Customer service is the beating heart of any business that's worth its salt. And having the right skills can be the secret sauce to your success. So, as you get ready to give your resume a glow-up, you want to make sure you're flaunting the very best of your abilities. These include a cocktail of soft skills like communication and empathy, problem-solving skills such as adaptability and conflict resolution, and technical skills like knowledge of CRM tools and juggling different platforms.
In a nutshell, these are the secret weapons that allow you to provide top-notch customer service, whether you're answering queries, solving problems, or building relationships that stand the test of time with customers. These are the skills that you'll want to strut on your resume as the must-have customer service skills.
Why Customer Service Skills Are a Big Deal
In a world where products and services are as identical as peas in a pod, customer service is often the tie-breaker for consumers. Businesses that offer exceptional customer service can stand out from the crowd, retain customers, and attract new ones through positive chit-chat.
For you, a customer service whizz, having strong customer service skills can open the door to a world of opportunities. These skills are highly sought after by employers in almost every industry, and showing them off on your resume can skyrocket your chances of landing the job of your dreams.
Moreover, customer service skills are transferable. That means even if you do a 180 and switch industries or job roles, these skills will still be relevant and beneficial. So, as you work on your resume, remember to highlight these skills. Not only will they demonstrate your ability to provide stellar customer service, but they'll also show potential employers that you have what it takes to shine in any customer-facing role.
Communication Skills: The Heart of the Matter
Good communication is the bread and butter of customer service. The better you can express yourself, understand the customers, and respond to their needs, the more you'll shine in your role. Let's check out three must-have customer service skills you should definitely add to your resume.
1. Active Listening
When you're dealing with customers, you have to listen — and not just to respond but to truly understand what they're saying. Active listening is about paying full attention to the customer's words, their tone, and even their emotions.
Key pointers for active listening include:
- Giving your full attention: Don’t multitask. Focus on the customer and what they're saying.
- Acknowledging the customer’s feelings: Use phrases like, "It sounds like you're really frustrated with…" to show that you understand their emotions.
- Clarifying and summarizing: Repeat back or summarize what the customer has said to ensure you've understood correctly.
2. Clear and Effective Communication
Customers appreciate it when you communicate clearly and effectively. They don't want jargon or long, complicated explanations — they want simple, straightforward answers.
Here are some tips for clear communication:
- Be concise: Keep your responses as brief and to the point as possible.
- Use simple language: Steer clear of industry jargon or technical terms that the customer might not understand.
- Be positive: Even when delivering bad news, try to do it in a positive, constructive way.
Empathy is about more than just understanding a customer's feelings. It's about sharing those feelings. When you're empathetic, you can better understand why a customer is upset, angry, or frustrated – and that can help you find the best solution to their problem.
How to show empathy in customer service:
- Validate their feelings: Let the customer know that their feelings are understandable and valid.
- Show understanding: Use phrases like, "I can see why you're upset…" to show that you understand their perspective.
- Offer a sincere apology: Even if the problem wasn't your fault, you can still say, "I'm sorry that you're having this problem."
So, if you're looking to pimp your resume, make sure you highlight these core communication skills. They could be just what you need to stand out from the crowd and land that dream customer service job.
Problem-Solving Skills: The Game-Changers
In the world of customer service, being a problem solver isn't just a bonus; it's a necessity. When you're dealing with customers, you need to be ready to tackle issues head-on and come up with effective solutions. Let's discuss three key problem-solving skills you should definitely include in your resume.
In the ever-changing landscape of customer service, adaptability is a must-have skill. It's all about how well you adjust to new challenges, changes, and situations in your work environment. Whether it's a sudden shift in company policy, a difficult customer, or a technical glitch, being adaptable means you're able to think on your feet and keep things moving smoothly.
How to showcase adaptability on your resume:
Describe a situation where you had to adapt to a significant change at work, and how your adaptability led to a positive outcome. This could be a shift in work processes, dealing with an unexpected issue, or navigating a change in team structure.
2. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is another essential skill for problem-solving in customer service. It involves analyzing situations or problems, considering possible solutions or approaches, and making decisions based on your analysis. When you're dealing with customer complaints or issues, critical thinking allows you to evaluate the problem and come up with the best solution.
How to showcase critical thinking on your resume:
Highlight instances where your critical thinking skills have led to problem resolution. This could involve a time when you identified a recurring problem and implemented a new procedure to prevent it from happening again.
3. Conflict Resolution
Conflict is inevitable in customer service. That's why conflict resolution is one of the top skills to add to your resume. It involves being able to understand and manage disputes effectively, whether they're between you and a customer, or between two customers. With good conflict resolution skills, you can help maintain a positive environment and ensure customer satisfaction.
How to showcase conflict resolution on your resume:
Provide examples of when you've successfully resolved conflicts in the past. This could be a situation where you managed to calm a difficult customer or resolved a dispute between team members.
When you're listing these must-have customer service skills to add to your resume, remember to provide concrete examples of how you've applied them in your past roles. Don’t just say you have these skills - demonstrate them. This will help potential employers see how you could apply these skills in their workplace, and why you'd be a great fit for their team.
Technical Customer Service Skills: The Digital Edge
In this digital age, having a firm grasp on certain technical skills can make you a stronger contender in the customer service field. Let's dive into a couple of must-have customer service skills to add to your resume that involve a technological aspect.
1. Knowledge of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools
Today, many businesses are leveraging Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to streamline their customer service processes. These systems are designed to manage customer interactions, track customer information, and automate sales—all in one place.
Having a robust understanding of CRM tools can give you a significant edge in your job applications. It shows potential employers that you're comfortable working with technology and have the ability to utilize it to improve customer service operations.
When crafting your resume, it's worth mentioning your experience with CRM tools, including any specific platforms you've used. Don't forget to highlight any achievements or improvements you've made using these tools, such as boosting customer satisfaction rates or improving response times.
2. Multitasking Across Different Platforms
In a fast-paced customer service environment, the ability to multitask across different platforms is crucial. This could involve managing live chat enquiries while also handling phone calls, or switching between multiple customer service tools and systems. Being adept at multitasking allows you to efficiently handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, enhancing productivity and service levels. It's an important skill that shows employers you can handle a high volume of tasks without compromising the quality of your customer service.
When adding this skill to your resume, be sure to provide specific examples of situations where you've successfully multitasked. This could involve a time when you handled customer enquiries across multiple platforms during peak periods, or when you efficiently managed a high volume of tickets using various customer service tools. These technical skills, alongside your communication and interpersonal abilities, can make you a well-rounded customer service professional. Don't shy away from showcasing your technical prowess—it could be the factor that sets you apart from other candidates!
3. Use of Productivity, AI, and Automation Tools
Customer service has gone through a lot of changes in the last decade, and automation has been a big part of this. To show recruiters you know how the new game of customer service works, experience with automation tools like Magical can be a big benefit. (Magical is a free Chrome extension that helps you automate repetitive tasks, like messaging customers or updating your CRM.) Not only does this show that you care about efficiency, but it also shows that you're up on the latest AI trends.
Interpersonal Skills: The Human Touch
Interpersonal skills are a big part of what makes a customer service professional effective. They help build rapport, resolve conflicts, and create a positive experience for customers. Here, we'll highlight three interpersonal skills: patience, positivity, and teamwork. Adding these must-have customer service skills to your resume can make you a standout candidate.
In the world of customer service, patience is definitely a virtue. It's about giving customers the time they need to express their concerns or frustrations, without rushing them or making them feel unheard. It's also about remaining calm and composed, even when dealing with difficult or demanding customers.
To highlight this skill on your resume, you could mention instances where your patience led to positive outcomes, like resolving complex issues or turning around a negative customer experience.
Maintaining a positive attitude, even in challenging situations, is another valuable skill for customer service professionals. It's about being able to stay upbeat and friendly, regardless of the circumstances. This not only improves the customer's experience, but it can also help you manage stress and prevent burnout.
Showcase this skill on your resume by pointing out how your positive attitude contributed to a positive work environment or improved customer satisfaction ratings.
In customer service, you're rarely working alone. You're part of a team, working together to deliver the best service possible. Teamwork skills include collaborating effectively with others, supporting your colleagues, and contributing to a positive team dynamics.
To demonstrate your teamwork skills on your resume, highlight instances where you collaborated with others to solve customer issues, or times when you stepped up to help a colleague in need.
Remember, interpersonal skills like patience, positivity, and teamwork are just as important as technical skills in customer service. By showcasing these skills on your resume, you're demonstrating your ability to connect with customers on a personal level and work effectively with your colleagues. And that can make all the difference in landing that customer service job you're eyeing.
Making Your Skills Shine on Your Resume
After getting the lowdown on the must-have customer service skills to add to your resume, it's time to make them shine. Your resume and cover letter are the first impressions you'll make on a potential employer, so it's crucial to highlight your skills in these documents. Here's how to do it:
Including Skills in Your Resume Summary
Your resume summary is a brief section at the beginning of your resume that highlights your qualifications. It's the perfect place to showcase the customer service skills you possess. Start by identifying the key skills the employer is looking for in the job description. Then, highlight these skills in your resume summary.
For example, if the job description emphasizes empathy and clear communication, your resume summary might read:
"Customer service pro with 5+ years of experience in fast-paced environments. Known for empathetic customer interactions and clear, effective communication."
Highlighting Skills in Your Work History
The work history section of your resume is where you can get specific about how you've used your customer service skills. For each job listing, provide a brief description of your role and responsibilities. Then, include bullet points that highlight the customer service skills you used and the results you achieved.
Customer Service Agent, ABC Company
-Leveraged active listening skills to understand customer concerns, resulting in a 20% increase in customer satisfaction score.
-Used CRM tools to track customer interactions and provide personalized service.
Demonstrating Skills in Your Cover Letter
Your cover letter is another important place to showcase your customer service skills. While your resume might list your skills and experiences, your cover letter tells the story of your professional journey. Use this space to elaborate on the skills you've listed on your resume and provide examples of how you've used these skills in the past.
"In my previous role as a Customer Support Specialist at XYZ Corp, I often used my problem-solving skills to resolve complex customer issues. On one occasion, I was able to de-escalate a situation with a highly frustrated customer by using active listening and empathy. This experience reinforced the importance of these skills in providing excellent customer service."
By including your customer service skills in your resume summary, work history, and cover letter, you can make a strong impression on potential employers and increase your chances of landing the job.