The requirement “excellent customer service skills” often seems vague to applicants, and can vary from company to company. Here, we’ve broken down the basics when it comes to good customer service skills and practices.

As industries continue to expand, the need for specialists knowledgeable about those industries — and able to convey information to customers and clients effectively — will increase. Many of these new jobs list “excellent customer service skills” as a vital qualification for hiring.


Customer service specialists spend the majority of their time interacting with customers, fielding questions, comments, and complaints. As such, communicating effectively as a customer service representative is a necessary skill. In addition to speaking clearly, calmly, and politely — maintaining a balance of professionalism and friendliness — here are some different areas to focus on improving your communication skills:

Telephone etiquette: many companies field customer service queries, especially complaints, over the phone. Helping customers on the phone is harder than many think, however, since you can’t gage a customer’s reaction with physical cues. Learn to speak confidently and clearly over the phone, making sure to enunciate every word in case of poor connections. Balance incoming calls by managing your time effectively with each customer over the phone. Choose your language and words clearly to avoid misconceptions or having to explain things multiple times.

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