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Computer Skills required for Client Services

Written By: CL Robinson

Client services may sound like an offshoot of customer service, but in reality it takes customer services into the project management arena. Project management focuses on the processes involved in getting a job done, and client services takes those processes and applies them to one client and project at a time.

Client Services Requirements

Working in client services includes many duties and skill sets from computers, to phones and office equipment, to accounting and ten-key skills. Communication may include customer service on the phone, and within emails.

Entry level positions begin with customer service experience, and the computer skills necessary for client services will be much more advanced. Be comfortable with heavy-duty computer usage.

Hardware

Employees will need a strong understanding of computer hardware basics, the ability to use and troubleshoot peripherals, particularly printers scanners, and external drives, and a basic understanding of networking in order to hook peripherals up to a computer.

Understand the need for security and make it part of routine maintenance. The employee will be responsible for protecting both company and client information as part of the job. If technical aspects are added to the job, or the employee is interested in promotion, skills and knowledge of helpdesk requirements and / or software support requirements may have to be met later on.

Software

On the software side, The employee should have some general knowledge of operating systems, should a client use a different system.  Familiar with an Apple computer? Take a moment to look at OS X and how it compares to Windows versions of operating systems. There are businesses that rely on UNIX / Linux equipment. Be aware of the compatibility issues that may arise, and be able to handle it quickly.

Microsoft productivity tools for employees should be at intermediate to advanced, but preferably advanced level proficiency in Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook. These are tools that will constantly be used on every job in client services.

Typing and keyboarding skills should also be part of an employee’s tools. Type between 40 to 60 wpm and know as many software keyboard shortcuts and software toolbar and menu shortcuts as possible.

Fill in Computer Skill gaps

Don’t overstate computer skills. Assess current Office Suite experience and skills levels. If there are gaps, fill them in before applying for positions in client services.

How is proficiency in each area assessed? The internet is a great tool for locating Office program checklists. Use the lists to assess current computer skill levels. If there are gaps, work on those items before applying. Those with customer service experience may already have the majority of computer skills.

Update Computer Skills

There are many tutorials freely available online. Paid training is probably not necessary, though Microsoft actually offers a Microsoft Office Specialist certificate, that ensures proficiency. Having a certificate isn’t necessary to apply for client services positions.

Some companies will train a good customer service employee who has some but not all the computer skills, but would rather an employee have all the software skills be at proficiency level before employment.