What Is Client Facing? (Plus Skills, Roles and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 January 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Professionals who provide services to clients have certain skills that allow them to connect with customers and meet their needs effectively. People in many roles use client-facing skills, as most professionals communicate with clients. Learning about the importance of client interaction and how to perform well in this area of business can help you establish lasting client relationships and reach your career goals. In this article, we explain what a client-facing role is, share examples of client-facing skills and roles and explain how to improve and highlight your client-facing skills.

What is client facing?

As you search for new roles, you may hear different terms and wonder, "What is client facing?" Client facing is a term that refers to direct contact you have with a customer or client. Organisations often refer to these interactions, such as speaking on the phone or having a meeting with a client, as client-facing activities. These activities are essential to the growth and success of a business. Developing relationships with clients and making them feel valued leads to the sale of a company's products or services. When professionals use client-facing skills to gain new customers and nurture existing client bases, they can help increase the company's profitability.

Examples of 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. Here are the different client-facing skills you can learn to help you provide excellent service to customers:

Active listening

Active listening is a communication skill that involves paying close attention to what another person says and taking their ideas and concerns into consideration. You can hear what someone says without listening actively, so it's important to know the difference between the two so you can serve clients effectively. When you listen actively to someone, you take the time to understand their message and their purpose for sharing it with you and determine how you can use the information to provide them with a satisfactory response.

Related: What Are Active Listening Skills? Definition and Examples

Self-improvement

When you listen actively to what clients say, you might identify areas for self-improvement. Self-improvement is a skill that involves evaluating your strengths and challenges and identifying areas where you could make positive changes. These positive changes may benefit you, the customer and the company. To practise self-improvement, be open to constructive criticism from clients, colleagues and management and use it to help you master new skills and try different approaches that may make you more efficient in your role.

Communication

Whether you talk to clients primarily in person, by telephone, through email or by chat, maintaining communication skills is critical to establishing and sustaining long-term relationships with them. Depending on your role, you may find it useful to excel in one or more areas of communication. Communication skills are transferable career skills, so you may find it beneficial to develop them in multiple areas.

Professionals who regularly meet with clients or have telephone conversations with them can benefit from verbal communication skills. Those who correspond through email or messaging platforms can show clients their professionalism by mastering written communication skills. Nonverbal skills, such as body language, may also help you display confidence and show your client your attentiveness to their needs.

Related: 10 Effective Communication Skills for Career Success

Empathy

When you show genuine concern for your clients and their needs, you demonstrate empathy. Empathy is an important skill because it tells your clients their concerns matter to you. It allows you to relate to your clients and respond appropriately to them, which can help them feel valued. You can practise empathy by personalising your responses to your clients based on their specific circumstances.

For example, if a customer received the wrong item and needs a replacement within a few days, you might explain to the customer that you understand their need to have the product delivered urgently and offer them a faster shipping option without an additional charge. This shows the customer that you genuinely care about resolving their issue and may encourage them to contact you again if they want to make more purchases in the future.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking involves evaluating a situation to determine how you can provide an optimal solution. By thinking analytically, you can explore the issue from different angles and hypothesise how certain responses or solutions could benefit the client and your professional relationship with them. This may be especially helpful if you plan to offer alternative resolutions to a client's specific request.

For example, if the client wants a product feature you don't currently offer, you might consider offering the product with the requested feature included for a higher price. Alternatively, you may suggest a related product that doesn't match the customer's request exactly but offers similar functionality and pricing. Understanding your client and what they would prefer can help you think critically and make decisions your client would appreciate.

Related: Critical Thinking Skills: Definition and Examples

Dedication

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

Examples of client-facing roles

Client-facing professionals may communicate with clients daily or occasionally, and their means of communication may vary. Some examples of common professions that involve regular client interaction include:

  • customer service representatives

  • servers and bartenders

  • real estate agents

  • banking and finance professionals

  • sales professionals

  • hospitality professionals

How to improve your client-facing skills

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

  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 practise your skills.

  2. Ask for constructive criticism: Your coworkers and manager know how you interact with clients, so you might consider asking them for their honest feedback. Since they're familiar with your role, they may have helpful ideas about how you can provide additional value to a client.

  3. Know your product or service: Clients appreciate it if you're knowledgeable and confident about the product or service you represent, so make sure you answer all of their questions and provide a demonstration of how the product or service works. You may also find it helpful to 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 may be to communicate with them. Taking 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 can help you develop a level of trust that can benefit your working relationship.

Highlighting client-facing skills

Emphasising your client-facing skills during the hiring process may help you get the attention of a hiring manager and differentiate you from other candidates. Here are some ways you can highlight your client-facing skills when applying and interviewing for jobs:

HIghlighting client-facing skills on your CV

Make sure your CV is free of misspellings and grammatical errors, as this can help demonstrate strong communication skills. Compare your CV to the job you're applying for to make sure you're using the same language and highlighting specific skills that match the description. List your client-facing skills in your Skills section and describe how you used those skills in your job duties. For example, you could list one of your duties as, "Reduced repeat customer complaints by 12% by following up with customers," which shows dedication.

Related: 10 Best Skills to Include on a CV

Highlighting client-facing skills during an 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 active listening and clear communication skills, just as you would with a client, so your manager can get an idea of how you work with customers. Some ways you might highlight your client-facing skills in an interview include:

  • describing a situation in which you've resolved a problem for a customer

  • mentioning the steps you take to nurture relationships with clients

  • listing the platforms you've used to communicate effectively with customers and clients

Highlighting client-facing skills on your cover letter

Your cover letter is the place where you can 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.

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