Do Customer Service Agents Need Specific Personality Traits?

Offering the best customer service usually begins with finding and recruiting the most qualified employees. Although this is an imperfect process, some possess unique qualities that make them best suited for the job. While some are natural or in-built traits, some are nurtured over time through mentorship and training.

Before we get to discussing them, if you want a job in customer service, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Can I get along with other members?
  • Am I willing to help others?
  • Do I have good judgment and control over my emotions?

That said, remember it’s not easy to change someone’s natural behavior. That’s why recruiters need to look for these few basic qualities before making any hire.

A High Degree of Emotional Intelligence

This is simply the ability to manage, understand and recognize your emotions and those of others. According to author Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence or (EQ) is made of 5 crucial components. They include:

  • Self-regulation – Controlling your disruptive or arrogant impulses.
  • Self-awareness – Recognizing that your moods, feelings, or motivations affect others.
  • Inner motivation – A self-drive that motivates you to work. It’s a deep feeling which goes beyond status or money.
  • Social skills – These include things such as managing relationships, finding ways of arriving at a common idea, and building networks.
  • Being empathetic – Lastly, understanding someone’s emotional reaction is something that every customer service officer should have!

A Positive Attitude Amidst Complaints

Normally, people who look at the brighter side of things end up providing the best customer service. They are more engaged and friendly to clients and also get along well with their fellow employees. Besides, having a positive attitude keeps you relaxed and free from job-related emotional stress.

Now, with the growth of the internet, people are no longer willing to call customer support for inquiries when they can get information in only a few clicks. However, when these information are not readily available, support officers often have to listen to complaints from angry and frustrated customers who’ve probably exhausted all other avenues before calling. Customer service reps who have a naturally positive attitude remain calm, effective, and professional amidst the worst situations.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Today’s consumers have become rather demanding meaning that customer service agents need to adapt quickly. This includes learning how to operate multiple gadgets, receive calls, and switch channels, sometimes all at once. Customer service employees who are willing to be flexible possess a few remarkable qualities:

  • They are not afraid to take on new challenges
  • They show a desire to learn new systems and technologies
  • They don’t mind working through long tedious hours.

A Desire to Help Others

This is another important quality needed to provide the best customer service. Ideally, the officer should show a hidden passion and devotion to the job. Similar to the way a vehicle collector has a deep ‘affection’ for cars, a customer service employee should always try to render his or her assistance to customers.

After all, without that desire and passion, it’s simply a wasted emotional experience for the customer as well as the employee. To avoid this, recruiters should avoid hiring people on a temporary capacity and instead get someone who wants to build a successful customer service career.


These customer service character traits are hardly even found on detailed resumes. Company recruiters can only spot them through a one-on-one conversation with the interviewee. Identifying them is more important than looking for a certain type of technical skill.

So, with that in mind, which quality do you feel is the most essential one? Do you also have any you would like to add to the list?

Author Bio

Christine James believes that every customer has a voice. She is the Community Manager at (a customer complaints website) and loves talking to customers on social media about their challenges with Fortune 500 companies. Her work has been published on Huffington Post, Inc., SocialMediaToday, and Thought Catalog. Follow her on Twitter @hissingkittycom.

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