A CSR is short for either a Call Centre Representative or Customer Service Representative – a person employed to handle inbound or outbound contact with a customer via phone, live chat, email or letter.

It can also mean Corporate Social Responsibility.

CSR Skills and Qualities

The modern CSR requires an increasingly diverse skillset to be successful.

With the increase in automation and challenges for call centres to attract and retain good talent, we take a look at the top skills that

1. Empathy

Technology might be getting smarter but at this point in time its the one attribute we’ve got in spades over our robot friends.

Being able to express to customers (genuinely) that you understand their frustrations can go a long way to diffusing a situation and build lasting relationships with customers who know you are invested in looking after them.

2. Active Listening

Active Listening involves fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker.

A CSR who provides a positive customer experience needs to demonstrate to the customer that they are listening, which is even more of a challenge over the phone with no visual cues.

3. Adapatibility

Working in a call centre, you’ll experience regular changes to products and services, technology, processes, KPIs and more.

You’ll also be surrounded by different personalities in your co-workers, and of course, customers with very different temperaments.

This means your ability to adapt is constantly being tested and employees with an ability to adapt to changing situations is a core skill that you need.

4. Confidence

Customers are more likely to trust CSR’s who show confidence in themselves and in what they are selling or supporting.

If a CSR can quickly and accurately answer questions and give information without putting the customer on hold and/or transferring them to someone else, it’s more efficient and provides a much better experience for the customer.

5. Resilience

It’s been a core skill since I can remember and it’s not about to change any time soon.

Handling call after call, or chat after chat, moving from a frustrating call and resetting quickly to the next caller is not easy.

Like any job, there are days that are tougher than others.

But unlike other jobs, there is no room to hide in a call centre.

Your calls are recorded, stats are measured, customers are rating your every performance.

Being able to soldier on, even on an off day, requires the very best of resilience skills.

Next steps

There is no doubt that the CSR job can be tough, but done correctly with the right management and tools it can be an incredibly rewarding job that can set you up for, or be, an amazing career.

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