The Qualities of a Good Customer Service Representative

Most companies realize the benefits of good customer service. Yet, they often seem ignorant of the qualities a good customer service representative needs. Here are three of the most valuable qualities a great customer service representative should have:
    1. Patience
    A good customer service representative is able to remain patient. Often, customers will not have all the needed information to help address their problem, the problem may be a common one (when there is a manufacturing, or other service defect), or the problem may even be the result of a customer's own mistakes. In all of these cases, a little patience is an enormous help to those who have to deal with customer complaints, problems, or other challenges.
    2, Empathy
    Empathy is another extremely useful personality quality to have when dealing with customers. While it is not always possible to know exactly how a customer feels, it is important to be able to put yourself in a customer's shoes, so you can appreciate their difficulties. Customers often have to wait to speak to someone in order to receive customer service, and this generally does not help improve their mood, especially if they have spent the time being forced to listen to someone else's musical selections (followed by the occasional inane comments about how "Your call is important to us-- please continue to hold..."). We have all had this happen to us at least once. Empathy allows a good customer service representative to connect, human-to-human, so that a problem can be resolved.
    3. Competence
    The ability to get the issue resolved is also highly critical. Customers are further annoyed when they finally speak to someone, only to realize that the representative has no idea how to fix the problem (or authority to do so). Transfers to other people who can solve the problem, while appreciated, are not ideal, since the customer may get lost in the transfer. Not surprisingly, this leads to the customer having to call back, or return another time, subjecting them to an additional waiting period, and more banal Muzak. Do not let this be your company. Provide your customers with competent, talented customer service employees who have the skills and authority to get the problem fixed right, the first time.
In short, when you hire customer service employees who are patient, empathetic, and able to get the job done, you are more likely to have pleased customers, who will be less likely to defect to a competitor.

Copyright 2012, by Marc Mays

Marc Mays is the creator of, which helps first-time small business owners obtain the critical skills needed for their small business success.

Published At: The Qualities of a Good Customer Service Representative