaining calm and professionally solving their problems you can flip that anger into a positive experience. And that positive experience is big business, 65% of customers say it’s more influential on their view of a brand than advertising. 

 

3. Active listening

 

Active listening is a subset of communication skills and one of the most powerful examples of good customer service skills. After all, communication is a two-way street. It’s important to make sure you truly listen to your customers to understand their needs. This includes making them feel as if they’re being listened to by using affirmative language to encourage them. Reinforce this and ensure you’ve got the full picture by using open questions to elicit further information and rephrasing the customer’s narrative back to them to make sure you got it right. 

 

4. Positivity

 

Attitude is a huge factor in possessing the skills needed for customer service. And positivity is good for the bottom line too, with 65% of customers reporting they spent more money with a company due to a history of positive customer service experiences. Remain upbeat whilst still maintaining empathy with customers and use positive language to steer conversations. Focus on what can be done instead of what can’t be done. 

 

5. Attentiveness

 

This customer service skill is related to active listening and positivity, but it’s subtly different. Attentiveness is the skill of making a customer feel they are genuinely being paid attention to as an individual and that their needs are being acknowledged. Cultivate attentiveness by having genuine communication with each individual customer, don’t just stick to scripted responses which can seem generic and impersonal. And once again, this pays off in a business sense too. 64% of customers report customer experience is more important than price when making a purchase.

 

6. Willingness to improve

 

Continuing to deliver exceptional skills for customer service is an ongoing process. It’s essential to develop and improve your skills for you and your employer to continue delivering the very best. Customer expectations and communication technologies are constantly changing and evolving. And if you fail to deliver then you’re more likely than ever to lose out. 76% of customers report it’s easier than it has ever been to take their business elsewhere and find a company that meets their needs.

 

7. Product knowledge

 

Product knowledge is another key skill for customer service. Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than dealing with someone who lacks a basic level of understanding of the products and services their employer provides. It prevents you from understanding a customer’s problems and from being able to suggest effective solutions. So it’s essential you can prove you’re up to speed with your company’s policies, processes, products and services.

 

8. Decision making

 

Decisiveness plays an important role in any list of customer service job skills. You need to be able to determine the best course of action to solve customers’ issues. How do you solve the problem? Can you provide a solution on the spot or do you need to escalate? What else can you do to help the customer have a better experience? All of these questions are essential considerations and you need to be able to come to a fast and firm decision. 

 

9. Adaptability

 

Having good customer service skills means being able to effectively deal with other people. And we humans are notoriously unpredictable. Each customer has unique needs and each day will bring new challenges. The same person may communicate with you in different ways depending on their circumstances on that particular day. Similar situations cause different customers to react in different ways so it’s essential you have the flexibility to deal with varying situations by varying means.

 

10. Time management skills

 

Time management probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to skills needed for customer service. But being able to manage your time effectively is an important consideration. You need to offer good service to the customer you’re dealing with right now, but there’ll always be other customers waiting. It’s important to know how to deal with each customer effectively and quickly. You also need to know when to escalate the issue or pass it on if you can’t resolve it yourself. This skill helps you assist as many customers as possible and avoid worsening situations through a lack of responsiveness. And if you work in a specialist customer service role there’s a very good chance you’ll have time-based targets.

 

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How to include customer service skills on your CV

 

Once you’ve worked hard to develop and improve your customer service skills you’ll need to know how to include them in your CV. First, you’ll see how to include customer service skills in a standard CV format, section-by-section. Then you’ll see a list of good customer service skills to include on your CV.

 

1. Begin with your CV summary

 

Also known as your CV profile, it’s the short paragraph that acts as the introduction to your CV. So show you’ve got the skills needed for customer service right from the start. Include your job title, how much experience you have, and an impressive achievement or skill related to customer service. 

 

Customer service skills CV example—personal profile

 

Dedicated and empathetic customer service advisor with 6+ years experience in customer support. Patient and highly knowledgeable about products and services with a determination to solve complaints at the first point of contact. Dedicated to delivering positive customer experiences through professional and personalised complaints handling.

 

2. Highlight achievements in your work experience section

 

Your work experience section should never be just a list of your responsibilities. Use it to maximum effect by highlighting accomplishments and achievements that prove your customer service skills. 

 

Each entry in your work history should have 4–6 bullet points describing the job. Start them off with CV action verbs and structure them by using accomplishment statements. In other words, don’t just say what you did, explain how well you did it. And quantify your achievements and responsibilities with numbers wherever possible. Finally, read the job advert, see what customer service experience is required and make sure you target your own experience and achievements to those particular job requirements.

 

Customer service skills CV example—work experience section

 

Customer Service Assistant

Orange Finance, London

September 2014—July 2017

  • Provided telephone support for 40,000+ account holders across the South of England.
  • Achieved an average call resolution time of five minutes, beating team target of seven minutes.
  • Received four written customer compliments for delivering a high quality customer experience.
  • Maintained a detailed and up-to-date knowledge of Orange Finance’s products and service offerings.

 

3. Write a tailored skills section

 

Your CV skills section follows your education section. It’s tempting just to throw in as many customer service skills as you can think of but it won’t do you any favours with recruiters. And on a more practical note, you should be aiming for a CV length of 1–2 pages, so you’re limited by space. You need to write a skills section that’s concise and tailored to each specific job you apply for.

 

Do this by consulting the job advert again, this time noting all of the specific customer service skills that are required. Then include 5–10 of your own skills on your CV, targetting them to the job requirements as closely as possible. And add a short sentence to each skill with evidence of how you demonstrate it.

 

Customer service skills CV example—skills section

 

  • CM software. Advanced user of Zoho desk and PureCloud.
  • Conflict resolution. Calmed challenging customers and successfully resolved majority of complaints at FPOC.
  • Time management. Exceeded all time-based goals for call waiting and complaint resolution.
  • Resilience. Maintained professionalism and positivity despite a high workload and challenging complaints.
  • Written communication. Drafted formal written responses in accordance with company style guides while ensuring a professional and compassionate tone.

 

4. Include additional sections

 

Proving you have good customer service skills doesn’t end with your skills section. Adding extra sections to your CV gives you more chances to win over the hiring manager with your abilities. It also helps to make you stand out as a candidate by going over and above the standard CV layout. 

 

Customer service skills CV example—additional sections

 

Languages

 

  • Dutch—fluent

 

10 tips to improve your customer service skills

 

As I’ve already mentioned, delivering good customer service is an ongoing learning process. By undertaking formal training and being aware of the way you interact with customers you can develop great customer service skills. Here’s how to improve customer service skills:

 

1. Take advantage of internal training opportunities

 

Employers are all too aware of the need for a highly skilled workforce. More and more companies offer comprehensive training schemes to their employees so ask your manager what opportunities are available.

 

2. Research online training

 

Even if your employer doesn’t offer the training you need there’s never been a better time to take the initiative and find training opportunities yourself. And it’s all at your fingertips online. As with any training opportunity though, do your due diligence and check whether the provider you’re looking at is properly accredited. And check out independent review services such as Trustpilot to see the opinions of people who’ve taken the course previously.

 

3. Get advice on government backed training

 

The UK government has a useful portal with a wealth of information about career skills and training. Take a look to find out more about how to improve your customer service skills.

 

4. Empathise with your customers

 

Many of the customer service skills you’ve seen are directly related to the ability to empathise with customers. If you work to understand and identify with the feelings the customer is experiencing and respond accordingly then your approach to customer service will improve as a result.

 

5. Improve your hard skills

 

Customer service mainly consists of soft skills, but to deliver it effectively you need to brush up on your hard skills too. Learn to use the equipment, software and systems associated with customer service tasks so you can assist customers with maximum speed and efficiency.

 

6. Make use of feedback

 

Listen to feedback from managers and colleagues and if you don’t receive enough, ask for it. Then take action to address any areas for improvement. Also take note of satisfaction metrics gathered by your employer to identify further areas of improvement. Many customer service focused industries put a lot of effort into obtaining customer feedback, use the results to your advantage as an opportunity to improve.

 

7. Take customer service seriously

 

It’s all too easy to dismiss customer service skills. You might think you’re in a role that isn’t customer facing or work for a company that doesn’t offer B2C products and services. But even when you’re dealing purely with other businesses, they’re your customers too. And customer service skills will enable you to deal more professionally with your own colleagues as well. Almost all roles involve elements of customer service.

 

8. Learn to say sorry

 

Unfortunately, a large part of the skills for customer service involves dealing with customers who feel a company or organisation has failed them. Even if the failing isn’t your fault it’s essential to be able to apologise. Firstly, it’s your job and secondly, it’s much easier to deal with a customer who feels appeased.

 

9. Solve the problem

 

It seems obvious, but it’s incredibly frustrating for customers when they get fobbed off with excuses and bombarded with detailed technical explanations of why their problem occurred. Customers just want their issues resolved quickly and effectively. So always focus on listening to the customer to find out exactly what the problem is, then offer a solution yourself or if you can’t, pass them onto a colleague who can. 

 

10. Keep calm and carry on

 

It’s timeless advice for life and for developing good customer service skills. Keep calm, be thick-skinned and don’t take customer behaviour personally. Keep positive and professional at all times to prevent problems from escalating out of control. And when you’re dealing with a customer face-to-face that involves your body language too, so keep it open and friendly.

 

You don’t have to be a CV writing expert. In the LiveCareer CV builder you’ll find ready-made content for every industry and position, which you can then add with a single click.

 

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Thanks for reading. We’re committed to delivering good customer service skills too, so if you’ve got any questions at all about this article or need some help with demonstrating your own skills, ask away in the comments section and we’ll be happy to help.

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LiveCareer Editorial Team

LiveCareer Editorial Team

About the author

Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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