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Customer Service Consultants provide a vital link between a company and the people who use its products or services. They serve as a point of contact who clients can depend on to answer questions and provide thoughtful explanations. Many Customer Service Consultants work out of call centers and handle a large number of inquiries each day. Others may interact with fewer people but need to give more specialized responses, such as conveying detailed information on medical devices to a clinic looking to purchase.
Companies can distinguish themselves in the crowded marketplace by providing customers with outstanding attention. Thus, employment prospects for Customer Service Consultants should be promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs in customer service will increase 10 percent between 2014 and 2024.
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Customer Service Consultant Duties and Responsibilities
To achieve their goal of offering exceptional customer service on behalf of their employer, Customer Service Consultants must perform a variety of tasks. Our analysis of job postings revealed the following to be among the most pervasive duties:
Customer Service Consultants cannot provide good answers to questions from clients if they aren't well-versed about their company's offerings. For instance, Customer Service Consultants at an insurance company may receive calls from clients after a heavy storm inquiring whether roof repairs are covered by their homeowner's policy.
Understanding Customer Concerns
By asking questions, listening carefully and showing empathy, Customer Service Consultants aim to get to the heart of what customers truly want. They may deal with specific questions over the phone, by email or in person. If there's a problem, Customer Service Consultants work to fix it to the client's satisfaction. Customer Service Consultants often keep detailed records of complaints so that the company can analyze problems and find ways to keep them from happening again.
Customer Service Consultants may make periodic contact with the clients under their care. They may talk about new services offered or inquire about changing needs. In this respect, they act both as salespeople and advisors.
Using both their knowledge of the company and of customer service best practices, Customer Service Consultants at some establishments are called upon to get new hires up to speed. Customer Service Consultants also may be in charge of some managerial tasks such as scheduling customer service representatives.
Customer Service Consultant Skills
Effective Customer Service Consultants know how to interact well with others. They are friendly, clear communicators capable of holding productive conversations that benefit both the customer and the reputation of their employer. Other positive qualities to demonstrate when seeking a job as a Customer Service Consultant include:
- Exhibiting patience in order to appease the most difficult clients
- Following through on inquiries and projects to ensure completion
- Staying up to date on new products and services to be able to provide accurate, thorough information to clients
- Remaining focused and calm to offer quick yet effective assistance during times of high volume
Customer Service Consultant Education and Training
Customer Service Consultants possess at least a high school diploma. Many of them earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, especially in business. Employers often look for candidates with a background in their specific industry, such as financial planning, fashion or automotive services.
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Customer Service Consultant Resources
We’ve searched the Internet for some of the best organizations and books, and here are a few we think you’ll find helpful:
International Customer Service Association
The mission of this industry group is "to assist individuals and organizations with their goal of providing exceptional customer experiences by providing access to professional growth and development, and recognition." Its website features a variety of webinars, job postings and a blog written by industry experts.
Customer Service Professionals
An informal networking group of customer service professionals, aspiring Customer Service Consultants may want to consider joining it on LinkedIn. Chances are someone among the 150,000+ members will be able to answer your questions.
The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service by Lee Cockerell
The author of this handbook is the former Executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World, so he knows a thing or two about hospitality. Readers describe his book as "easy to read" and "understandable, but profound." Among his universal wisdom: Ask Yourself "What Would Mom Do?" and Treat Every Customer Like a Regular.
The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service by Jeff Toister
Billed as a guide to "help customer service teams unlock their hidden potential," readers give the book high marks for its straightforward approach, realworld examples and tangible activities. Toister was named one of the Top 30 customer service professionals in the world by Global Gurus and one of the Top 50 Thought Leaders to Follow on Twitter by the International Customer Management Institute.
Surviving Customer Service: Avoid Burnout, Develop Valuable Career Skills by Donovon Jenson
With a great mix of "wisdom, humor, personal examples and simple steps you can take to improve your customer service and your own work experience," this book draws rave reviews from both those new to customer service and seasoned professionals.
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