12 Essential Customer Service Skills

Full 12 essential skills

If you aspire to succeed as a worker in customer service you must own certain skills. The way we interact with customers is essential for great customer service. You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that those interactions don’t always get right. Based on experience serving clients and managing customer teams, here is a list of skills that can lead you to success in this industry. Even if you are a veteran in customer service world, brushing up these skills might be a smart idea.
1.     The ability to listen to customers. 

This is the most important skill, because this is what this job is all about. All other skills are less important in comparison to this one. The reason is simple – if a customer service representative does not listen to customer they will never be able to secure good service. Sometimes just listening to customer is not enough, so you’ll have to understand what they are saying. This is the skill that is polished during entire career. 

2.     Clear verbal communication.

Verbal communication is another important skill you must own in order to be successful when you grab customer’s attention. The main purpose is to make clear picture of your story so the customer can understand what you are saying. Proper speaking skills are of the most importance as well as good grammar. Written communication is very popular in recent years, but verbal communication is skill you’ll surely want to master.

3.     Understanding of human psychology.

As human beings we are all different. Those who have studied at least basic psychology will find it easier to help people over the phone. This skill can help you calm tense situations. Customer and your superiors will be very impressed when they find out powerful effect of this skill.

4.     Time management skills.

No one likes those workers who waste time. This skill is vital for any job, but when you are customer service representative wasting time means that customers are waiting. That’s clearly not good service.

5.     Dependability.

Dependability is very important aspect in this job. It means being present in difficult times, coming to job on time and following up your own promises. If you manage to utilize these quality skills, you can make serious difference between providing mediocre service and giving truly awesome service. It can also help your employer to see that you don’t just want to get job, but to secure your place in customer service.

6.     Creativity.

When the customer has a problem, a creative solution can help you offer a good service. In these situations, a degree of creativity can be very beneficial.

7.     Teamwork skills.

Teamwork skills could be essential for giving awesome service. Like a basketball team working together to score a point, every worker has its role to play in achieving goals in the job. Very often we only recognize the player who finishes the action (job), but nothing would be possible without the team’s planning, cooperation and coordination.

8.     Product knowledge.

With excellent product knowledge you will necessary confidence to the customer that can lead him to buying the product and trusting the company as well. If the customer has a problem with the product, good product knowledge will help you to solve it rapidly. 

9.     Problem solving.

A customer with a problem is an unhappy customer. Your job is to solve it as soon as you can. You should make him feel that any of his concerns is valid and that everything would be done to solve the customer’s problem quickly.

10.  Respect.

Another key skill is being respectful with the customers. It’s something that goes without saying and simple manners could be an integral part of any job. Other factors that will make customer feel special and respected is using their first name and addressing them only by their title. As the customer service representative you should never interrupt customers and you always need to wait until they finish, if you want to respond.

11.  Professionalism.

No matter what situation you have, you need to remain professional and calm at all times. Even if the customers are not happy or react angrily, your job is to soothe tense situations. A friendly manner is very helpful as you will convince the customers that you are professional and that there is no need to worry about.

12.  Management of personal emotions.

Dealing with your emotions, even if you don’t feel the customer is right, is of greatest importance in this job. If you manage your emotions in productive, healthy ways there will be no problems for anyone, including the customers and employers.

Get your copy



Half leadership article

THIS is how you lead a Customer Support Team

Half content creating

The #1 Way to Create Compelling Content

Half airplane

How the top 5 Airlines Handle Overbooked Flights

Half shared email

5 Reasons to Quit Using Shared Email Forms

Half script

The Downside of Over Scripting Customer Service

Half stretch goals

Stretch Goals are Hot... Are They Helpful?


This is the official blog of Helpy, the open source helpdesk platform.