What it takes to succeed as a customer service representative


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Bar scene, MontmartreThe best customer service representatives focus on people. They are good listeners, good communicators, and convey to us a positive and patient demeanor. These amazingly reliable people provide business owners with the competitive advantage over their competition, and it doesn’t matter if the economy is dragging – successful organizations continue to recognize the importance of their employees.

For anyone considering a career in customer service, one must initially be able to handle stress, handle pressure, maintain friendly interactions with customers, and follow through on tasks. It’s not always easy to maintain one’s focus on serving people, so an employer needs to identify and invest in the right people for the job. Most of us as consumers can probably remember some unfortunate experiences we have had with customer service agents who have lacked the ability to deal with stress and were easily excitable. How many of us can summarily figure out those agents who were just there for their pay checks and lacked the sensitivity needed when we needed a patient ear to listen and someone capable of resolving our frustrating company issue?

Organizations can depend upon recommendations from other employees, online research, or evaluations which may involve personality assessments to evaluate basic employability, honesty, reliability, and competency when the search is on for the best agents. The American Psychological Assessment has been recognized as an ethical and statistical guideline, however there are a variety of other acceptable evaluation techniques used by employers and their respective evaluators.

No matter what criteria an employer uses to choose the best candidates however, the most successful customer service representatives always seem to display the following traits:

  • The best customer service representatives I have ever met live to serve and can spend time with others on the phone or in person as interesting and knowledgeable individuals.
  • The best customer service representatives I have ever met are versatile and can read others while adapting to their style and personality so as to find a common ground.
  • The best customer service representatives I have ever met are interested in learning about their product, service, or sales and are always interested in improving their abilities.
  • The best customer service representatives have set standards and are consistent.
  • The best customer service representatives make the most of their time and are willing to help out in other areas if the demand is there.
  • The best customer service representatives are team players.
  • The best customer service representatives have personal accountability and stellar interpersonal skills.

The best customer service representatives don’t just happen; employers are responsible for providing the best training, career development, and recognition for a job well done.

photo credit: La Citta Vita

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Cheryl Hanna
Service Untitled
Cheryl Hanna is a successful real estate sales person in Florida and has used her customer service knowledge and experience to set her apart and gain a competitive edge in a very difficult market. Cheryl has been writing professionally since 1999 and writes for several blogs and online publications


  1. Hi Cheryl,
    I am a Customer Service Trainer and I agree with all that you have said in your aritcle. I would add one thing to your list and that is this: When a Customer Service Representative stops asking questions of their customers it means that have stopped caring! At that point they become someone just going through the motions.


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