Learn how to upgrade your customer service CV so that it sparkles

“The customer is king,” as the saying goes. If you're in the customer services industry, no doubt you know this royal treatment all too well. You cherish that special connection that you build with customers. In fact, it's an ability that you'll want to convey accurately in your CV once you go searching for another similar role in retail, hospitality, or any other sector where the customer is what keeps the business going.

But how do you describe customer service skills on a CV? And what are the key skills of good customer service?

All the answers to these questions, and more, will be revealed in this article, so read on, especially if you want to create a stunning customer service CV. We'll share the top 11 skills you need to include in your CV, with examples that can be customised to suit your own profile.

The 11 best customer service skills for your CV 

There are many skills you need when in customer services, but these are the best ones to include in your CV:

1. Communication

This is probably the top customer service skill to have on your CV. If you can't communicate properly, get your point across, and avoid misunderstandings, then, quite frankly, you're in the wrong job! Communicating in a pleasant, non-aggressive, and courteous manner will gain you customers while retaining your current ones.

And while it used to be all about face-to-face time, now you need to be able to communicate in a variety of ways - via email, social media, over the phone, and online. This skill is all about building a rapport that resonates with the customer, making them feel great, while simultaneously ensuring they tell their friends how great your company is.

By presenting a CV that's well-written, succinct, and packed full of juicy information that sells you as the “product,” you'll be showing off your outstanding communication skills from the outset.

Examples of how to highlight communication as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • Delivering a superior customer service by carrying out requests on outdoor furniture enquiries by capitalising on outstanding communication

  • Creating a welcoming ambience for shoppers by conversing with them pleasantly to ensure first and last impression of the shop is favourable

  • Providing a first-rate service to English and Finnish customers by guiding them on how to use the service via telephone, email, and live chats

Top tip: The skills section of your CV leans more towards the hard skills you possess. So don't add in phrases such as “effective communication” in this part as communication - and most customer service skills you'll find in this guide - is seen as a soft skill. Instead of merely listing them out, the best way to showcase your customer service skills on a CV is by showing how you've demonstrated them at work, within the summary or the professional experience section.

2. Problem resolution

When you come up against a customer who isn't happy, you need the skills to keep calm, carry on, and resolve the issue, without making things worse. “Problem resolution” is a skill you can include in the skills section, as well as throughout the CV, especially if you have any key achievements where you can prove your worth in problem-solving techniques.

Examples of how to highlight problem-solving as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • Forging beneficial relations with customers, minimising problems with regards to disputes by negotiating better deals with suppliers

  • Competently handling customer enquiries and complaints face-to-face and over the phone

  • Adopting a calm and logical approach when dealing with any problems or issues, reaching rapid and satisfactory resolutions for all concerned to maintain excellent customer relations

3. Active listening

While this can be viewed as part of communication, active listening is such an important aspect that it deserves its own slot on this list. To actively listen to a customer, you have to go beyond just hearing the words someone is saying to fully understand their meaning. It's no good just nodding along, but thinking about what you're going to have for tea that night… you've got to really hone in on the intent behind the words, as well as look for other clues such as in the person's body language.

Examples of how to highlight active listening as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • Drawing upon advanced listening and persuasive skills to encourage customers to buy products by pitching vocal tone and pace with them to elicit rapport which leads to more sales

  • Adept at dealing with difficult situations with attentive listening and putting people at their ease

  • Forming a cohesive team by drawing in disparate members and customers, winning them round with refined listening skills during a difficult transition period

4. Knowledge of product or service

“But how does it actually work?” – if you can't answer this simple question from a consumer, it's going to go downhill very quickly from there. If you can't understand the product or service you're selling, how do you expect the customer to get it? It's imperative that you can show how up to speed you are with company products or services.

Examples of how to highlight product or service knowledge as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • Showcasing comprehensive product knowledge of stock which encouraged customers to purchase more

  • Acquiring advanced specialist knowledge of the product through expert training in order to better serve consumers

  • Increasing sales of packages by 45% due to extensive product knowledge

5. Empathy

According to the Collins English Dictionary, empathy is “the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person's feelings.” And you'll, no doubt, need this in spades in a customer service role. Seeing things through the customer's eyes will allow you to deal with their concerns more effectively.

Examples of how to highlight empathy as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • Capitalising on empathy and thoughtfulness to fully understand customer concerns in order to achieve the best possible outcome every time

  • Demonstrating empathy, professionalism, and understanding when handling sensitive conversations and situations with clients

  • Instilling a culture of user empathy and a can-do attitude across all levels of the customer service department

6. Time management

Prioritising who to attend to next, and offering up an appropriate prompt response, shows excellent time management skills. You want to offer great service to those customers you're handling at this very moment, while many others are waiting in the wings. 

It's also prudent to know when to handle an issue yourself or when to escalate, thus avoiding a situation that deteriorates because the customer is unsure as to whether they're being dealt with or not. It's great to pinpoint those times when you excelled at managing your time while performing multiple tasks simultaneously.

Examples of how to highlight time management as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • Saving £20,000 a year by prioritising the customer service process to be more efficient and effective

  • Introducing an innovative administration system which drastically reduced the time spent searching for files and accounting, so more time could be given to customers

  • Switching suppliers and streamlining the reorder system to pre-empt shortages ahead of time

7. Patience

When you've got a red-faced customer shouting in your face, it's time for your patience gene to find its way to the top! It's an essential tool when problem-solving, communicating, and dealing with queries, as your mind won't go into overdrive. Patiently helping customers who require additional assistance is a hugely sought-after skill. While it's quite tricky to translate onto your CV, there are ways and means to do so.

Examples of how to highlight patience as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • Adaptable and committed to maximising the potential of colleagues through patience and perseverance

  • Exhibiting patience when coaching clientele on the intricate details of a new IT system

  • Working to complex and tight timelines while maintaining patience and persistence within a multi-cultural environment

8. Positivity

Maintaining a positive attitude is vital within the customer service industry. If customers are welcomed with open arms into a shop or for a service, there's every likelihood that they'll be back for more. And your positivity can rub off on others, both customers and colleagues, so it's a win-win all round.

Highlight this aspect in your armoury by illustrating how you're open to new challenges, or can hit the ground running when first introduced to a new team.

Examples of how to highlight positivity as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • Using a positive and proactive approach when dealing with difficult customers, transforming awkward situations into resolved successes

  • Possessing impressive motivational and team management qualities as well as a positive approach to achieving customer satisfaction across the board

  • Performing effectively on common goals with peers and customers to foster a positive, trust-based working environment

9. Confidence

There's a fine line between being confident and being arrogant, so make sure you project the first. You don't know it all, whatever you might think, and as the saying goes, “the customer is always right.” Within your CV, show your confidence through achievements, supporting these with facts and figures where possible. The professional profile or summary is another section where you can show recruiters your confidence.

Examples of how to highlight confidence as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • A structured, focused, and approachable Customer Services Manager with the expertise and confidence to transform disparate projects into viable and progressive operations

  • Cultivating productive partnerships with key customers by forming strong bonds and the confidence to deliver successful outcomes

  • Tackling challenging projects with extreme confidence, resulting in sustained business improvement

10. Adaptability

Spoiler alert – customers can be tricky! You never know what you're going to get. Showing off your adaptability and flexibility is crucial, as you need these assets to perform well. What one customer loves, another might hate, so how do you describe this customer service skill on a CV?

Examples of how to highlight adaptability as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • Taking full ownership for delivering a high-quality customer service by remaining adaptable, and using fact-finding questions for increased levels of satisfaction

  • Overcoming challenges by being flexible so customers are dealt with in the appropriate manner

  • Adapting the company's policies and procedures to give customers more autonomy

11. Decisiveness

Making decisions that work, in a forthright and confident way, will lift you up in the eyes of the customer. No one wants a customer service staff who faffs about and never gets anything done. Prove you're decisive with examples throughout your career.

Examples of how to highlight decisiveness as a customer service skill on your CV:

  • Improving the communications strategy between companies, the financial community, and customers which resulted in better informed decision-making

  • Developing the transformation and loading of new data which led to new opportunities and strategic decisions being made in potential trouble spots

  • Instigating a productive work ethic among employees and developing decision templates for senior management

Show off your customer service skills

Now that you've got a good grasp of what the top 11 customer service skills are for your CV, it's time to weave them into your job search document using the tips and tricks above.

With just three easy steps, it couldn't be easier to see if your CV will perform during a job application. Run it through our free CV review, study the report, and improve your CV – simple.

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