No business owner or employer has to be told how important the efforts of their customer service department is to their business. Additionally, there are a number of skills each customer service employee must master to deal with the problems and concerns raised by customers. The three characteristics below are absolutely necessary to become a great customer service employee.


Customers most often seek the support of customer service personnel when they are feeling confused or frustrated. It helps when the person they are reaching out to in their time of distress is an individual who is capable of empathizing with their feelings.

Many people believe the tendency to understand and possess compassion for the thoughts and feelings of others to be more of a character trait than a skill. However, the ability to empathize can be developed and improved with practice.

It is important for empathetic customer service employees to understand they will not always be able to say and do everything the customer desires. But this does not mean the care and understanding they display will not be appreciated. The ability of a customer service rep to deliver a positive message to customers while crafting the best solution possible is a highly desired skill. Call Centre Helper explains, “your message is incredibly important. Make sure the language your customer service representatives use is empathetic language. For example, the statement, ‘this will be resolved by our team’ feels a bit cold and distanced. But the phrase, ‘I will ask our team to resolve this’ explains the same information, but feels more personal.”

Critical Thinker

A good customer service employee is a professional problem solver. This is because customers reach out to customer service with a wide range of problems on a daily basis. The problem can be dissatisfaction with a product or service, a problem with billing, or complaints about delivery. To solve these problems, the customer service employee will need a considerable amount of critical thinking skills.

Critical thinkers are able to make logical connections between a set of facts. The Hire Talent explains, “employees with critical thinking skills have an easier time solving challenges and meeting complex situations with creativity and the ability to think outside the box.”


Customers today are more demanding than they have ever been. Because of this, customer service agents must be flexible enough to handle the many unexpected challenges they will experience from day to day. AQ explains, “customers want to be understood, and one of the best things workers can do is try to help the customer feel understood. Even if it may take some extra time or effort, making sure every customer feel valued and understood should be a top priority.” Customer service employees will have to play it by the ear to find solutions for customers while not allowing themselves to become overwhelmed.

Customer service employees that are both flexible and adaptable will be able to:

  • Multitask effectively.
  • Begin new tasks promptly without a problem.
  • Learn new systems and methods of operations without complaints.
  • Be able to perform work duties on erratic or inconsistent work schedules.

A good effort from customer service employees is vital to the success of any business. There are a number of skills and traits helpful to the customer service rep, but a handful of these characteristics are a necessity. You, as the business leader, can demonstrate some of these skills and motivate your employees by your example. The three traits above are absolutely necessary for any employee to excel at customer service.

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