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What Skills are Needed for Customer Service?

Marketing business are very customer-facing, so you need competent customer service staff. Good customer service is key to a business because it helps retain customers, encourages positive feedback and makes the business referable. If people get good customer service, they will tell their friends and colleagues about it in a good way. But what are the skills that are needed for customer service?

1. Patience

One of the first things you want from customer service staff is patience. Not all customers have an itemised list of what they need or a crystal clear picture of what they want. They might be vague and uncertain. The job of the customer service agent is to help them clear up that picture and isolate their requirements then match a product or service to that need. This takes patience.


We all hear lots of things but listening to what is being said and really understand it is a definite skill that customer service staff need. That’s because you need to listen to the query, recheck it with the customer and then start to offer solutions. If you don’t listen properly, you may miss the query or offer the wrong answer, and this makes a bad impression.

3. Clear communication

Like listening, this is more than just talking to someone. This is clearly communicating the information they need in a way that they can use. For example, using too much industry jargon to someone not in the business will alienate them and not tell them what they need. Or talking to someone in the business like aren’t will irritate them. Learning clear and correct communication is another key skill for customer service.

4. Product knowledge

Learning about your product or service and being able to confidently talk to customers about it is something that all customer service staff should be able to do. If you can’t talk at length and enthusiastically about what you sell, customers aren’t going to have confidence in it. Solid product knowledge is at the heart of this.

5. Acting skills

Customer service staff don’t need to train for an Oscar-winning performance, but a few basic acting skills can be helpful. These can help you handle the awkward, grumpy or unpleasant customer with a smile and a pleasant demeanour that is the opposite of what they have. We all get bad customers and a little acting can help you deal with them – it may even rub off on them.

6. Time management

Most of the time, you want to give the customer as much of your time as you can to help them. But it is also important to learn time management skills and ways to close the sale or finish the conversation. Some people are just chatty and will take up a lot of your time with no plan to buy. You need to learn to work out how long is enough and when you need to start guiding them towards a decision, even if that means they don’t buy. Very often, these are the people that wouldn’t buy at this stage anyway. This guide was brought to you by .

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