customer-serviceBeing a customer service representative covers many things. From speaking to customers over the phone, helping them in a shop scenario, or dealing with challenges that may be out of your normal remit. But whatever the environment is, having a core set of skills are needed when you are faced with a customer, whether over the phone or in person. Having these skills are more than what you need to get by in the job, but having these skills in spades will make you approachable, friendly, and these qualities don’t go unrecognised when it comes to looking for the right person to promote.



A skill that is absolutely essential when working to liaise with customers! You will encounter many customers that are frustrated, confused and usually both at the same time. Having a calm and patient temperament will serve you well when you serve them. Customers would rather you deliver great service over fast service. Working to get them seen to quickly, and then pushing them out the door will only frustrate them more.


Communication Skills

This covers many little aspects, from your choice of wording to your tone of voice. When speaking to someone over the phone, this is highlighted better than when looking at a customer face to face, where eye contact and a smile can help to alleviate customers’ negative preconceptions on a subconscious level.

When speaking to a customer over the phone, there are certain buzzwords that can set alarms off in their brains. If you have solved a query and after they thank you, saying “no problem”, even though it is in a positive context could leave a customer negatively affected. Use direct language, instead of ambiguous terms to blindside the customer is another approach.

In a shop environment, sometimes there are customers who speak a foreign language. If you are skilled enough to be bilingual, speaking to a customer in their native tongue will endear you to them.


Product Knowledge

The one thing you cannot stumble through when facing a customer is the product itself. Whether you are in a specialist technical store discussing camera lenses. Or you work at Shofur discussing types of buses. You need to be sure of what you are speaking about. What if a customer comes to you with a problem with their product and you’re not able to help them through it? Not only is it poor customer service, but it reflects badly on the store too.


Time Management Skills

When selling an item, you have an in-built time limit, from the start of business to the close of business. Learning to utilize that time correctly in your trading hours is a key skill, as your role is to sell the products and the business. So, making sure you spend a good amount of time with a customer, but not too long with them. You also need to understand when you cannot help a customer and cut your losses, so another member of the team can come to help.