How To Transfer Customer Service Skills To Personal Shopping Roles

Woman using a cellphone to personal shop

Personal shopping isn’t only for high fashion or luxury goods anymore.

Modern personal shoppers function as a mobile blend of concierge-style customer service and order fulfillment activity. Demand is high, especially for personal shoppers that select groceries and home goods.

Due to the nature of the job, these types of personal shoppers need to be able to take initiative and solve problems on the move. Hiring managers with personal grocery shopping services are looking for anybody with customer service experience.

If you’ve got customer service experience and you’re interested in exploring a new role, personal grocery or home goods shopping might be a great fit for your next move.

Here’s how to manage the transition:

Emphasize your existing soft skills

When seeking a personal shopping job, you’ll want to highlight any positive aspect of your prior customer service experience.

“Soft” customer service skills such as problem-solving, patience, attention to detail and initiative are as important to personal shopping hiring managers as software knowledge or years of experience. Highlight these skills in your application materials to put yourself in a more favorable light.

As you go back over your resume, make sure to explain how you handled situations such as an item being out of stock, a difficult customer interaction, or any time you had to stay calm under pressure.

Showcase your less obvious hard skills 

Since emerging roles in personal shopping are new, hiring managers won’t always expect candidates to have direct experience with every aspect of the job. But it won’t hurt to show off any tasks you’ve handled in previous positions that will apply.

For example, mention if you had retail experience earlier in your customer service career. Anything you’ve done that involves stocking, checking an invoice against an order or inventory processing will come in handy. Customer service metrics such as speed of resolution, customer satisfaction scoring, or software proficiency will also make a positive impression.

Some other hard skills involved in personal shopping are fairly cut and dry. There may be a physical ability requirement for lifting 40 pounds, for example, or a need for a driver’s license, professional delivery experience, and/or a car. Even something as simple as owning a smartphone can make a difference.

If you can clear the thresholds for as many “nice to have” qualifications as possible, it’ll help your case as a personal shopper candidate.

Be clear on your needs too

You can fit a personal shopping position into most lifestyles and schedules. There’s flexibility between full-time or part-time, and in some opportunities offer role flexibility for those comfortable with only order fulfillment or delivery. Some employers essentially let you be your own boss.

While all that flexibility is attractive, it’s best to be clear upfront about your schedule requirements and preferences. It will be easier to find the right role for your needs when you’ve set expectations ahead of time than it will be to adjust later. And if you’re anticipating any upcoming change, let potential employers know about it as soon as you can.

Also share any key skills you’re keen to develop such as gaining experience with direct customer relations.

If personal shopping sounds like an interesting direction to take your career in, you may already have everything you need. Demand is high, barriers to entry are low, and hiring managers are interested in candidates with customer service skills.

You don’t have to make the change on your own. You can partner with a recruiter to learn about local employers, look into health benefit availability and find out how to earn wages as a regular employee rather than as an independent contractor.

For more information about personal shopper jobs in your area, check out the Aerotek job board.