7 Key Skills You’ll Need to Excel in Customer Service

skills youll need in customer service

7 Key Skills You’ll Need to Excel in Customer Service

We all know what customer service is. We’ve all dealt with customer service representatives before. But what might surprise you is the variety of different customer service roles and industries you can work in. Everything from sports to health and beauty has customer service staff that are experts in their field and ready to help the public.

Working a front-facing customer service role is a challenging and rewarding career path for the right candidate. But what makes you the right candidate? How do you know if this is the career path for you and how do you break into this field?

Here’s 7 skills you’ll need to excel in customer service.

  1. Patience
  2. Attentiveness
  3. Communication Skills
  4. Persuasion Skills
  5. Creative Problem Solving
  6. Product/Service Knowledge
  7. Conflict Resolution

1. Patience

If you’re going to work with the public in customer service, you will need to be able to practice a lot of patience. People can become agitated or disgruntled over small inconveniences. It’s important that in your dealings with them you remain calm, friendly and helpful at all times.

2. Attentiveness

At its core, customer service is about helping people. You’re going to have to be attentive to a customer’s needs. Make sure they feel taken care of and not rushed in their experience. Offer alternatives and work with them in their budget and their vision for the purchase they want to make.

3. Communication skills

You will need excellent communication skills to work in customer service. Talking to people is one thing but communicating with them is another. You’re going to need to communicate effectively with customers, clearly outline a product or service’s features and actively listen to what the customer is looking for from you.

They may not use the right words or product names to request what they are after, but they will describe what they need the product or service to do. That’s why it’s important that you have great communication skills to be able to interpret the customer needs and match this with your company’s product range. You will use your expertise to explain the product and how it fulfills the customer’s requirements.

4. Persuasion skills

At the end of the day, customer service is about sales as well as looking after customers. You’re going to need to be good at persuading them to buy your products or services over a competitor’s.

If you’re very good at customer service, the great thing is you won’t have to do much actual selling. Your excellent communication skills, clear understanding of how to help your customer and expertise on the product will do the selling for you.

5. Creative Problem Solving

When you’re working with the public you will have to think on your feet. You can’t always guess what a customer will ask you for or the issues they might raise with you about a product or service. And so, you’ll need to have creative problem-solving skills. You will need to find a way to make the product or service tailored to them rather than fitting them to the product.

6. Product / Service Knowledge

Obviously, you will need to be an expert at what you’re selling to be able to sell it well. So, you’ll need to be committed to knowing about trends in your industry, innovations, new products and everything your company is doing to keep up with this so you can effectively help customers and find the right product for them.

7. Conflict resolution

As a customer service representative, you will be the first point of contact for a company. As a result of that you will be the one a customer will direct their frustration and/or disappointment at when they are dissatisfied with their service. Because of this you will need to be good at conflict resolution.

Keeping a customer calm and resolving the issue to their satisfaction while also towing the company line is paramount to being a good customer service representative.

So, if you’ve got the skills to succeed and you’re interested in where this exciting career can take you, how do you become a customer service representative?


There is a course that will be very helpful to get your foot in the door for the world of customer service. The Certificate III in Business with a specialisation in Customer Engagement is going to teach you everything you need to know to excel as a customer service representative.

The course covers:

  • Delivering and monitoring a service to customers
  • Processing customer complaints
  • Assisting with customer difficulties
  • Advising on products and services
  • Applying critical thinking skills in a team environment
  • Supporting personal wellbeing in the workplace
  • Participating in sustainable work practices
  • Using inclusive work practices
  • Assisting with maintaining workplace safety
  • Engaging in workplace communication

This course is available completely online. That means you can start anytime and study from anywhere in Australia, supported by your dedicated trainer. There are no set class times to attend so you can fit your study in, when it suits you around your other commitments.

Where can you work?

Customer service representatives are needed in every industry and every specialty. You could work for high-end retail stores such as Gucci or Chanel, or you could work at ethical beauty companies like Lush or The Body Shop.  You could even work in a specialty area where your hobbies overlap with your job like EB Games or JB HiFi. The great thing about customer service is there is a place where what you love can overlap with where you work.

How much can you make in customer service?

The average salary of a customer service representative is $51,661 but if you work casual hours you’ll be paid extra for weekends and evenings, which is why it is a such an attractive industry for those not wanting to deal with the 9 – 5 grind.

Want to know more?

If you’re thinking about getting into the exciting and challenging field of customer service, you can find out more about the course by following this link or you can get in touch with our friendly course advisors here.

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