After doing a fair bit of online research, you’ve found a customer service job that meets all your requirements. You’re pretty confident you’re a good fit, your customer support resume is on point, and you’re ready to apply.
Then, as you fill in the online form, you realize you can add a cover letter.
You might wonder whether you really need it. After all, skipping this step will save you time and effort. Plus, it’s not mandatory, right?
The truth is that a cover letter, while it might seem like a demanding last step, will help you stand out over other candidates.
A good cover letter gives you the ability to showcase how your experience and skills relate to the customer service role you’re applying for in a way that a resume might fall short. Since it’s not mandatory, it’s also a great way to separate yourself from other applicants who aren’t willing to do the extra work involved.
The good news is that it doesn’t need to be complicated. Follow these tips and examples to create an attention-grabbing cover letter for your next customer service role that will convince the recruiter you’re definitely worth interviewing.
Why you need a cover letter for customer service roles
If you have a great customer support resume with relevant skills and experience, that’s the core of your application. It’s the ice cream scoop in your sundae.
But your cover letter is the cherry and sprinkles you put on top — it’s a chance to show your personality and make yourself stand out.
With a cover letter, you’re doing two crucial things for the recruiter or hiring manager:
You’re showing them you care enough about the job to spend extra time crafting a cover letter.
You’re making it extra easy for them to connect the dots between your skills and experience and the job’s requirements.
Those are both solid arguments for spending time on a cover letter, but there are other reasons, too.
Customer service is a competitive job market. Many roles — especially in today’s job market — receive hundreds of applicants (or more!).
Put yourself in a recruiter’s shoes for a moment. When you’re skimming dozens or hundreds of resumes, you’re likely seeing similar things over and over — bullet points of similar experiences, similar roles, and so on. With so much of the same, how do you make a choice?
When there are two (or twenty) similar candidates, the applications with strong cover letters will stand out. It’s a chance to demonstrate the value you can bring to the company by expanding on the bullets in your resume. Since writing and communication skills are two of the key customer service skills, it’s also a chance to put your abilities on display.
What to include in a cover letter for a position in customer service
OK, you’re going to write a cover letter for your customer service role. Now what do you include in it?
Here are a few things that a solid cover letter should contain.
An attention-grabbing introduction
In journalism, a good lead is everything. In his famous book “On Writing Well,” editor and writer William Zinsser wrote that, “The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead.”
Replace “article” with “cover letter,” and you’ll understand why your introduction is so important.
Remember, a recruiter or hiring manager might be sifting through hundreds of applications. A strong introduction that grabs their attention can be the difference between being ignored and being asked for an interview.
A highlight of relevant customer service skills and experience
Highlighting your relevant customer service experience in a personable and engaging way is the number one thing to focus on when writing a cover letter. Your cover letter shouldn’t be a novel, so you need to be brief and carefully choose what to share, but this is how you make your job application come alive.
Let’s use an example.
Imagine you’re applying for a job where one of the required skills is the “Ability to learn quickly and under pressure.”
Your cover letter is the perfect chance to highlight how you’ve used this skill. For example, you could explain how, in your last role, you successfully learned to use a complex new internal tool and how, after a few weeks, you were helping other colleagues who struggled with the new system.
Brevity is key, but make sure you pick a few required skills to show your relevant experience. If you’ve held unique roles in your past — like the time you trained dolphins at SeaWorld — it’s also a chance to highlight how those unique experiences make you the best possible candidate.
An address to the hiring manager and company
By addressing the company and, if possible, the hiring manager, you’ll show that you took the time to research the company you’re applying to. When many people take a “spray-and-pray” approach to applying for jobs — applying for hundreds of jobs with barely a thought — this is how you demonstrate your genuine interest.
This doesn’t have to be long — even just including the hiring manager’s name is more than most — but it’s a prime chance to personalize your cover letter.
Customization of your cover letter for each application
Adapting your cover letter to each job application can bring a big return on your time investment, but it can seem the most demanding.
This doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch every single time.
Instead, craft a cover letter “template” that works for you and that you can tweak based on the role and job description. For example, if you’re applying for a role focused on phone support, you’ll address your experience with that channel. If the company only offers live chat support, you’ll pull out the phone support snippet and add in something more relevant. Just be sure you change all the relevant information (company name, who it’s addressed to, exact job title or position) on each iteration!
Structuring a customer service cover letter that stands out
A cover letter is like a story about you. Like all good stories, they have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
Introduction: Start by expressing your enthusiasm and interest in the role. What made you excited when you read the job post? Maybe you’re particularly interested in the product or you’ve followed the company (or used their product!) for years. Perhaps you enjoy writing and managing knowledge bases.
Your introduction should include:
Your personal details (name, address, email, phone number).
The hiring manager or recruiter’s details (if possible).
The role you’re applying to.
An opening paragraph.
Main body: The bulk of your cover letter is about highlighting relevant customer service skills and experiences. As we’ve mentioned, you need to connect the job requirements and responsibilities with your previous experience, ideally by providing real-life examples. The main body should contain:
Don’t write it in bullet points. Write in personable, conversational paragraphs. Imagine it’s your first, super-brief conversation with the hiring manager.
Conclusion: The last section of the cover letter is for you to reiterate your interest and thank the reader for reviewing your application. The conclusion is made of:
A closing paragraph.
Tips for writing an effective customer service cover letter
What are the key elements that make the perfect cover letter? The best practices below are a good place to start:
Use a tone and style that matches the company: The language, tone, and style you would use when applying for a customer service position at a bank are not the same as if you were applying for a role at a tech startup. Startups tend to be more laid back and informal while banks are traditionally more formal. Be sure to research the company you’re applying to, paying attention to how they communicate. Matching your tone to your audience is an important customer service skill, and this is your chance to show it off.
Address specific job requirements with real examples: Your cover letter should provide plenty of real-life examples that show how you uniquely meet the requirements from the job description. Don’t overwhelm the reader with details, but make it obvious that your skill set fits what they’re looking for.
Demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills: Your cover letter should prove that you have great communication skills, which is the cornerstone of fantastic customer service. Don’t forget that the way you express yourself says as much (or more) than the specific words you use.
Be clear and concise in your writing: Use language that’s easy to understand. This isn’t the time to use fancy words or attempt to be too clever. Prioritize clarity and aim to highlight your relevance in as few words as necessary.
How to write a customer service cover letter with no prior support experience
What if you’re a total newcomer to the customer support industry and have no experience at all? Or perhaps you have support experience but want to break into the SaaS customer support industry?
First, don’t be discouraged! Key customer service skills like empathy, adaptability, clear communication, and patience are transferable. They’re skills you develop in other fields — as a barista, teacher, salesperson, and even as a parent or caregiver — or through activities like volunteering or athletics.
If you have no experience in customer support, your cover letter is even more critical. Without it, your resume might not be enough to showcase those skills and how they’ll apply to the role you’re applying to.
On top of that, your cover letter is a great place to express your eagerness to learn and your customer-focused attitude.
Customer service cover letter examples
Writing your first cover letter can feel daunting. Below are some examples based on experience level that might spark your creative juices.
#1: Entry-level customer service representative
Hampton, VA 23666
March 10, 2024
Role: Customer Service Representative
Dear Jessica Smith,
I’m interested in applying for the Customer Service Representative role at Healthcare Inc. As a former barista at a large coffee shop, I made sure customers felt consistently cared for, turning visitors into regulars. Because of my customer service skills and friendly attitude, I was promoted within six months.
In my current position, I’ve become an expert in various aspects of customer service, like using clear communication, being attentive to detail, and having a problem-solving mindset. In the job description, you mentioned that you're looking for a candidate who learns quickly. While working at my current position, I had to learn a new cash management system, and within a few days, I was training others.
My colleagues (and customers!) would say I'm friendly, patient, and hardworking. I'm always trying to get better at what I do, picking up new things on the job and ensuring customers have a great experience. My passion for delivering a consistently great customer experience encouraged me to apply for this role at Healthcare Inc.
I understand how important it is to boost a company's mission through every customer interaction to create long-lasting loyalty. That's precisely the approach I'm excited to bring to Healthcare Inc., and it’s why I'm eager to grow with your team and work as a Customer Service Representative.
I look forward to discussing my experience with you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need additional information.
Thank you for your consideration.
#2: Customer service representative
Hampton, VA 23666
March 10, 2024
Role: Customer Service Representative
Dear Jessica Smith,
I recently came across the Customer Service Representative position at Healthcare Inc. in one of my favorite customer support communities. I’m excited to express my interest in joining your team!
With two years of experience in customer service, I’m confident in my ability to contribute positively to your organization.
In my current position at ACME Company, I've honed my communication skills by handling a diverse range of customer inquiries. Whether through email, phone, or chat support, I consistently prioritize clear and concise communication, resulting in a team-leading customer satisfaction score of 98% over the last two quarters.
I also see that you’re looking for someone who can build customer relationships. I take pride in developing rapport with clients at ACME Company, resulting in a 10% increase in repeat customers. By actively listening to their needs and providing personalized solutions, I've cultivated a positive customer experience that contributes to ongoing loyalty. In fact, sometimes customers ask for me by name. While I try to discourage that, I do love how it signals that they trust me to get the job done.
Based on the details I've provided, I think it’s clear that I have a genuine passion for customer service. I'm thrilled about the prospect of advancing my career at Healthcare Inc.
Thank you for considering my application. I’m looking forward to hearing from you about the customer service representative position.
#3: Customer service manager
Hampton, VA 23666
March 10, 2024
Role: Customer Service Manager
Dear Jessica Smith,
I saw your job posting for a Customer Service Manager on the company’s website and immediately had to apply. With four years of experience in customer service, I’m confident in my ability to build and lead a successful support team.
Here are three key reasons why I believe I’m a strong candidate for this role:
Leadership skills: In my current position at ACME Company, I’ve been entrusted with leading a team of customer service representatives. I successfully implemented new training protocols that resulted in a 15% improvement in customer satisfaction scores within six months.
Problem-solving abilities: I pride myself on resolving customer issues efficiently. For instance, during my time at ACME Company, I encountered a challenging situation where a customer had a complex billing problem. Through asking good questions and collaborating with various departments, I was able to resolve the issue to the customer's satisfaction. I also identified and implemented a process improvement that reduced similar errors by 40%.
Adaptability and continuous improvement: In the fast-paced environment at ACME Company, I actively sought and implemented feedback from both customers and team members about how we could improve. One project I initiated led to a streamlined workflow and a 10% reduction in average handling time.
I am so excited about the opportunity to bring my skills and experience to Healthcare Inc. and to contribute to the achievements of your customer service team.
Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to hearing from you to learn more about the customer service manager position.
Cover letters are worth the time
Writing a thoughtful, personalized cover letter takes a lot more time than simply filling out a bunch of fields on a job application form, but it’s one of the single best ways to make your application stand out from the crowd, especially when you’re applying for popular roles in the competitive customer service job market.
By leveraging the tips and tactics shared here, you’ll be able to create a compelling cover letter that increases your likelihood of landing the customer service job you have your eye on — whether it’s your first role or you’re looking to advance your customer service career.