Keys to Being a Successful Customer Service Representative

Apr 7, 2023

Jerad Kildoo is a vice president of on-site outsourcing at InnoSource. He manages 11 teams that are dedicated to handling the many aspects of business-to-business support for their customers. Jerad’s teams are the intermediary between the product supplier and its customers, helping to ensure all customers have a positive and successful experience with the brand. Jerad has worked at InnoSource for nine years and has many more years of experience in the customer service industry. Jerad knows how crucial customer service teams play in the success of any company, and he offers some key attributes of any successful customer service representative.

  1. Communication

The customer service team manages one of the most important customer touchpoints with a brand. In fact, one of these team members might be the only contact a customer has with the organization. As such, the interaction a customer experiences with a representative is a key factor that either brings a customer back or causes them to seek a new product or service provider.

At InnoSource, we believe that a customer service representative’s attitude is of the utmost importance. Having an energetic and positive demeanor not only enhances the customer experience, it can spread to other InnoSource colleagues. The way one chooses to communicate can have a ripple effect that impacts the entire organization. Much of the interaction a customer service representative at InnoSource has with a customer is either through email or phone. Each method of communication is slightly different — telephone, email support, etc. — but a great customer service rep should exude positivity and optimism regardless of channel.

  1. Organized

Many companies are trying to do more with less to keep down costs. Like other roles, customer service representatives might need to handle several tasks. To avoid mistakes and potential confusion, a customer service representative’s organization skills are paramount. Attention to the details of an individual customer’s needs and of the brand’s product or service offering helps make the customer experience seamless.

InnoSource has long worked with its customers to provide value beyond what’s expected. The company trains its customer service representatives to find ways to go above and beyond expectation — because it’s that extra effort that can be the reason a customer comes back or a client never leaves.

  1. Confidence

Any customer wants to feel certain that what they need is being taken care of. The language a customer service representative uses, and their demeanor, plays a critical role in how a customer feels about the interaction. Customer service representatives should use definitive language as often as possible. Avoiding words like “maybe,” “possibly,” “probably” and “I think so” are key to helping the customer feel confident that their needs are met. When situations of uncertainty do arise, the customer service representative should use problem solving skills to find a solution whenever possible for the customer.

  1. Attention to Detail

There are times that communication can be unclear, despite the best of intentions otherwise. That’s just a part of human-to-human interactions. In the case where there is uncertainty, it’s important for the customer service representative to find clarity. A customer service representative should feel empowered to ask extra questions to ensure accuracy. Great customer service representatives are genuinely curious about a customer’s problems, needs or desired outcomes. Issues might be simple to solve, or conversely, they can be complex. A strong customer service representative must be keen to the details, and have critical thinking skills. Both are necessary in helping the customer have the best experience possible.

  1. Self-starter

It’s not a secret — more and more jobs are being completed in remote environments. Gone are the days where customer service representatives are in large offices with each other. This fact makes it that much more important for a customer service representative to be self-motivated to get the job done. While remote workers are often connected with colleagues through digital communication platforms, a customer service representative working in a remote environment must also be able to think on their feet independently in real time.

Avoiding distractions is also a must, which can be a challenge brought about by working in a remote environment. One of the keys to staying productive while working from home is designating a specific workspace that is separate from other living spaces. Additionally, there’s a lot at home that can pull at the attention of an individual. Scheduling breaks can be one effective way to avoid constant mental interruptions.