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5 Qualities You Need for Success in Customer Service

Do you have what it takes to deliver a successful customer service experience?

Image of a team of business professionals giving each other high fives thanks to their qualities for delivering successful customer service

Customer service professionals know that each customer and each interaction are different. Some support experiences are straightforward, simple, and perhaps even enjoyable if the customer you are helping is pleasant. However, other times the job can be truly difficult based on tricky circumstances or rude customers.

Throughout my time in customer service, I have found that the most effective  representatives dealing with customer issues have a quiver full of customer resolution skills that are implemented throughout the course of the interaction. Let’s take a look at some of those traits and qualities that the most effective customer service reps possess.

  1. Psychological Maturity  This is the ability to use an appropriate response in any environment and it is usually a learned skill acquired through experience rather than an instinctive trait.  When dealing with people, (especially customers), their problems can be difficult. One must have the maturity to rise above responses that may be generated by a customer’s anger. The most crucial things are keeping your eye on the goal, resolving the issue and ending on a positive, productive note.  It’s much less of a challenge to  deal with someone who is pleasant, but do you have the emotional maturity to weather the storm when the tide turns?
  2. Thick Skinned – When dealing with an angry person, anything could happen and you might hear a lot of things that have the potential to disrupt your professionalism. This is where not taking things personally comes into play. More often than not, the angry person is upset with the circumstances and not you. And unfortunately, you’re the easiest target for them to take their frustrations out on. It’s crucial to keep a cool head and focus on what you can control. Can you remain professional, friendly and courtesy when the issues becomes heated?
  3. Patience – This incredibly valuable trait is developed through trials and tribulations. With enough of it, you can make it through anything. Developed patience will also keep you from lashing out impulsively. Through patience, compassion for others is born.  Do you have patience enough to have an empathetic ear and show sympathy when needed?
  4. Good Listening Skills– If you want to  genuinely help resolve customer problems you’ll need good listening skills.  The fact that we have two ears and one mouth suggest that we should listen twice as much as we speak.  Being a good listener means you are doing just that. Don’t try to push your agenda, but rather give voice to the customer while you allow your ears to do their thing in order to gain insight and seek a resolution for their problem. Can you actively listen and make sure you are truly hearing what the customer has to say?
  5. Genuine Interest in People – If you don’t like dealing with people, then a  job with a high level of involvement with people is probably not for you.  Do you like working with people, regardless of how easy they are to deal with, because you genuinely want to help?

If you have these five great qualities, then you are an ideal candidate for a role in customer service. These are just a few of the traits we look for in our agents and customer service reps to make sure they are a good fit for our team as we strive to deliver the best customer experience for our clients and theirs.

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About Cheryl LaBaw

Cheryl L. LaBaw joined Sound Telecom as Director of Customer Relations in 2012. She is responsible for maintaining a high standard of service quality through ongoing monitoring and coaching of our call center agents. Prior to her arrival at Sound Telecom, Cheryl invested over 31 years in the customer care and service areas with United Airlines. She brings a wealth of knowledge and ideas from her experiences there in addition to working over 13 years in their call center. Cheryl’s skills in conflict resolution and customer satisfaction make her an excellent addition to the management team. As a Flight Attendant and Safety Professional she provided a more personal touch to customer concerns and safety issues. Mrs. LaBaw is passionate about health issues and has served her community by volunteering at Swedish Medical Center for three years in the Community Health Education Department. She also supports various youth organizations and child health and welfare organizations.