Key Customer Service Skills to Feature on Your Resume

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Learn about valuable service skills you can incorporate into your resume—and where to do that.

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Each customer service role requires specific job skills—or a mix of workplace skills (sometimes called “soft skills”) and technical skills. Whereas technical skills pertain to job-specific knowledge, like how to use a certain software program, workplace skills pertain to how you approach your work and tend to be skills you take from job to job.

When you’re writing a resume to apply for jobs in customer service, like customer service representative, it can help to feature certain skills associated with this type of work. In this article, we’ll go over the major customer service skills you can integrate into your resume and where you can do that. 

Learn more: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s the Difference?

10 important customer service skills for your resume

It’s important to tailor your resume for each role you apply to. That’s because many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to parse submissions and narrow down candidates. Getting past an ATS often means reviewing a job posting, noticing the language used to describe the ideal candidate, and finding ways to weave that wording into your resume using action words

It can be helpful to highlight the skills below in addition to any specific skills or previous experience a job posting calls for because they are a fundamental part of customer service work. 

Learn more: Customer Service Skills, Courses, Salaries, and Career Paths

1. Communication

Being able to communicate with customers is essential to resolving their questions or issues while representing the company in a good light. It’s important that you speak and, in some cases, write clearly, providing useful and clear responses that help.

Communicating clearly also works to build a sense of rapport and a feeling of trust. Want to brush up on your communication? We’ve got 22 ways you can improve those valuable skills.

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2. Active listening

It might seem that listening would fall under “communication,” and it’s closely related to it in many ways. But it’s really a separate skill that’s important to develop.

Active listening means not just listening to respond, but listening to fully understand. When you’re working with customers, it’s important to hear what they have to say, develop appropriate questions to better understand the matter, and respond with empathy. 

3. Empathy

Showing a customer that you understand their situation and connect with their feelings about whatever is happening are important elements of facilitating strong customer service. Being empathetic often means thinking about your customer’s situation from their point of view, and developing patience, kindness, and respect as you set about working with them.

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4. Warmth

People want to know they are speaking to someone who understands their needs and genuinely cares, so being personable—connecting with your customers, in other words—is a great skill to feature on your resume. If customers like you and feel they can trust you to help them, it can lead to more effective interactions. 

5. Problem-solving

Customers often reach out to customer service representatives when they have a problem. Being able to solve problems by thinking critically about them and identifying creative solutions can go a long way.

Problem-solving often means having the skills to listen to what a customer needs, determine why the issue is happening, and resolve it by turning to your company’s products or services. Taking ownership of the problem also builds trust, even if it is a problem you ultimately can’t solve alone.

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6. Dedication

Maintaining high standards, working to meet deadlines, and maintaining a professional demeanor are all essential when you work with customers and aim to provide excellent service. Dedication, sometimes called diligence, refers to the mindset you approach your work with, knowing that you’ll work to consistently provide a positive customer experience and maintain (or exceed) the level of quality expected. 

7. Time management

Not every customer service interaction will be the same or last the same amount of time. But as call logs mount or long lines develop in a store, it’s important to manage your customers’ time—and your time—efficiently.

When building rapport with a customer, it’s easy to lose track of time, so it’s vital to manage your time and know when to move on, while still being professional and respectful. 

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8. Stress management

The role of a customer service representative can be stressful due, in part, to frustrated or angry customers who may direct their emotions toward you. As much as possible, try not to take on people’s emotions. Take advantage of any workday breaks by disconnecting briefly from your responsibilities, and set aside time in the evening to relax and separate yourself from work. 

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9. Product knowledge

Understanding your company’s products and services is a vital part of any customer service role. Spending time continually familiarizing yourself with your company’s offerings can lead to smoother customer interactions because a customer service representative who understands the nature of the business they represent will be effective at handling queries. Having up-to-date product knowledge also makes upselling easier. 

10. Customer relationship management (CRM)

A customer service representative must be able to use customer relationship management (CRM) databases by logging customer details and queries, and finding information quickly. Some roles may involve using chatbots and translating complicated technical details to customers in a way they can understand, so technical and computer knowledge is essential. This technical knowledge can be valuable to feature on your resume. 

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How to highlight customer service skills on your resume

There are many opportunities to highlight your customer service skills when you make a resume or set out to enhance your resume. First, take time to review the job posting and note how the company describes the type of experience or skill set they’re interested in finding. For example, if they use language like, “manage customer queries and complaints,” and you have that kind of experience, then you can update the way you’ve described it to match their phrasing. 

On top of that work, you can feature the skills mentioned above in a few different areas. 

Resume summary: A resume summary is a brief explanation about who you are professionally. You can use the description to insert a few phrases, such as “Empathetic customer service professional.”  

Experience: When you craft a chronological resume, you’ll list out your experience by starting with your most recent role and moving backward. Whether you write a brief paragraph summary or use bullet points to list out your responsibilities, this is a great way to insert certain skills you developed. 

Skills section: A dedicated skills section usually falls near the end of your resume and is a chance to list or further detail the specific workplace and technical skills you have to offer. 

Certifications: If you’ve completed any role-specific education or skills training then you should include that information in a certification section on your resume

Learn more: How to Follow Up on a Job Application

Measuring and describing customer service skills on your resume

More than simply stating the skills you have, it’s important to find ways to express the impact you’ve had as a result of those skills. Adding measurables to your examples, such as your average response speed, rate of escalation in complaints, conversion rates, or ratio of resolved versus unresolved issues, can strengthen your resume and your candidacy for customer service roles. 

Examples of expressing your impact include: 

  • Decreased average response speed to customer queries from three hours to two hours

  • Increased conversion rate by 1.2% in the first quarter

  • Decreased complaint escalation to 18 per month 

  • Improved customer satisfaction rate by at least 9% each quarter 

Explore further 

Learning via Coursera can help bolster your customer service skills. Enroll in Customer Service Fundamentals to gain a basic knowledge of the field. Or if you’re looking to strengthen your skill set, consider Improving Communication Skills or Conflict Resolution Skills

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Written by Coursera • Updated on

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