good customer service habits

9 Healthy Habits of Customer Service Agents

Customer service is fine to define at a general level as meeting the needs of the customer. But that’s a bit of an abstraction. What does it look like for customer service representatives?

What are the habits of great customer service agents that companies want to cultivate in their representatives? The ones that epitomize a customer service culture.

Well, we set out to find out — to place an X on the map and dig until we unearth the 9 habits that exemplify qualities of good customer service representatives.

1. Empathy

We’ve talked about customer empathy before, but it’s importance as an habitual attitude for customer service agents can’t be stated enough. It remains a key characteristic for how to ensure customer satisfaction.

If you’re confused by the word “empathy,” what it essentially means is seeing through the customer’s eyes. Or, to put it another: walking a mile in the customer’s shoes.

Customers typically turn to customer service agents when they’re facing difficulties that out of their control. Whether it be a store they can’t find, a service that isn’t working as promised, or some general discomfort on the part of the customer.

They can be frustrated. Most of us know the experience.

We’re all human. Recognizing that humanity in customers, empathizing with them, is key to delivering solutions and at the top of the list of important qualities of customer service.

2. Understanding Customers

understanding customers

Why do customers shop at your store? What are they looking for? What do they expect?

These are all questions that good customer service agents ask, and try to answer. Sometimes these answers change as a business evolves and seeks new avenues.

Agents who understand their customers are more likely to provide ready solutions, as well as knowing what the customer is looking for before they even ask a question.

Understanding customers is almost the same as understanding the business: it’s operations in all its various aspects.

3. Listening

This one is almost too obvious to be worth mentioning. But because it’s easy to say but often hard to follow it needs to be said.

Listening is near the top of the list of important qualities of customer service. Customers are vocalizing their concerns and they need to know they’re being heard.

Because when people are heard they feel empowered. They already feel that they’re concerns are justified and they want to know you are hearing them. Acknowledging the customer as a listener shows them that you value them.

Maybe the “customer is always right,” isn’t true, but “the customer should always be listened to most certainly is.”

4. Using the Right Language

positive customer language

The words we use convey not just what we think, but our feelings as well. This is paramount to understand when working with customers as a customer service agent.

Word-choice can make or break an interaction with customers.

Negative words like “shouldn’t,” “no,” and “don’t” can come across as dismissive. And lead customers to feel dissatisfied whether they consciously recognize why or not.

5. Saying “Thank You”

Always thank customers for bringing their concerns forward. It’s such a simple two-syllable phrase with endless power.

Saying “Thank you,” is fundamental to social relationships. It recognize the common humanity in customers, and displays gratitude for their commitment to vocalize their concerns.

It also lays the foundation for future interactions. Customers are more likely to return to personnel who say, “Thank you,” because they feel appreciated for their time. They don’t feel like they’re wasting their time.

6. Adapting to Change

changes to customer service

Customer service is a dynamic field. This is true for any position that works with people. That means all types of personalities will be seeking out agents for help.

What we really mean is… one of the most important qualities of customer service agents is “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

It’s important for customer service agents to not take their day-to-day interactions too seriously.

That doesn’t mean they don’t seriously consider the concerns of customers in the moment, and strive to help them.

7. Removing Obstacles

Customers don’t want to jump from one representative to the next to get the help they need. Who does? Nothing is more annoying than being handed off on a phone call, until you finally get to the person who can actually help you solve your problem.

Re-explaining problems feels like a frustrating waste of time. So, good customer service agents remove these barriers.

They’re tuned in to their business’ network: who does what, and who can best help customers. Queue management systems like Qminder are a great tool for helping to align customers with representatives who can best meet their needs.

8. Being Results-Driven

results-driven customer service

Customer service agents that stand-out are driven by results.

They tackle customer’s problems by looking at them as a problem to solve, one that always has a solution. In that way they’re like mathematics students staring at a formula on paper.

A results-driven attitude helps good customer service agents seek pragmatic answers to customer’s problems. And also instills an optimistic attitude that knows there’s always a solution.

9. Never Stopping Learning

Great customer service agents use each interaction with customers as a learning tool.

Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. But what separates good customer service agents is the willingness to learn and grow from their failings.

A desire to learn may be the most important habit on this list. Because from this one attribute, flow all the rest as a direct consequence.

As Bill Gates once famously said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. After all, learning is growing. And businesses should encourage this attitude of continuous development.

Great habits of customer service agents aren’t set in stone. They have to be consciously practiced. And that’s exactly what great customer service agents do.

Customer service agents can further provide better service by implementing a queue management system, like Qminder. It’s the healthiest way to improve your customer service — and hey, it’s for two weeks, too.

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