Communication skills for customer service and why they're important (2023)

Whether you’re interacting with customers face-to-face or over the phone, being able to effectively communicate and build rapport with your customers is key to providing a positive experience.

As the overwhelming majority of customers, or 96%to be exact, believe that customer service is a make-or-break factor when it comes to loyalty, it’s no surprise that excellent communication skills are vitally important for customer service professionals.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of communication skills in customer service and the various types of customer service communication skills needed for success in the hospitality industry.

What are communications skills for customer service?

Communication is more than just words. It’s the ability to use verbal and non-verbal cues, such as body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, to engage with customers in a professional manner.

To be successful in customer service, it’s important to have a thorough understanding and mastery of different communication techniques.

Why communication skills are important in customer service

Communication skills enable professionals to build a customer relationship, respond to their inquiries quickly and effectively, and provide them with a positive customer experience. Specifically, strong communication skills:

  • Help you connect more deeply with customers
  • Facilitate understanding of customer needs
  • Enhance customer satisfaction

Encourage customers to return for repeat business as after a positive customer service experience, 52%of customers are likely to return and purchase again

Do you want to take your customer service skills to the next level?

Enrolling in our Bachelor of hospitality management degree means gaining the knowledge and expertise needed to deliver excellent service. With the option of two internships in the hospitality industry, you can gain hands-on experience and industry connections to launch your career.

Bachelor of hospitality management

Communication skills for customer service and why they're important (1)

(Video) Customer Service and its Importance - Customer Service Skills - Communication Skills

Why communication skills are important in hospitality customer service

An overwhelming 99% of customer service professionals agree that communication skills are important in their profession, and this is even more crucial in the hospitality industry.

This field requires an enhanced level of communication skills due to the many interactions and conversations that take place between the customer service team and the guests.

As a result, customers place a higher emphasis on their overall customer service experience, which makes it all the more essential for professionals in this field to undertake training in communication skills.

What are the most important communication skills for customer service in the hospitality industry?

The most important communication skills for those pursuing a career in hospitalityinclude:

  • Listening actively
  • Being empathetic
  • Having a positive attitude
  • Speaking clearly and concisely
  • Having a thorough knowledge of hospitality industry products and services
  • Being able to handle complaints professionally
  • Staying calm under pressure
  • Understanding customer needs and expectations

Are you ready to propel your career in hospitality management to the next level?

With a postgraduate degree in hospitality, you’ll learn to hone your communication skills at a top hospitality school in Switzerland to help you serve customers better and build operational excellence across the hospitality sector.

Masters degree in hospitality management

Communication skills for customer service and why they're important (2)

Verbal communication skills

Good verbal communication allows hospitality customer service professionals to successfully communicate with guests, answer questions, and address concerns. Several aspects of verbal communication should be taken into consideration.

Tone and pitch

Tone and pitch refer to the emotional quality of a conversation. It can affect how people perceive you and your hospitality business.

To ensure that you come across as professional yet friendly, try to maintain an even voice with a moderate pitch throughout conversations. There should be an emphasis on speaking slowly, clearly, and concisely.


It’s important to use clear language so that customers fully understand what you are saying and why. Additionally, using appropriate language can help you build rapport with customers, develop trust and create an overall positive experience.

Here are a few strategies you can use:

  • Try to keep your vocabulary simple
  • Show respect and courtesy by avoiding slang, bad language, or inappropriate jokes
  • Be direct and to the point

Active listening

This involves fully concentrating on, understanding, and responding to what someone else is saying. It requires paying close attention, avoiding distractions, and not interrupting while the other person speaks.

Active listening is important because it helps build relationships with customers by showing them that you value what they have to say and are actively engaged in the conversation.

So, make sure you:

  • Ask questions to ensure you understand what is being said
  • Repeat key points to confirm understanding
  • Avoid distractions while the customer is speaking
  • Resist the urge to interject or offer solutions before fully understanding the customer’s issue


Empathy is the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings or experiences. It involves being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and truly understand what they’re going through.

Being empathetic is an important part of customer service because it shows customers that you’re listening, understanding, and caring. It can help build rapport, create trust, and make customers feel valued.

A few ways to show empathy include:

  • Using active listening techniques
  • Expressing concern and understanding
  • Acknowledging how customers feel

Written communication skills

Communication skills for customer service and why they're important (3)Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Written communication is an important part of being a customer service agent and involves sending written messages to customers, such as emails and letters.

Written communication can be used for a variety of purposes, including providing information about products and services, responding to inquiries, and addressing complaints. Here are a few components of effective written communication.

(Video) What Are Communication Skills? Top 10!

Writing style

Written customer communication should be clear, concise, and professional. Additionally, it should reflect the desired tone of the message as well as the company’s brand.

To develop an effective writing style, you can focus on:

  • Keeping sentences concise and avoiding complex language
  • Being polite, courteous, and professional in your choice of words – be aware of your tone and avoid using slang, cliches, and unnecessary jargon
  • Making sure you include all the necessary information

What are some common mistakes to avoid in written communication for customer service?

While there are many common mistakes to avoid in written communication for customer service, some of the most important ones include:

  • Making incorrect assumptions
  • Writing too much
  • Not addressing the customer by name or using a generic greeting
  • Sending a generic response without personalizing the message
  • Failing to provide clear directions or solutions

Grammar and spelling

It’s essential to use correct grammar and spelling in all customer service messages as it demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail.

Make sure that you double-check your work before sending a message, as errors can lead to confusion or put customers off. You could use a spell checker, read your message out loud to detect errors, or ask someone else to look over your work.

Some common mistakes to look out for include:

  • Misusing homophones, e.g. their/there/they’re
  • Incorrect use of apostrophes, e.g., its/it’s
  • Mixing up commonly confused words e.g. accept/except
  • Writing typos, e.g., confusd instead of confused


Communication skills for customer service and why they're important (4)Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Formatting is another important component of written communication for customer service. It helps to make the message easier to read and understand.

Strategies for effective formatting include:

  • Using headings or numbered lists to break up text
  • Highlighting key points to make them stand out
  • Keeping the message concise
  • Avoiding large blocks of text and adding spaces between paragraphs

Non-verbal communication skills

Non-verbal communication can be just as important as verbal and written communication in customer service and includes a variety of cues.

Body language

Body language is a powerful non-verbal tool, as it can help to express emotions and give messages without words. For customer service, it’s important to focus on open and welcoming body language, as this can make customers feel more at ease.

You can do so by smiling and making eye contact, maintaining an open posture, such as arms uncrossed, leaning in when listening, and nodding to indicate understanding.

Eye contact

Maintaining eye contact with customers is important, as it helps to demonstrate that you’re engaged in the conversation and interested in what they have to say.

Keep your gaze friendly and respectful – avoid staring or looking away too often, as this can make customers feel uncomfortable.

(Video) Great Customer Services, Communication and Other Customer Service Skills

Facial expressions

Facial expressions can convey a range of emotions to customers. A warm and friendly smile is always welcomed, but don’t overdo it. You should also be aware of your other facial expressions, such as furrowing your brow or looking confused.

While you may feel a certain way when dealing with difficult customers, it’s important to try and keep positive facial expressions to make customers feel more relaxed.

Overcoming communication barriers

In some cases, it can be difficult to communicate effectively with customers for a number of reasons.

Language barriers

If you’re communicating with a customer who speaks a different language, it can be a challenge to understand each other. It’s important to remain patient and polite and avoid using jargon or complicated words that the customer may not understand. If possible, try to get another staff member who speaks the same language as the customer.

Cultural barriers

Different cultures can have different ways of communicating, which can make it difficult to understand each other. Make sure to remain respectful and understanding when interacting with customers from different backgrounds.

Most importantly, avoid making assumptions or generalizations about their culture. If you’re unsure how to communicate with someone, ask them if there’s a certain way they would prefer to be communicated with.

How can cultural barriers impact communication in customer service?

Communication skills for customer service and why they're important (5)RichLegg/E+ via Getty Images

Cultural barriers can create communication challenges in customer service, as different cultures may have different ways of communicating and understanding information.

Bad customer service caused by this can lead to confusion or misunderstandings between the customer and the employee, resulting in a bad experience for the customer.

Emotional barriers

Emotional barriers can arise when a customer is feeling upset or frustrated. In these cases, being calm and patient is key.

Don’t fall into the trap of getting defensive or arguing with the customer. Instead, focus on understanding their feelings and assuring them that you’re there to help.


Effective communication in customer service is essential for providing a positive experience for customers.

By being aware of verbal and non-verbal communication techniques, as well as overcoming potential cultural and emotional barriers, you can ensure that customers feel heard and respected.

Now that you have a better understanding of communication in customer service, the next step is to start creating your hotel business plan to kick-start your hotel management career. You can also read our “is hospitality a good career?” and “why work in hospitality?” blog posts to learn more about this rewarding career choice

(Video) Professional Communication Skills [BUSINESS COMMUNICATION PRO]

Photo credits
Main image: Plug Pattarin/Moment] via Getty Images

(Video) How to give great customer service: The L.A.S.T. method


Why is communication skills important in customer service? ›

The more you communicate with your customers, the more likely they are to remember you and your business. You need a communication strategy so you can determine which communication method is best for your business and your target customers. Consider your customer demographics before you settle on a method.

What are customer service skills and why are they important? ›

Customer service plays an important role in attracting and retaining customers. Businesses can leverage good customer service to boost sales. Empathy, good communication, and problem-solving are core skills in providing excellent customer service.

How do you answer why is customer service important to you? ›

Customer service means going above and beyond to keep the customer happy, whether that means answering any questions they have or resolving issues with a positive attitude. Customer satisfaction is the top priority, and hopefully creating loyal, returning customers.”

What are the 3 most important things in customer service? ›

Essentially, the 3 important qualities of customer service center around three “p”s: professionalism, patience, and a “people-first” attitude. Although customer service varies from customer to customer, as long as you're following these guidelines, you're on the right track.

Why is excellent communication skills important? ›

Successful communication can deepen relations in personal life or professional life. In personal life, they can help us understand better people and situations that happen on a daily basis. Developing communication skills can help us avoid conflicts compromise, and help in better decision making.

What is communication skill in customer service? ›

One of the most important communication skills for customer service is active listening. This means paying attention to what your customer is saying, showing interest, and asking clarifying questions. Active listening helps you understand your customer's needs, expectations, and emotions, and shows them that you care.

What are the 5 most important things in customer service? ›

Your List of the Most Important Customer Service Skills (According to Data)
  1. Persuasive Speaking Skills. Think of the most persuasive speaker in your organisation. ...
  2. Empathy. ...
  3. Adaptability. ...
  4. Ability to Use Positive Language. ...
  5. Clear Communication Skills. ...
  6. Self-Control. ...
  7. Taking Responsibility. ...
  8. Patience.

How would you describe your customer service skills answer? ›

Example: "I think the skills great customer service representatives most commonly have are strong communication, positivity and problem-solving. They must clearly communicate with customers, both by answering questions or explaining policies in addition to actively listening to the customer.

How do you answer customer service skills? ›

My biggest strengths are empathy and great communication skills. I always actively listen to the customer and then talk him through how to solve his problem or what I'm doing to help him out. I try to put myself in the customer's shoes and make sure I can understand their needs best.

Why is customer service important to me interview question? ›

“To me, customer service means ensuring that the client or customer has the best experience possible. I've learned that by listening to the customer's desires, concerns, and perspective, I'm able to figure out the best way to solve any issues that come up.

What is the most important role of customer service? ›

A customer support representative's primary objective is to understand the customer's problem and troubleshoot it with an optimal and effective solution. Customer support processes focus on short-term customer goals and do not directly impact revenue and other long term objectives.

What is 5 star customer service mean to you? ›

Five-star customer service means making it so your customer never has to explain anything twice, and your customer service team has any information they need right at their fingertips. In fact, truly excellent support means customers don't even have to explain things once.

What is your greatest strength for customer service? ›

Top 7 Call Center Agent Strengths
  • Great Communication Skills. ...
  • Creative Problem Solving. ...
  • Emotional Intelligence (Empathy) ...
  • Attention to Detail. ...
  • Persistent and Consistent. ...
  • Patience. ...
  • Self-Awareness. ...
  • Lack of Knowledge.

What is a good example of excellent customer service? ›

Making sure you and your staff are knowledgeable about the products you sell. Being available for customer questions and responding promptly (even to negative feedback) Doing what you can to go above and beyond and make customers happy and feel special.

What is good customer service answer? ›

What is good customer service? Good customer service means consistently meeting customers' expectations. Great customer service is quick, easy, personalized, and empathetic. Companies that deliver excellent customer service take the time needed to understand the needs of their unique customer base.

How can I prove my communication skills? ›

Rather than putting “excellent communications skills" on your CV, show employers you understand what they are looking for, e.g.:“I am an attentive listener” or “I am able to adapt the tone and style of my writing to suit my audience”and provide good working examples as evidence.

Which three communication skills are most important and why? ›

Some of the most important communication skills for any job are presentation, active listening, nonverbal communication, giving/taking feedback, and others. Improve your communication skills by learning how to listen, noticing nonverbal cues, and practicing oral communication.

How would you describe your communication skills? ›

Here's a sample answer: “Through my work experience and education, I have developed strong communication skills, and I'm able to clearly convey points to different audiences. I'm also a good listener which aids in my ability to intimately understand a situation and prepare an appropriate response.

What are excellent communication skills? ›

This means speaking clearly, concisely, and loudly (but not too loud), while building a good rapport with your audience.

What is the best communication style for customer service? ›

The assertive communication style is recommended when responding to customers—whether they're angry or calm—because it shows you're an empathetic and active listener. You acknowledge the problem so customers feel validated and heard while also clearly and confidently stating expectations.

What is customer communication with example? ›

What is a customer communication definition? Customer communication or customer service communication is a way of exchanging information between a brand/business and a client. There are various customer communication platforms. Such as email, phone, or live chat communication with customers.

What are 4 keys to quality customer service? ›

There are four key principles of good customer service: It's personalized, competent, convenient, and proactive. These factors have the biggest influence on the customer experience.

What makes you great at customer service? ›

There are certain qualities and characteristics necessary for service reps to ensure quality service. The 5 must-have qualities of support reps are a passion for helping others, empathy, a positive attitude, good communication, and problem-solving thinking.

What is excellent customer service skills? ›

Types of great customer service skills

Relatability – managing human interactions naturally and effectively. Sensitivity – reading the customer's emotions while keeping your own in check. Accountability – remaining professional, prompt and prudent. Positivity – being solution-oriented, confident, proactive and ...

How do you show customer service skills in an interview? ›

Staying Positive in Tough Situations

In the interview, ask how candidates have dealt with difficult customers – and listen for attitude. Extroverted people who tend to be friendly and engaging with strong communication skills and empathetic listening skills are generally well suited for this role, Lopes says.

How do you show good customer service skills in an interview? ›

Examples of good customer service for interview candidates may include how they handled a challenging situation with an angry customer, implemented strategies to improve client relations or times they received accolades from clients or management teams for their excellent work.

Why would you be a great fit for this position? ›

You need to highlight why you're the best match for the role by explaining the accomplishments, skills, or personality traits that set you apart. However, don't criticize other candidates while you do so. Maintain a positive tone and keep the response focused on what you can offer, rather than what others can't.

Why should we hire you? ›

Your skills and qualifications. If you can prove that you've got all the skills that the company is looking for in a candidate, you'll have effectively answered the question. Your passion and motivation. You can highlight how good of a company fit you'd be and how much you love working in your field or industry.

What makes you a good fit for this job sample answer? ›

💡 Example answer

In particular, my ability to work to tight deadlines and manage my time effectively make me a good fit for the role. For example, in my current job I have to manage my own workload, taking briefs from colleagues in multiple departments and creating a priority order that keeps everyone satisfied.

What makes you passionate about customer service? ›

“I think one of the main things that motivates me to go above and beyond for customers is knowing that I'm helping make a difference in their lives. Even when we can't fully resolve an issue, we've done everything possible, and I always hope they leave feeling valued.”

What is customer service in simple words? ›

Customer service is the support you offer your customers — both before and after they buy and use your products or services — that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you. Offering amazing customer service is important if you want to retain customers and grow your business.

Can you give an example of when you have provided excellent customer service? ›

"When I worked for a retail clothing store, I delivered excellent customer service by placing online orders for customers who wanted to purchase products that weren't in stock at our location.

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

Taking steps to manage stress
  1. Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. ...
  2. Develop healthy responses. ...
  3. Establish boundaries. ...
  4. Take time to recharge. ...
  5. Learn how to relax. ...
  6. Talk to your supervisor. ...
  7. Get some support.
Jul 1, 2014

What motivates you to work? ›

Success is what motivates me to do a good job. Knowing the fact that my hard work and perseverance will help me achieve greater professional success is what keeps me going. I feel that aligning the company's vision and values with my own is one way to achieve that.

How would you handle an angry customer interview question answer? ›

Here are some steps you can follow to effectively resolve the problem:
  • Think carefully about the question. ...
  • Demonstrate your listening skills to the interviewer. ...
  • Display a calm and composed countenance. ...
  • Reiterate and confirm that you understand the question. ...
  • Draw from your past experience.
Mar 24, 2023

What is the most important skill in customer service? ›

Your List of the Most Important Customer Service Skills (According to Data)
  1. Persuasive Speaking Skills. Think of the most persuasive speaker in your organisation. ...
  2. Empathy. ...
  3. Adaptability. ...
  4. Ability to Use Positive Language. ...
  5. Clear Communication Skills. ...
  6. Self-Control. ...
  7. Taking Responsibility. ...
  8. Patience.

Why is it important to meet customer service and communication expectations? ›

Customer service is about managing customer expectations to give them what they want, when they want it, in the best possible way to meet those expectations. If your business provides good customer service, you have a greater chance of keeping and increasing your customer base.

Why communication is important in the workplace? ›

Good communication in the workplace ensures employees have the information they need to perform well, builds a positive work environment, and eliminates inefficiencies. Effective communication should accurately convey information while maintaining or improving human relationships.

What are five ways you can show you have good communication skills? ›

There are specific things to do that can improve your communication skills:
  • Listen, listen, and listen. ...
  • Who you are talking to matters. ...
  • Body language matters. ...
  • Check your message before you hit send. ...
  • Be brief, yet specific. ...
  • Write things down. ...
  • Sometimes it's better to pick up the phone. ...
  • Think before you speak.

How would you describe your customer service skills? ›

As a skill set, customer service entails several qualities like active listening, empathy, problem-solving and communication. Customer service is used in many jobs at every level. While traditionally you might think of customer care as a service from a business to a consumer, it is also applicable within a business.

How would you describe good effective communication? ›

For communication to be effective, it must be clear, correct, complete, concise, and compassionate. We consider these to be the 5 C's of communication, though they may vary depending on who you're asking.

What is an example of good communication? ›

Effective communication examples can be stated as active listening, giving and taking feedback, empathy, and respectfulness, responding to messages, having volume and clarity in messages, understanding non-verbal data, building friendliness and confidence, adapting your communication style to the audience, and so on.

What skills are needed for communication? ›

Communication skills involve listening, speaking, observing and empathizing. It's also helpful to understand the differences in how to communicate through face-to-face interactions, phone conversations and digital communications, like email and social media.


1. Customer Service Communication Skills
(Lightbulb Training Solutions)
2. Customer Service Training | The Importance of Empathy
(Customer Service Training by Telephone Doctor)
3. Customer Service Skills for IT Professionals: Communication
4. Master Your Leadership Skills: 3 reasons why ENUNCIATION is the secret to excellent communication
(Spark Your Speaking)
5. How to Improve Customer Service Communication Skills
(Gro Up Leadership)
6. How miscommunication happens (and how to avoid it) - Katherine Hampsten


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Madonna Wisozk

Last Updated: 17/11/2023

Views: 5905

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Madonna Wisozk

Birthday: 2001-02-23

Address: 656 Gerhold Summit, Sidneyberg, FL 78179-2512

Phone: +6742282696652

Job: Customer Banking Liaison

Hobby: Flower arranging, Yo-yoing, Tai chi, Rowing, Macrame, Urban exploration, Knife making

Introduction: My name is Madonna Wisozk, I am a attractive, healthy, thoughtful, faithful, open, vivacious, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.