Eleana Bowman
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The top 8 customer service transferable skills
Last updated: August 19, 2022
Eleana Bowman
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The top 8 customer service transferable skills
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What are the top customer service transferable skills?

If you work in the customer service industry, you’ll have a range of daily tasks. Your customer service role may include helping customers, processing payments, and managing complaints.

74% of customers will think about going to a competitor if they have one negative experience. This is why companies rely on their workers to keep customers happy.

The good news is that when you work in a customer service job, you'll be opening up other opportunities. The skills you learn from this role help make your resume shine.

Many of the skills will be transferable, so you can use them throughout your career.

What types of skills are the most useful? Let's take a look at the top transferable skills that you can gain from working in customer service.

What is a transferable skill?

In every job you have, you'll gain new skills. You might learn soft skills, such as critical thinking, listening skills, and leadership skills. Soft skills are naturally-learned skills that are not job-specific. They are useful for both in-office roles and jobs where you work from home. And, there'll be hard skills such as bookkeeping or word processing. Hard skills are more technical and relate to specific jobs.

Transferable skills are soft skills that can be used in other positions. These skills can even be used in other industries.

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For example, if you have been working as an administrative assistant, you'll gain computer skills, communication skills, and time management skills. You can highlight these skills on your resume to apply for roles in sales, technology, or marketing.

If you are invited to a job interview, you can use examples of how you’ve used these skills in the workplace.

By focusing on your transferable skills, you can prepare yourself for a career change. Knowing what you’re good at and finding ways to make your skills relevant to the job can be the key to success.

What is customer service?

Customer service is about helping customers throughout the purchasing process. There are three steps to good customer service — before, during, and after the sale.

Before making a purchase, customers may need help deciding what to buy. For example, they may have questions about colors, sizes, or flavors.

During the sale, payments need to be processed, and friendly service should be given at the checkout.

After the sale, there may be a need for aftercare advice. Or, a customer may ask for a refund or report a faulty item.

People who work in customer service industries make sure customers are satisfied from beginning to end. They represent the company and use their customer service skills to make every customer feel valued.

There are a range of jobs that rely on customer service. These include sales representatives, bartenders, receptionists, bank tellers, and call center operators.

What transferable skills can you gain working in customer service?

When you work in customer service, you'll gain hard and soft skills. Here's a rundown of some of the top transferable skills that employers are looking for.

1. Interpersonal skills

Strong interpersonal skills are important when you work with customers and other team members. Interpersonal skills include verbal communication, body language, and active listening skills.

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When you have these people skills, you'll be able to create a positive experience for customers. They'll be more loyal to the company and might even leave a positive review. If customers leave good feedback about you, your manager might consider you for leadership roles.

Here's an example of how you could use your interpersonal skills. If it's a retail environment, you'll ask questions and listen carefully to find out what the customer is looking for. And, you'll make sure they feel comfortable by using friendly body language.

Interpersonal skills are at the top of most employers' wishlists. It’s a transferable skill that can be used in every industry, including construction, health, education, technology, and foodservice.

For those who want to work from home, you can use your strong communication skills over the phone and via email.

2. Conflict management skills

If you want to be successful in your customer service role, you'll need to work with different people. Customers won't always be easy to get along with, so having good conflict management skills is essential.

Workers need to have a positive attitude and use their skills to manage difficult situations. For example, a customer may make a complaint, return a product, or become abusive. Good conflict management is about staying calm, listening to the customer, and trying to resolve the issue.

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Conflict management skills are important in any job where you're working with people. For example, this skill could help you get a job in management, retail, health, or foodservice.

Conflict management can also be useful in work-from-home roles, such as virtual assistants and call center operators.

3. Teamwork skills

Most customer service jobs involve teamwork. For example, a server in a restaurant will need to work with the chef, bartender, kitchen staff, bus person, host, and managers. When all of these people work together, customers will receive their orders on time.

The customer should always know what to expect, regardless of who is serving them. If someone is away, another team member should be able to take over.

Teamwork is a skill that employers expect, and it’s something you can learn by working in customer service. As a team player, you’ll learn to support your coworkers and complete all of your duties on time.

Some jobs rely on teamwork more than others. You can use your teamwork skills to help you change careers for in-person and remote positions. For example, you could work in construction, administration, healthcare, or education.

4. Cash-handling skills

If you work in customer service, one of your daily duties may be cash handling. For example, you could be a cashier, receptionist, or bank teller.

The role can involve accepting cash payments, processing credit cards, printing receipts, and balancing the register.

These workers usually get on-the-job training and supervision until they feel comfortable working on their own.

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Cash-handling skills are transferable. If you work as a cashier in a fast-food restaurant, you can use your money-handling experience to help you get a job as a hotel receptionist.

Want to work from home? Your cash-handling skills could help you get a job as a remote sales representative or call center representative. Payment processing can be done over the phone or online.

5. Problem-solving skills

Another transferable skill you’ll gain in your customer service role is problem-solving. These work environments can be busy, and there can be challenges.

For example, you could work in a store that sells electronics. A customer may approach you asking for help with a recent phone they purchased. You can use your technical knowledge to give advice or find the answer in the instruction manual.

If you have problem-solving skills, you’ll be patient and a good listener. You’ll try to understand the problem before looking for a solution.

Problem-solving is a valuable skill in any workplace. It’s a transferable skill that can be highlighted on your resume.

Besides customer service, there are other jobs that can benefit from problem-solving skills. Police officers, bookkeepers, research assistants, and nurses are just a few career options.

You can also use your problem-solving skills to get a work-from-home job. For example, some remote call centers accept calls or messages from customers who need help troubleshooting products.

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6. Multitasking skills

Customer service jobs can be fast-paced environments. Workers often have to juggle multiple tasks at once. And they're expected to do this without making mistakes.

Think about a drive-thru team member at a fast-food restaurant. They serve customers, accept payments, and prepare food. To do this role, these workers need to learn how to multitask effectively.

People with multi-tasking skills know how to avoid distractions, focus on tasks, and meet their goals.

When you want to apply for a new job, this is a transferable skill the hiring manager could be looking for. It can help you get a role in various industries, including healthcare, construction, or event management.

Or, if you want to work from home as a freelancer, you can use your multitasking skills to work on different projects at the same time.

7. Attention to detail

Another one of our top transferrable skills is attention to detail. As someone working in customer service, you should have excellent product knowledge. When you know what you're selling, you'll always give customers the right information.

If you’re working in a retail store, you can use your attention to detail to create appealing displays. You could style a mannequin in the shop window or arrange a shelf with the newest products.

Managers will take notice when you take pride in your job. And, customers will appreciate you putting in the extra effort to give them a positive experience.

If you always put in your best effort, you probably have good attention to detail. This skill can be beneficial in other roles such as executive assistants, web developers, graphic designers, and nurses.

It’s also a good skill for remote positions, such as data entry and virtual administration.

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8. Time management skills

If you’ve got strong time management skills, you’ll use your time wisely. You’ll be productive and won’t leave your customers waiting too long. And, you’ll be reliable and show up to work on time.

Your customers and work colleagues will appreciate you working at a fast pace. For example, if you’re working as a cashier during a peak trading period, you’ll need to serve customers quickly to avoid long queues.

Time management skills are important in all industries. If you’re working in a team, they’ll be relying on you to complete your duties on time. Or, if you want to work independently from home, you’ll have to be conscious of your own schedule.

You can improve your time management skills. Give yourself the best start by checking in to work early and working on your technical skills. For example, you can practice packing groceries to make the process quicker.

What types of jobs are available in the customer service industry?

There are many different job types in the customer service industry. There are retail jobs such as servers, cashiers, and sales representatives. And there are food service jobs such as bartenders, servers, and restaurant managers.

If you prefer to work in an office, consider a job as a receptionist, office manager, or administrative assistant.

Plus, there are online customer service jobs. For example, you can work as a virtual assistant, remote call center operator, freelancer, or graphic designer.

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There are customer service jobs in construction, healthcare, sales, education, technology, and business. Remember, if you’re serving customers before, during, or after they make a purchase — you’re working in customer service.

What other jobs can you get with customer service experience?

You can use your transferable customer service skills to find a new career. Additional education may be required for some of these positions.

Healthcare is one industry worth considering. Nurses, medical receptionists, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and dental hygienists share many of the same transferable skills as customer service workers.

Or, if you’re looking for a hands-on role, consider a job as a construction worker, electrician, or plumber. These jobs require good teamwork skills, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills.

Whether you want to work for your local council, at a school, construction site, or from home, your customer service skills will give you an advantage. No matter what direction you want to go in, you can use your transferable skills to give you an advantage.

Where to find a job in customer service

If you’re ready to start your job search, head over to the Jobcase job board. You can view positions in your area, and it’s updated regularly.

Search for customer service jobs.

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The top customer service transferable skills

If you get a job in customer service, you’ll gain a number of transferable skills. These skills can be used in other jobs, even if they aren’t in the same field.

The top skills include interpersonal skills, conflict management skills, and teamwork skills. These are all important when dealing with other people.

In some customer service jobs, you’ll learn hard skills such as cash handling. And you’ll learn problem-solving, multitasking, attention to detail, and time management skills.

Don’t forget to highlight these skills on your resume and give examples during your job interview.

Ready to start your job search? Head over to our job board. Or, you can find more tips in our resource center.

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Eleana Bowman
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Amanda McFarland

This is an excellent page! Very informative and really does boost the confidence to where you need to be at when job searching. Thank you

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