19 Customer Service Skills That Every Support Team Should Have

Andy Cook
December 1, 2023

There are two essential ingredients for business success: a great product line, and great customer service.

Providing stellar customer service isn’t always easy, however. 

In this article, we discuss the essential customer skills needed to provide excellent customer service, based on years of customer surveys, feedback forms and market research.

What Are Customer Service Skills?

Customer service skills are the set of skills needed in order to communicate effectively with customers, troubleshoot issues, and resolve complaints. The end goal of these skills is to ensure customer satisfaction and therefore provide good customer service.

Customer service skills can be divided into three main groups:

  • Effective communication
  • Problem solving
  • Conflict resolution

Why Are Customer Service Skills Important?

Customer service skills are critical for any business due to the following reasons:

1. It improves customer satisfaction

A customer may not be satisfied with the product, but good customer service can make up for the shortfall.

2. It increases the chances of repeat business

It’s easier and less expensive to retain existing customers than to attract a new one. In addition, you can upsell to loyal customers

3. It enhances brand reputation

A satisfied customer is more likely to recommend your brand. This is very important in the age of social media, online reviews, and word of mouth marketing.

4. It reduces complaints and resolution time

Tickets are reduced or solved more efficiently, and your CS team spends less time resolving individual complaints.

5. It upgrades your CS team

A competent set of skills means you have a well-functioning and highly oiled customer service department. By adhering to a set of standards, all team members are continuously challenged to meet these skills so as not to let down the team.

Mastering these 19 customer service skills will not only enhance your ability to provide exceptional support but also advance your career in the tech industry. 

Remember, in a field where products and technologies are constantly evolving, your good customer service skills should too. 

By cultivating these abilities, you’ll be well-equipped to face the dynamic challenges of customer service in the tech world. 

Let’s take a look at them: 

1. Technical Knowledge and Understanding:

Possessing a deep understanding of your company’s software products is the foundation of effective customer service. It enables you to provide accurate and practical solutions to customer issues.

This includes an understanding of its features, common issues, and updates. Such knowledge ensures that you can troubleshoot effectively and offer precise solutions, enhancing customer trust and satisfaction.

But in your customer support, don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know something. Many products, especially in high-end technology, can take a while to learn.

“Know what you know, and know what you *don’t* know. If you have a robust product suite, it’s impossible to know everything about everything,” says Operations Innovator Kelsey McDonough


  • Quickly diagnosing software bugs based on customer descriptions.
  • Suggesting workarounds for features not working as expected.
  • Explaining new software updates or features to customers.

2. Problem-Solving Skills:

The ability to quickly identify and resolve issues, especially those that may not have obvious solutions, is critical in the tech industry.

Excellent problem-solving skills involve thinking analytically to dissect an issue and creatively to devise innovative solutions, sometimes going beyond the standard procedures.

I really appreciate this perspective from Brooke Burton, on LinkedIn:

“Finding a solution and checking that it aligns with what the guest is looking for will shorten the amount of time needed to rectify a situation,” she says. 


  • Identifying the root cause of a recurring technical issue.
  • Creating a step-by-step solution for a complex software problem.
  • Developing a contingency plan for system outages.

3. Patience:

Tech-related problems can be intricate and hard to articulate for customers. Patience is key in these challenging situations, as it helps in understanding the issue fully and aids in communicating effectively without escalating frustrations.


  • Calmly walking a customer through a software installation process.
  • Taking time to understand customer concerns without rushing.
  • Repeating instructions or information when necessary.

4. Effective Communication Skills:

It’s hard to overstate how important communication is, especially when explaining technical concepts. It’s important to articulate solutions in a way that’s easily understandable for customers of varying technical expertise, ensuring they feel heard and helped.

Conveying technical information in a clear, concise manner that’s understandable to non-technical customers is one of them most essential soft skills.

“One of the strongest communication skills is the ability to ask the right questions. Understand what your customer wants and when they expect it. You only get that when you ask,” said customer service expert Shep Hyken on LinkedIn.


  • Using simple, jargon-free language to explain technical processes.
  • Providing clear, concise email instructions for troubleshooting.
  • Ensuring all verbal and written explanations are easy to understand.

5. Empathy:

Empathy involves putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. Understanding their frustrations or concerns and responding with genuine care and positive language can turn a potentially negative experience into a better one.


  • Acknowledging a customer’s frustration with a software glitch.
  • Offering understanding responses to customers facing urgent issues.
  • Personalizing communication to show care and consideration.

6. Adaptability:

The tech industry is in constant flux, with new updates and challenges arising regularly. The ability to adapt to these changes and continuously learn new things is crucial for staying effective and relevant.


  • Quickly learning and providing support for a new software feature.
  • Adjusting communication style to suit different customer personalities.
  • Adapting to changes in customer service policies or procedures.

7. Attention to Detail:

Paying close attention to the nuances of each customer issue ensures nothing is missed and solutions are comprehensive. Attention like this from a customer service rep reduces repeat contacts and increases customer satisfaction.


  • Noticing and correcting minor errors in customer account information.
  • Carefully documenting customer interactions for future reference.
  • Ensuring all parts of a customer query have been addressed.

8. Active Listening:

This involves fully concentrating on the customer, understanding their issue, and responding thoughtfully. Active listening can uncover underlying problems and lead to more effective solutions.

Here is a good tip from Ajay Adhikari, a customer experience implementation manager: 

“I firmly believe and advocate, listening as the must have skill for any customer service individual. Why so? When I am serving a customer, I am expected to create an interaction that creates the lasting impact. Unless I am able to understand the customer situation or query or grievance, I won’t be able to render the best solution to the customer. And, I can do so, when I listen to the customer with full attention and with the intent to understand and not just hear.”


  • Reflecting and paraphrasing what a customer has said to confirm understanding.
  • Picking up on non-verbal cues during a video call.
  • Asking clarifying questions to fully understand a customer’s issue.

9. Time Management:

Efficient time management is about prioritizing tasks, managing a high volume of customer inquiries without compromising on the quality of service, and resolving issues in a timely manner.


  • Prioritizing urgent customer tickets.
  • Balancing time spent on calls to manage a queue of waiting customers.
  • Allocating specific times for checking and responding to emails.

10. Teamwork and Collaboration:

Collaborating with team members and other departments is often necessary to resolve complex issues. Effective teamwork ensures a cohesive approach to problem-solving and excellent customer service.


  • Working with the tech team to resolve a complex software issue.
  • Sharing insights with colleagues about recurring customer challenges.
  • Participating in team meetings to discuss service improvement strategies.

11. Positive Attitude:

A positive demeanor can greatly influence a customer interaction, especially in difficult situations. It helps in maintaining a constructive and solution-focused approach.


  • Remaining upbeat and encouraging in the face of challenging customer interactions.
  • Offering constructive solutions rather than focusing on the negatives.
  • Spreading positivity and motivation among team members.

12. Cultural Competence:

In a global marketplace, understanding and respecting cultural differences is crucial. This skill ensures respectful and effective communication with a diverse customer base.


  • Being aware of and sensitive to cultural holidays and observances.
  • Adjusting communication style to suit different cultural contexts.
  • Showing respect for language preferences or accents.

13. Critical Thinking:

Critical thinking involves evaluating facts, analyzing situations, and making reasoned judgments. This skill is essential for diagnosing problems correctly and anticipating potential future issues.


  • Analyzing customer feedback to identify patterns in software issues.
  • Weighing the pros and cons of different solutions to a technical problem.
  • Making informed decisions on how to best assist a customer.

14. Resourcefulness:

Being resourceful means using the available tools and information in creative or unconventional ways to find solutions, especially when faced with new or uncommon customer issues.


  • Utilizing internal knowledge bases to find information on rare issues.
  • Thinking outside the box to provide a workaround solution.
  • Leveraging a network of colleagues for insights into unfamiliar problems.

15. Technical Writing Ability:

The ability to produce clear, concise, and helpful written content, such as email responses, knowledge base articles, and FAQs, is invaluable in guiding customers through technical processes.


  • Creating clear, step-by-step guides for troubleshooting common issues.
  • Drafting FAQs for new software features.
  • Writing clear and informative update logs for customers.

16. Conflict Resolution:

The skill to defuse tense situations and find mutually agreeable solutions to disputes is vital. This involves negotiation, understanding both sides of the issue, and maintaining professionalism.


  • De-escalating a situation where a customer is upset with a software error.
  • Mediating between customer demands and company policies.
  • Finding a compromise solution that satisfies both the customer and the company.

17. Product Feedback Collection:

Gathering customer feedback and effectively communicating it to product teams helps in enhancing the software. 

This continuous feedback loop is crucial for product improvement and customer satisfaction.


  • Encouraging customers to provide feedback on software usability.
  • Synthesizing customer feedback into actionable insights for the development team.
  • Following up on implemented changes based on customer suggestions.

18. Multitasking Ability:

Handling multiple tasks simultaneously, such as managing emails, live chats, and phone calls, requires excellent organizational skills and the ability to switch contexts quickly without losing focus.


  • Handling live chat while updating customer records.
  • Switching between different communication channels (phone, email, chat) efficiently.
  • Managing multiple customer queries without compromising attention to detail.

19. Training and Mentoring Skills:

For those in leadership positions, the ability to guide, train, and mentor new or less experienced team members is key. This ensures a consistently high level of service across the team.


  • Conducting training sessions for new customer service hires.
  • Providing one-on-one coaching to team members needing extra help.
  • Sharing best practices and tips with colleagues to improve overall team performance.

What If A Rep On Your Team Lacks These Skills?

There are several ways to address skill gaps, based on their respective categories:

Effective communication

  • Ensure that your CS hiring process is updated and on-point to filter out poor communicators.
  • For existing agents, implement regular communications sessions to improve speaking and chatting abilities and keep them on their toes.


  • Use an internal knowledge base to allow agents to quickly and efficiently search for solutions.
  • A customer knowledge base can also allow customers to search for solutions on their own, and adds another service channel to your customer service.
  • Keep agents updated on the latest issues and concerns, and their respective troubleshooting guides.

Conflict resolution

  • Practice coaching and mentoring to develop empathy and patience.
  • Implement a strict QA to ensure that all calls are resolved satisfactorily.
  • Foster a culture of constructive criticism so that everyone on the team can handle being criticized and learns to take it professionally instead of personally.

How Tettra Helps Your Customer Support Team Find Answers

Tettra is a powerful tool designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of customer support teams, particularly in managing and sharing internal knowledge and docs. 

With Tettra, customer support teams can quickly create, organize, and access a centralized repository of information. 

This direct access to knowledge enables team members to quickly find answers to customer queries, ensuring timely and accurate responses. 

Tettra’s search and surfacing of important docs keeps the entire team informed about the latest software updates, troubleshooting techniques, and customer service protocols. 

Tettra’s integration with various communication tools means that support teams can seamlessly incorporate knowledge sharing into their daily workflow, fostering a more cohesive and informed customer service experience. 

By leveraging Tettra, customer support teams can significantly improve their response times and the overall quality of their customer interactions, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Schedule your demo or start your free trial today.