Client-Facing Skills: Definition and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published March 12, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published March 12, 2020

Customer service can be a deciding factor in whether clients do business with a company. To establish long-term relationships with customers, you need to develop strong client-facing skills. Learning more about client-facing skills can help you identify which abilities you possess and where you can improve.

In this article, we explain what client-facing skills are and how to improve them.

What are client-facing skills?

Client-facing skills are the abilities necessary to provide quality customer service. Client-facing employees are those who interact directly with customers in person or through phone conversations, online messages and any other methods of communication that a business uses. These skills are also useful for sales and marketing professionals who work closely with clients.

Examples of client-facing skills

There are different kinds of client-facing skills you can learn to help you provide excellent service to your customers:

  • Active listening

  • Self-improvement

  • Communication

  • Empathy

  • Critical thinking

  • Dedication

Active listening

Active listening involves paying attention to the speaker to understand their message and give the right response. Good active listening skills help you connect better with customers to deliver great service. When you actively listen to a client's needs and questions, you can offer a response that satisfies them. Use active listening during all of your interactions to promote better rapport with customers and coworkers alike.

Read more: Active Listening Skills: Definition and Examples

Self-improvement

In any client-facing role, you'll likely receive feedback from clients based on their experiences. This feedback can help you identify where you excel and the areas you could improve. Accept constructive criticism and try to apply it to your work to show you're willing to better yourself. This also applies to feedback from a manager or coworker on how you can improve relations with clients.

Communication

Effective communication prevents misunderstandings, improves productivity and builds trust. Use language that appeals to your audience and is easy to interpret. When communicating with clients, use language that is clear, direct and friendly. Body language can also be an important factor, especially in sales client-facing roles, so communicate by maintaining eye contact, smiling when appropriate and keeping an open posture.

Read more: 10 Communication Skills to Add to Your Resume

Empathy

Empathy is a way to let a client know that you understand their position and want to do as much as you can to improve it. With empathy, you appreciate any emotions they have and respond accordingly. For example, you may be able to end a call with a client on a positive note because you took the time to acknowledge their feelings, offer solutions they are happy with and show how valuable they are to the company.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking allows you to provide the best solution based on the information available to you. Offering a thorough solution shows you listened to the client's needs and took the time to research possible answers. When possible, give clients different resources that they can use or reference to prevent the problem from happening again.

Dedication

Showing commitment to your customers' needs helps you build stronger connections. Demonstrate your dedication by following up with customers after you solved their issues. Make sure the solution still works and answer any additional questions they may have. You should also follow up after a customer purchases to ensure they're satisfied with the product or service.

Related: 20 Customer Service Tips

How to improve client-facing skills

Here are some steps you can take to improve your client-facing skills:

  1. Sign up for training opportunities.

  2. Ask for constructive criticism.

  3. Know your product of service.

  4. Get to know your clients.

1. Sign up for training opportunities

Sign up for classes, conferences, seminars and workshops that focus on improving your skills in a client-facing role. Training can expose you to different approaches with clients and offer role-playing opportunities that allow you to practice your skills.

2. Ask for constructive criticism

Your coworkers and manager have a good idea of how you interact with clients. If you want to improve, ask them for their honest feedback. Since they are the most familiar with your role, they'll likely have helpful ideas of how you can provide additional value to a client.

3. Know your product or service

A client will appreciate it if you are knowledgeable and confident about the product or service you represent. You should be able to answer all of their questions and provide a demonstration of how the product or service works. Make sure you keep up with trends, updates to the product or service, sales or discount codes and anything that may interest the client.

4. Get to know your clients

The more comfortable you are with your clients, the easier and more natural it will be to communicate with them. Take the time to get to know them by asking questions, encouraging them to talk about whatever they'd like and engaging in an open dialogue about their needs. When you get to know your clients, you can develop a level of trust that will help your working relationship.

Related: 9 Tips for Improving Your Customer Service Skills

Client-facing skills in the workplace

Here are a few ways you can translate these skills from clients to coworkers:

Be supportive

Celebrate your coworkers' accomplishments and be open to asking how you can help them in a task or project. It's important to show your willingness to take on new work to grow the team.

Show respect

Your coworkers will feel valued if you show respect in your interactions. Respect their time by arriving at work on time, listening to their ideas and asking for feedback. You should also respect the relationships you have with customers so they feel comfortable doing business with you.

Be efficient

When you need to work with a team to complete a project or deliver a solution to a client, efficiency is key. Keep your workspace organized and make a detailed schedule to make sure you offer accurate work on time.

Offer and accept new ideas

Collaborate with your team by sharing your ideas and listening to your colleagues' thoughts. Group brainstorming can help you develop more thorough solutions that you may have not considered on your own.

How to highlight client-facing skills

Here are ways you can highlight your client-facing skills during the hiring process:

Client-facing skills for your resume

Make sure your resume is free of misspellings and grammatical errors, which helps demonstrate strong communication skills. Compare your resume to the job you're applying for to make sure you're using the same language and highlighting specific skills that match the description.

Make sure you list your client-facing skills in your "Skills" section and describe how you used those skills in your job duties. For example, one of your duties could be, "Reduced repeat customer complaints by 12% by following up with customers," which shows dedication.

Client-facing skills for your cover letter

Your cover letter is the place where you will be able to get more specific about a particular skill you've gained throughout your work experience. Describe the specific client-facing skills you have and how they make you the right candidate for the role. Use your cover letter to get into more detail about specific achievements or accomplishments you earned by using your client-facing skills.

Client-facing skills for the job interview

The job interview is where you can put your client-facing skills to real-world use. Make sure you dress appropriately and pay attention to your body language when speaking with the hiring manager. Use the same skills—active listening and clear communication—as you would with a client so that your manager can get an idea of how you work with customers.

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