Why Every Candidate Needs Customer Service Skills

By | | HR and Management Tips

“Customer service should not be a department; it should be the entire company.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

Thanks to the great employment shake-up of 2020—a.k.a. the havoc wreaked on the job market due to the COVID-19 pandemic—a job search is unexpectedly in your immediate future. It’s time to refresh your resume, brush up on job interview tips, and assess your customer service skills.

Absolutely. Sounds good. Wait! What? Customer service?

But I’m not looking for a position in customer service, you say. So, no such assessment needed. Hmm?

Well, consider this. Yes, customer service is indeed a type of job that revolves around addressing the needs of customers and providing them with an exceptional experience. But customer service is also a set of job skills that encompasses those sought-after qualities such as active listening, empathy, problem-solving, and the uber-important ability to communicate effectively.

Regardless of the type of position you are seeking, evidence of customer service-related skills will get you noticed for all the right reasons. Take note: this is not about being “a people person,” which is an innate trait. Instead, let’s look at a few critical skills that can be developed and improved upon.

Attentiveness

“The ability to truly listen to customers is crucial to providing great service for a number of reasons. Not only is it important to pay attention to individual customers’ experiences, but it’s also important to be mindful and attentive to the feedback that you receive at large,” notes Gregory Ciotti.

And it is just as beneficial to a company when team members have the ability to interact with one another via attentiveness and incorporate the give and take of constructive feedback into their working relationships.

Communication skills

Everyone knows communication skills rank right up there in the customer service arena—a no brainer, right? But any employee who can articulate well both verbally and in written form will have a distinct advantage over those candidates whose communication skills are less developed.

Whether your top-choice job is closely related to customer service or falls in a field not generally associated with such skills, (such as accounting or the warehouse),   communication proficiency is a transferable skill that will serve you well in any position.

Emotional intelligence

Positive psychology researcher Elaine Houston shares, “Emotional intelligence (EI) forms the juncture at which cognition and emotion meet; it facilitates our capacity for resilience, motivation, empathy, reasoning, stress management, communication, and our ability to read and navigate a plethora of social situations and conflicts. EI matters, and if cultivated, affords one the opportunity to realize a more fulfilled and happy life.”

It is easy to see how an aptitude for emotional intelligence benefits the workplace in a host of ways. As the receptionist for a marketing firm, as an IT team member, or the supervisor in a manufacturing plant, the ability to facilitate workplace situations through the lens of emotional intelligence offers a clear advantage to all involved.

So, back to that assessment of your customer service-related skills. As part of your preparation for launching that job search, why not check out this self-assessment? And then, call or text a real person at (860)-347-1626 or apply on-line with A.R. Mazzotta.

Stop by next week for a deep dive into practical tips that will ramp up your customer service skills.