Communication Skills for Customer Service Success

Tips to improve communication skills

Good customer service is vital for every business in every industry.

According to numbers from the Harvard Business Review, scoring 10 out of 10 on a customer service study brought 2.4-times greater profits than scoring a 3 or less. Furthermore, their information shows that good customer experiences lengthen subscription times and that investing in quality customer service can actually result in lower costs to serve customers. (The idea being that unhappy customers are expensive.)

Good customer service starts with great communication, so make sure your team masters these 5 skills and you’ll have better service for years to come…

Listening Skills

It’s hard to communicate effectively when all you do is talk. To be the best customer service team possible, your staff must master the art of listening. Train your staff to not just listen to the words, but to mentally put themselves in the position of the customer. What would they want to hear? What would they want to get from this call? By actively and attentively listening, you create the foundation for a better customer experience.

Consider these articles for additional knowledge for enhancing your listening skills:

  • 10 Steps To Effective Listening – Forbes
  • 5 Quick Tips for Better Listening Skills – Work It Daily
  • 7 Useful Tips to Better Listening –and More Learning – Inc

Using Positive Language

We’re not talking about overflowing with energetic positivity (although that can help), but simply changing your language to make it positive, not negative. For example, if a customer calls in looking for a new product that is not in stock, you can answer in two ways:

Negative language:

“That product is not available until next week.”

Positive language:

“That product will be available next week.”

Both sentences say the exact same thing, but one sounds positive and reassuring.

Read these two articles to see the impact of positive words and what you can do to turn negative communication into a positive experience.


Train your staff to mirror the communication style and tone of customers. (Unless, of course, the customer is angry!) Some customers want to make small talk; allow your staff to chat. Some customers want to get straight to the point; make sure your staff does the same. If your customer is joking, the staff can make friendly jokes too.

Want to know the right way to mirror? Read these articles so you don’t overdo it.

  • Mirroring and the Art of Listening – Sircus


Notice we didn’t say aggressive or demanding, but your staff can’t be weak or passive either. When your customer service is getting down to the heart of an issue or a point where they simply can’t bend, make sure they are able to be assertive without being over-bearing nor weak.

Not sure how to be assertive, these three articles offer great insight into improving your assertiveness.

  • How to Be Assertive – Mind Tools
  • 5 Ways To Improve Your Assertive Communication Skills – Mind Valley

Clear Communication

Finally, make sure everything you do from a customer-service standpoint is clear and concise. Every customer who calls for help should walk away with 100% clarity on where they stand and what steps are next. If your customer service communication is not clear, it can lead to more issues in the future.

Here is an article that will provide tips you can immediately implement to communicate clearly with customers.

  • 5 ways to communicate more clearly – Inc

With these five skills, your team can do a better job of supporting clients and providing world-class customer service.