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The most important customer service qualifications typically are related to communication skills, personality and attitude rather than any particular skills. This is because the best customer service people, while knowledgeable about the company for which they work, are pleasant, polite and sincere in wanting to assist the customer. Most companies will not require employees who work in customer service to have more than a high school diploma and some experience in the customer service field, but some larger companies will prefer customer service employees to have associate's or bachelor's degrees. Otherwise, customer service qualifications are fairly standard across all types of companies.
Communication skills are by far some of the most important customer service qualifications that an individual can have. This includes the ability to speak clearly on the phone, so the customer can understand the representative. In addition, if the representative will be interacting with customers through email, it is important that he or she has good written communication skills and can use proper spelling and grammar in communications. It also is important for a customer service representative to be able to listen closely, understand the customer's concerns and answer questions that require specific knowledge of the company for which he or she works.
The ability to remain calm in stressful situations is another one of the more important customer service qualifications. Many people who work in the customer service field will deal with angry or upset customers, so they will need to be able to resolve problems while remaining calm and polite. Of course, this does not mean tolerating abuse from customers, but it does mean keeping the interaction from escalating to an argument, which is considered unprofessional in business settings. Most customer service departments have supervisors or managers who will be available to take challenging calls.
Other customer service qualifications include simply having a few years of experience in the customer service field. For instance, working in customer service in a retail environment typically qualifies. Companies typically do not want to hire employees for a larger call center or customer service area in a corporate environment if they do not have some experience. This helps ensure that the representative knows how to communicate with customers in a polite and professional manner, how to remain positive about the company, how to ensure that the customer is satisfied before ending the call and other important aspects of providing excellent customer service on a daily basis.