5 Core Strengths of a Customer Service Representative

The top 5 personal and professional core strengths of a CSR.

CSR SkillsHow does a customer service professional summon genuine, confident and consistent delivery of excellent customer service time after time, call after call, email after email?

Our experience in the field with very different types of companies and organizations leads us to believe that consistent customer service excellence grows out of a personal and professional core from which each individual service provider operates. What shapes that core? Five key things, all of which are attitudinal or mental habits:

Self Talk. What a professional service provider says to him- or herself over and over is “self talk.” The ability to identify negative self talk and replace it with positive alternatives is foundational for all else. Some studies suggest we say 20,000 to 24,000 words to ourselves every day. And 90% of those words are the same we said yesterday–and the day before, and the day before. Such are the ruts we can get ourselves into. We have learned it is possible to take control!

Mindset. A person’s mindset under boring or adverse conditions as well as amidst normal interactions drives on-the-spot behavior. Mindset becomes a reflex. A positive, “can do” mindset makes all the difference.

Empathy. Does a professional know how to demonstrate genuine concern behaviorally on the phone, in person or in written media? It is no mystery how to “sincerely care.” There are specific behavioral habits, which demonstrate to others that a person sincerely cares.

Balance. Readiness to stay balanced when he or she is the target of an irate or out-of-control customer. How a person behaves in stressful circumstances is a window into the core of their professional disposition.

Self Image. The picture he or she holds of him- or herself as a person and professional; as well as the pictures they have of their customers and their organization itself. I’ve always remembered what my eighth grade biology teacher said: “To belittle is to be little.”

There is no way to fake genuine, balanced professionalism time after time, call after call, email after email at each customer “perception point.” Such consistency requires a solid core. In some cases this can be learned — most cases; not all.

Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey or John Stewart must have “off days.” But have you ever seen evidence of those “off days” in their professional performance?

Time after time their consistency has made them hallmarks in their professions. They have understood how to cultivate and maintain a positive personal and professional core.

Successful customer service begins with important core attitudes, which will be reflected daily in on-the-job behavior.

About the Author

Bob Davis-Mayo is President of Davis-Mayo Associates, a national human and organizational development firm specializing in customer service programs, customer loyalty consulting and management development

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