How customer service skills can help boost your career
Experience in customer support is the best training you can get to advance professionally. But what transferable skills can you actually learn?
31 May
7 min read
soft skills you can learn from customer service

Across industries, people who can communicate well, maintain a positive attitude, and solve problems are those employers rely on.

If any of these skills come naturally to you, customer service experience will sharpen them further.

If not, you’ll develop them and other crucial career skills fast.

What’s in it for you?

Is remote customer service a good career choice for you right now? Here’s why we think it is. You:

🚘 Don’t have to relocate, travel to, or report at an office. Ever.

🏠 Can work from the comfort of your home office (or even your bed).

💰 Will earn a reliable income in full compliance with local labour laws.

🐶 Get to cuddle your floofs while at work.

And most importantly, you’ll develop vital professional skills while you work to carry forward to other industries.

But what are they?

8 transferable skills you’ll develop in customer service

Transferable skills are crucial for future career roles and professional growth. They’re called “transferable” because they’re useful almost anywhere.

Recruiters always check for these skills when considering bringing you into their organisation.

Soft skills combined with your education and technical abilities can make you the perfect recruit for employers looking to hire, no matter the job.

So what are they? And how does customer service develop them for you?

1. Time management

Impeccable time management is your ability to follow schedules and is essential for remote customer service. If you aren’t great at scheduling, you’ll get good fast in customer support.

Your work will depend on meticulous time management and getting things done within set schedules.

Time discipline is what sets professionals apart from amateurs.

Across industries, good time management skills will help you focus on quality work. And when you’re not rushing to complete tasks, you can prioritise a better work-life balance.

2. Focus

Focus and active listening help you perform well in any job.

Listening to different customer problems sharpens your active listening skills. You’ll need to pay close attention every day to each customer to resolve their issues, which teaches you to focus.

Focus is a gateway to all thinking. Without it, all aspects of your thought processes can suffer, from memory to problem-solving. With it, you can face problems, pitches, clients, concepts and meetings the best you can.

Not to mention, you’ll analyse, collaborate, and brainstorm better.

3. Mental agility

The phrase thinking on your feet is the core of customer service.

As a customer support agent, you’ll have many standard operating procedures to respond to issues. But what about when there aren’t preset resolutions?

With a live customer, it’s on you to think up workarounds or creative solutions on the spot.

That’s why customer service is so good at fine-tuning your problem solving and analytical skills. You’ll be practising daily.

And these skills are critically important in any job you do, even outside of customer service.

All organisations love recruiting employees who can quickly evaluate complex issues and present good alternatives by thinking outside the box.

4. Self-control

Occasionally, customer service is a straight-up lesson on keeping your cool.

Frustrated customers with a product issue, delivery hiccup, or technical snag, may get snappy and strain your patience.

But you’ll learn how to be professional at all times and stay cool as a cucumber, even in superheated moments.

Service jobs teach you the importance of not taking things personally and train you to react with positivity and patience.

With a solutions-oriented mindset and clear resolve, you’ll be an asset to any organisation, industry, or position.

5. Tact

Tact is a quality that diplomats have and that politicians lack. It’s where diplomacy succeeds when politics fails.

Customer service is all about diplomacy.

Handling people who come to you with a problem generally requires high-degree tact, especially when dealing with upset customers. Changing a grumpy mood to a happy one takes a lot of skill.

Most recruiters place a high value on individuals with good conflict management and negotiation skills.

And customer service is the perfect training ground to perfect these skills in real-time, with real people.

6. Eloquence

Customer service focuses heavily on superior communication skills.

Talking to customers from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds requires speech sophistication.

You’ll have lots of opportunities to practise your powers of persuasive speech on customers. It’s the first skill you’ll master.

How you present your ideas, opinions, and doubts has a huge impact on your professional reputation and career growth in any workplace.

Sharing information clearly, persuasively, and concisely will always be an impressive skill for colleagues, customers, and even your boss.

7. Relatability

Customer care requires you to function with high emotional intelligence when handling people.

You’ll need to understand and respond to customers intelligently and stay in control of your own emotions. Sometimes in challenging or tricky situations.

The ability to empathise and be relatable enough that people respond to you favourably is a powerful asset.

Such emotional intelligence is a high currency in almost any profession. Harvard Business School reports it’s 90% of what sets high performers apart.

It’s also a crucial transferable skill to develop if you plan on being a leader yourself someday.

8. Leadership

Customer service is Leadership Training 101 in taking ownership of issues and making critical decisions. Customers may be in the driving seat, but you’re in charge of the overall interaction.

When customers come to you with a problem, you’ll have to do whatever it takes to solve it. You might have to make a judgement call, think out of the box, or go out of your way to find a resolution.

Working with people, and learning what they need, appreciate, or dislike gives you a rich understanding of human nature. Intuitive knowledge is critical to leading a team of your own.

Isn’t it funny how serving others teaches you how to lead?

It’s how many great leaders in history who started at the bottom found themselves at the top.

Industries that value soft skills

Whether you stick to customer service or get your foot in the door at the organisation of your dreams, you’ll be able to use these skills in industries like:

Sales

As a service agent, you’ll gain insights into how customers use products and services, which works great if you want to pursue a sales career. Your customer knowledge can increase your likelihood of prospecting buyers and closing deals.

Marketing

What better place than marketing to use your expert communication skills and product knowledge? Your unique skill set can help you write marketing copy, conduct market research, or innovate your brand’s social media.

Human resources

HR looks after employee wellbeing, addresses their problems, and creates a positive space where they can share their concerns. Your experience in conflict management and empathy from customer support can help you crack an HR career.

Product development

Customer service gives you a real-world working knowledge of products, and handling complaints can make you a great product manager. The product department could benefit massively from your skills in development, outreach, and management-related activities.

Start a successful career

Remote customer service is a fantastic career opportunity for you, wherever you are in the world today. We swear by it so much that we created Cocoroco: the world’s first online talent marketplace.

Our mission is to dissolve geographical barriers and let people work from home in a global setting. After all, nobody should have to leave their corner of the world for a fun job. 😎

Want to know more? Read about Natasha’s experience working in remote customer service. Or learn what a job in remote customer service is all about or how to prep for interviews.

Or, join us today and check out all the remote customer service positions you can apply for right away.

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