If you’re hoping to work in a public-facing field like customer service, your resume and cover letter must emphasize the experiences and characteristics that make you an effective point of contact for clients and potential clients alike. As far as most customer service job applications go, your cover letter offers you the most direct opportunity to show an employer how and why you’re a uniquely-strong candidate.
Read on to find out how to format a compelling customer service cover letter, which information to emphasize and how to frame your past experiences to highlight your aptitude for communicating with and assisting clients.
What to include in a customer service cover letter:
As with any cover letter, it’s crucial to focus on useful information that can’t be easily found on your resume. Is there a particular customer-service experience from your past that you can succinctly describe in the letter? What specifically attracts you to this customer-service role at this company? From a hiring manager’s perspective, your choice to address these points can provide helpful context for your candidacy.
Essentially, your customer service cover letter should include:
A brief (2-4 sentences) introduction that helps the employer understand why you’re applying for this position.
A paragraph dedicated to your customer-service background and how it fits the needs of the role as described in the job posting.
A paragraph focused on the company, what you appreciate about their customer-service ethos and practices and how your experiences and abilities can serve and advance their stated goals.
A brief conclusion thanking them for taking the time to review your application.
A few cover letter tips:
Don’t start your cover letter with “My name is…”. This intro reads as juvenile, which won’t present you in the most appealing light during your candidacy. A simple first line like “I’m so excited for the opportunity to apply for [position]” accomplishes the same goal without the school-kid vibes.
When describing your own fitness for the position, steer clear of subjective terms like “hardworking” and “proactive." Instead, try to point to specific evidence to back up those claims, like “As a former customer service rep with a 90% case-closure rate, I’m confident in my abilities to connect with your clients and to provide them with both answers to their questions and a positive view of the company.”
If you’re applying for numerous customer-service roles at the same time, it can be tempting to use the same letter for each application, changing only the company names. While this tactic can increase your application volume, you’ll be majorly compromising the quality of your cover letters, which can easily make or break your candidacy in these early phases. While it’s fine and even advisable to follow efficient and effective cover-letter templates, take the time to customize the content of each letter to best appeal to that particular company.
Some “career advisors” and bloggers will tell you to end your cover letter with a declarative statement like “I’ll call you in two weeks to schedule an interview." This may seem like a move full of gumption and proactivity, but it actually indicates a misunderstanding of the dynamics of the hiring process. You don’t get to decide that the company will schedule you for an interview; they get to make that determination after weighing your application materials against the needs of the role. Express your enthusiasm and present a strong case for why you’re a great fit, but keep to your side of the line.
An example of a strong customer service cover letter:
Dear [Hiring Manager],
As a customer service representative with [X] years of experience providing guidance to customers, I’m thrilled for the opportunity to apply for the Customer Service Representative position at [Company]. I have enormous respect and admiration for the high standards of customer care provided by [Company] and I believe that my background and skills in this field will prove valuable to [Company]’s client-facing pursuits.
Over the course of my customer service career, I’ve served in positions like [Y Position at Y Company], [Z Position at Z Company], and [B Position at B Company, listed in order from lowest-level to highest-level or, if they’re all at the same level, least recent to most recent], and my breadth of experience provides me a clear view of customer needs and gives me the know-how to address these needs and find answers that satisfy both the clients and my employers. For example, I took charge of a help desk at [Z Company] with an overwhelming backlog of requests, and within six weeks, I managed to respond to 50% of the existing inquiries and move the other 50% into an actionable queue with clear response deadlines, ultimately earning 4-star customer ratings for my efforts. I’m passionate about creative problem-solving and working with both the customers and my company to reach conclusions that benefit everyone involved, and I’d love to bring my enthusiasm and my strategy ideas (both of which contribute to my strong track record of results in this field) to [Company].
I’ve worked with [bought from/heard high praise about/read about] [Company]’s commitment to customer satisfaction and clear lines of communication between CS associates and clients, and I’m especially impressed with [Company]’s flexibility with client requests [willingness to prioritize customer happiness above a “bottom line”/determination to hire empathetic CS reps who seek definitive answers rather than bombarding customers with obstacles/etc.]. It would be an absolute joy to lend my skills to [Company], and I sincerely hope to be considered for the position.
Please feel free to review my application materials and to let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for taking the time to read, and I hope to hear from you soon.