Important Skills Needed to Work in Customer Service

The best customer service representatives have mastered specific skills, which you need demonstrate on your resume, during interviews and throughout your job search. In every situation, the goal of great service is to show a customer that:

  • You care about them and about fulfilling their order, solving their problem and/or answering their questions, whatever it takes.
  • You’re willing to keep going till you get it right.
  • They’re the one who determines what “right” is.

Here’s a closer look at four of these “must-have” skills:


Efficiency is important, of course, but not as important as great service. Customers often are confused, upset or frustrated as they reach out to you for support. Patience is critical in building rapport, keeping things calm and ensuring your customers feel they’re being treated by someone who is knowledgeable, friendly, caring and competent.

  • In a consumer engagement study conducted at a bank, customer perceptions of their tellers’ courtesy and willingness to help were far more important than speed of service in keeping them loyal. Customers who gave the bank high ratings on these attributes were nine times more likely to be engaged.
  • Don’t let a heated customer cause you to lose your cool. If things get hectic, take a breath and be a rock – holding steady, even if a person sounds like their entire world is coming down around them due to their current problem.


Pay attention, listen to their language and the terms they use to describe their problems, and be constantly mindful to any and all feedback you receive.

  • To ensure you’re actively listening, follow the 90/10 rule. This means letting the customer do 90 percent of the talking, until your turn comes to contribute to the conversation. Don’t argue, interrupt or judge. Hold off on giving advice until asked or the time is right. Be empathetic and acknowledge the other person’s feelings.
  • Pay attention to a person’s tone of voice, and if you’re dealing with them in person, their body language. A customer may not say it outright, but there may be a pervasive feeling that something about your product is bothering them. What are they telling you without actually saying it?

Time Management

Balance patience with time management. Spend the right amount of time with each customer. Give them the personal attention and response they need, while delivering what they want in an efficient manner.

  • This also applies when you realize you simply cannot help a customer. If you don’t know the solution to a problem, the best support you can provide is to turn a person over to someone who does. Don’t waste time.

Closing Ability

Having strong closing ability is not the same thing as closing a sale. Being able to close with a customer means ending the conversation with them – and you – feeling everything has been taken care of, or will be.

  • The last thing a customer wants is to be booted after a service call or before all their concerns have been addressed. Take the time to confirm each and every issue has been entirely resolved.

The PrideStaff Fresno team would love to help you find your next great customer service job. We’re backed by a national client network and have access to a full range of positions where your unique skills and personality can be put to the best possible use. Contact us today to learn more.