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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

How to add customer service skills to your resume

12 min read
How to add customer service skills to your resume
Artwork by:Nadiia Zhelieznova
There are few skills that can have more of an impact on the success of a company than customer service skills. In this blog, we’ll show you how to talk about them on your resume.

How to add customer service skills to your resume

Whether you are selling a product or supporting a service, meeting (and exceeding) the needs of customers and clients is central to continued success. How you outline your customer service resume skills is a testament to just how much you value customer care.

Happy customers come back to buy more, with a compound effect on your bottom line – they tell their friends and become brand ambassadors. If they have a terrible customer experience, they may kick off on Twitter and hammer one more nail in the coffin of your brand’s demise. A happy customer tells a friend, an unhappy customer tells the world.

The trick to great customer service lies in how you treat the customer as well as how you resolve their issue. You might not be able to do anything for them, but if you deal with them from a place of empathy, they will at least feel heard and understood. They may well even come back to buy from you again. 

That is why every great brand puts customer service at the heart of their operation.

Your employer wants to hire a customer service warrior. Does your resume reflect this?

In this blog, we explore how to find the optimal mix of customer service resume skills for your situation. Selling a product in a store is very different to dealing with a complaint about a service over the phone, although many CS and CX skills will overlap across industries. 

Here is a summary of what we will look at:

  • What are customer service skills?
  • 15 examples of customer service skills
  • Five aspects of your customer service story
  • How to set yourself apart from the competition

There are few industries where you need to “walk the walk” more often than customer service. Every interaction with a customer brings a unique challenge and you need to be hyper focused on customer satisfaction at all times. If you have not got enough customer service resume skills with specific examples, it is time to look for a new career. Does the customer-first mantra shine through? If not, hopefully we can offer some inspiration.

These soft skills are hardest to come by
These soft skills are hardest to come by

What are customer service skills?

Customer service can take place at any stage of the customer journey – from a customer considering a purchase right through to a customer who has used a service for years. 

Having the customer service skills to help customers make decisions, resolve problems, and make the most of their product/service is essential to growing brand loyalty.

But how are these skills typically portrayed on a resume? Hiring managers will receive resumes that are littered with the following four common (boring) phrases:

  • Great customer service skills
  • Polished customer service skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Good customer service skills

Some candidates may think of a more “powerful” adjective to add to the phrase. They might even repeat it a few times across the resume. In reality, these empty claims tell a hiring manager nothing of substance. If you are truly passionate about customer service, you should be able to describe your approach in more detail than this.

10 examples of CS and CX skills

The following ten customer service resume skills should be woven into your CS career story. Talk about how they made a difference to your customers and share specific examples wherever possible. Customer service superstars will have stories galore.

Resilience. Some customers can be incredibly hard to deal with. A few of them even make a habit of complaining at the slightest opportunity. Resilience is key to calming down and carrying on after a particularly difficult encounter. There will be plenty of them.

Patience. Sometimes dealing with a customer can take longer than you expect. The key here is to have no expectations. Patience is one of the most common customer service resume skills – fully meeting the needs of a customer sometimes takes a while.

Product knowledge. When you work in customer service you need to be an expert in the product or service that you represent. Sharing that you “get” what customers are talking about is a great customer service resume skill. Then show off your knowledge at the interview.

Customer advocacy. Sometimes you need to go into bat on behalf of your customer to your superiors. In certain non-standard situations that lie outside of the customer service handbook, showing the customer that you are fighting for them will ensure their gratitude.

Interpersonal skills. Building a brief relationship within seconds of talking to someone is something that every customer service professional will do countless thousands of times during their career. Does your resume reflect these interpersonal skills?

Conflict resolution. Like it or not, most customer service interactions will involve resolving issues. Customers will see you as the face of the brand, so certain interactions may feel like conflict situations. De-escalate and resolve where possible.

Adaptability. No great customer service representative sticks to a script (and their employer does not make them do this). Adopting a flexible approach and solving problems will show a customer that you are doing everything in your power to resolve their issues.

Attention to detail. Many customer issues are not simple to unpack. Listening for the crucial details at the crux of any interaction is an essential customer service resume skill. 

Tact. Some complaints are incredibly personal, and it might even be the case that the customer doesn’t feel comfortable talking about it. You are not there to judge them; you are simply there to help. Recognize when there is a sensitive situation.

Verbal communication. Clear and concise communication and instruction is at the heart of every effective customer service interaction. Show that you understand the problem and seek to explore swift solutions. Customers have other things to do.

Your customer service story on your resume

While the ten examples of customer service in the list above are somewhat simplistic, sharing customer service resume skills often happens as part of a wider story. Here are a few deeper threads of a potential narrative that would impress any employer.

Share a belief in the product or service

When you are constantly hearing negative feedback and experiences about the product or service, you need to retain an inner belief in its purpose. Only a small percentage of people will complain, so keep the faith. Equally, when you are selling to a customer, it is helpful to believe that it will make a difference in their lives.

Prove that you are a great listener

Saying that you have proficient listening skills on your resume is not enough. If you want to prove this ability to a future employer, tell them a complicated customer service story that they themselves would barely be able to fathom. Most customers aren’t very good at describing their problems (or know what they need). Listening is key to customer service.

How to ace your customer service job interview
Related article
How to ace your customer service job interview

So you have been fortunate enough to land a job interview. Here's a list of questions and scenarios you might hear during your interview.

Know that every interaction matters

Every customer is important. It is not enough to have a great conversation with one customer and then relax and not do the next customer interaction justice. Every one of your customer service resume skills may be called upon at any time – have you got the drive and intensity? Employers will look for that dedication on your resume.

Value emotional intelligence

Putting yourself in a customer’s shoes sometimes requires significant emotional gymnastics. When someone is screaming at you over the phone or exhibiting challenging behavior in a shop, the natural reaction is to shut up emotionally (unless you want to shout back at them, which is not a good idea). Pursuing emotional intelligence is a lifelong journey.

Never leave a complaint unresolved

Leave no stone uncovered when you are trying to solve a customer complaint or find a solution for them. You may not possess the required knowledge, so ask someone in the company that may be able to help. Everyone in the company should be invested in offering great customer service – you are not on your own in this quest.

Key takeaways

Securing a customer service job is difficult. You will have a lot of competition who will all be shouting from the rooftops about their customer care skills. To get that interview invite (and to give yourself the platform to shine at interview), your resume should:

  • Show that customer service skills are central to your success
  • Share stories that demonstrate the versatility of your CS approach
  • Demonstrate appropriate customer service resume skills for each role
  • Prove that you are able to replicate great service – every time
  • View our customer service resume sample and get inspired to make your own resume.
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