Careers and Enterprise Blog

Transferable skills series- customer service


Transferable skills series- customer service

Transferable skills series

What is customer service? What should you consider when demonstrating this skill?

The term ‘customer service’ can be highly emotive – we often associate it with very positive or negative experiences.

SalesForce (a cloud based, customer relationship management (CRM) company) characterise customer service as: ‘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.

Do you agree with this definition?

The term may even prompt us to remember a time when an employee was not very helpful in a shop, or when we had a disagreement with a company on the phone.

If so, think about how you would treat the customer differently…

The important thing to note is that customer service is not a term which fits a set criterion. This is because different people have different perceptions and therefore, expectations.

For instance, all students who join the University (consciously or unconsciously) have expectations for their education. This often includes things like staff support, wellbeing support, resources and response time for marking etc. Some however, would consider different support services (such as the Careers and Enterprise Hub or the Unitemps service) as being key.

“For me, when I first joined University, the wellbeing support team was particularly important. I had preconceived expectations in terms of the service. Some of my housemates in halls however, didn’t even realise we had access to a service like this, they valued different things. It just demonstrates how we all have different needs and it can translate into all walks of life.”

– Abbie-Rose, Graduate Marketing and Communication Officer

This means we must consider the needs of every individual and adjust our approach when appropriate.

What does customer service mean to CCCU’s in-house recruitment service?

“Recruitment and customer service go hand in hand in so many ways. At the Unitemps branch at CCCU, it’s incredibly valuable to have good customer service skills when building rapport with clients (those wanting to recruit) and candidates (that’s you, the student ?) . To ensure we have opportunities for our students, we must first be able to provide excellent customer service to our clients. More specifically, we must communicate, present our services in an attractive way and network. For clients, customer service is valued by Unitemps staff having excellent knowledge, efficiency and clear communication that can always be relied upon. However, candidates require a slightly different approach; often in terms of emotional support and guidance. This helps elevate the recruitment process as it makes things more positive and tailored even when the client/ candidate doesn’t experience the desired outcome.”

– Unitemps employee

“The quality of customer service can have a significant impact on the success of a business. If you do not understand the needs of a range of stakeholders, you fail to meet those needs and consequently lose the trust of your clients, or your candidates, and do not become the reliable source of business. This could cost you your reputation.

But, customer service is not simply having a positive attitude when serving someone – it is about understanding the needs of your customer, listening to those needs and drawing upon your qualities and experience to provide the best possible service in that moment.”

– Unitemps employee

So, when working with customers, always consider their perspective.

What is the customer asking?

How do they feel?

How would their query or issue be best resolved?

Finally, what would your expectations be in their scenario?

Customer service is used in a variety of scenarios and often requires an adjustment depending on the audience. If you consider these questions, you’ll be getting great feedback in no time!

If you feel you need help with this skill, contact us at

Want to find out more about jobs that suit your skills?

  • Go on to the Careers & Enterprise Hub, and under ‘Resources’ click on ‘Labour Market Information’. There, you can ‘explore by skills’ – just click on at least 3 skills, and it’ll show you job roles that match!
  • If you click on the job role, it’ll give you more information about average salary, what the role entails etc.

4 easiest ways to engage in our service:

  • If you’re a final year student or recent graduate, you’re welcome to apply for the GradForce programme
  • Check your CV on CV360 via the Hub
  • Practice your skills using AI technology with Interview360 via the Hub
  • Read a few more blogs… scan through our blogs for some encouragement, insight and great tips

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