The 12 Different Types of Customer Service Representative

What will you find in this article:

The Purpose of the Role
Types of CSR
Important qualities of CSR
What Makes a Good Customer Service Representative?
Ways to become a good CSR
Why is the CSR important for the success of your business?
How much does a Customer Service Rep Make?

What is a Customer Service Representative (CSR)?

The Customer Service Representative is assigned to listen to the customers’ concerns, find solutions, and help them with their issues. They represent the company, yet their work consists of looking out for the customers’ interests and satisfaction. 

What is the Job Role of a Customer Service Rep?

The customer service representative’s function is to be there for the customers and listen to their issues. They should take the customers’ reported issues to a full diagnosis and guide them to the most effective resolution, which is, in most cases, a new approach to the issue or a different product/service that better suits the customer’s needs.

Beyond problem resolution, they also perform interactions (with the customers) on behalf of the brand/company, such as providing information, attending to orders and requests, and giving returns when necessary. 

TIP #1: set a goal for the number of effective communications your CS Reps must have daily to help them have a regular and steady workflow.

The 12 different Types of Customer Service Reps

Overall, we can say that there are two main types of customer service reps: those who can help you bust your business, and therefore you should have in your team, or those who can affect it negatively and who you should beware of. 

types of customer service representative

Qualities of Good Customer Service Reps 

The Knowledgeable 

This is the type of Customer Service Representative who knows the brand, product, and job well. Their knowledge makes the customer feel secure, and it’s also valuable for the team as a whole, as they can easily guide other teammates, especially those who are new to the team. 

The Controller

Although this term seems to have a negative connotation, the controller type of CSR largely boosts a company’s CS because of how productive they are. 

They tend to take matters into their own hands and dominate the customer interaction by showing off their knowledge and pacing the exchange in a way that quickly takes them to solutions, ultimately causing customer satisfaction.   

The Unfazed 

This type of CSR remains optimistic even when faced with challenging customers. They don’t take anything that’s said in the heat of the moment personally, which allows them to keep their composure and look objectively into the situation to find solutions. 

The Conscientious 

According to the Big Five Personality Theory, a conscientious person always strives to do their work thoroughly and exceptionally. This type of CSR is valuable to your team as they will do everything in their power to give your customers the kind of service that will build up your company’s reputation. 

The Empathic

This is the type of CSR that can easily empathize with your customers. He makes them feel seen and heard, and his approach to the customers’ issues always translates a customer-centric mindset and a genuine desire to seek what’s best for the customer in the first place. 

The Creative 

Creative CSR’s are always thinking about new approaches to CS and new ways to interact with the customers. Of all the CSR types, they are more likely to bring something new and unique to your service, something that will differentiate your services while guiding your customers to solutions. 

The Competitor

Customer Service Representatives that enjoy competition (in a healthy dose) will bring that energy to work in a way that motivates their teammates to give their best in each interaction. 

Their competitive approach can bring much fun to the team, as healthy competitions and games can be pretty enjoyable.  

Qualities of Bad Customer Service Reps 

The Impatient 

This type of CSR quickly runs out of patience. That is risky for a customer service line where customers burdened by their problems can sometimes be rude and equally impatient. An impatient CSR will only worsen things and escalate the situation. 

Impatient CSR’s may also be hard to train because their impatience may stand in the way of them following the steps necessary to do their job well. 

The Know-it-all 

A failed copy of “The Knowledgeable.” They tire the customer with too much information that’s usually irrelevant for the issue at hand in an attempt to showcase their knowledge. 

From another perspective, just like the impatient type, they are hard to train yet, in their case, because they go into training believing that they already know everything that there is to know. 

They are usually people who have worked in customer service before or for years. Still, their experience backfires when they aren’t open to growing further because they genuinely believe they have mastered it. 

The Slow Ones

There’s absolutely no space for slowness in Customer Service. 12% of Americans pointed to “lack of speed” as their number one frustration in customer service. 

Customers don’t like waiting, especially when they are already upset over an inconvenience with your product. Therefore, a CSR that takes too long to respond to customers or is too slow to come up with solutions doesn’t stand a chance in customer service. 

Bad Communicators

Customer Service relies heavily on communication. A CS rep who doesn’t know how to communicate with customers in different scenarios and circumstances will mostly fail to drive them to solutions since his message will most likely get lost in translation. 

Besides causing a lot of confusion with the customers, they can also cause a lot of chaos within the team, as their lack of good communication skills can turn the team’s work apart. 

If you believe in the importance of effective customer service, you should keep bad communicators away from your customers. Customers will probably thank you, especially considering that 27% of Americans see “lack of effectiveness” as their number one frustration in CS

The One Who Hasn’t Learned Your Product 

If someone hasn’t learned your product and your brand’s vision and values, even after training, your best option is to let them go, as they are obviously unqualified to help your customers.  

Important Aspects of a Customer Service Representative

The most important aspect of being a CSR is attending to their responsibilities, which are:

  • Taking ownership of customer issues. 
  •  Answering questions or redirecting the customers to answers to the most commonly asked questions.
  • Guiding the customers through problem resolution, either by assisting them in real-time or by giving them the steps to solve their problem, or by redirecting them, either to other CSR’s who can help or to forums where they can find the solution.
  • Monitoring the resolution of the issues, even after a while has passed. Either by calling them to check up on them and to find out how they have been since their last contact.
  • Managing important data. That should give insight into the customers’ satisfaction with your service, the problem resolution rate, and other information that may boost your business. 

What Makes a Good CSR?

A good CSR can comprehend and understand the customer in-depth and with empathy. He should be able to catch all details in the conversation and, guided by his technical knowledge, suggest the best possible approach to the matter at hand.

A good CSR should exude confidence and be accountable, possessing the ability to honor your company’s policies and goals, as well as the ability to keep their compromise by the customer, of helping them within the agreed deadline. 

Overall, they should be skilled communicators and technicians and proactive supporters, the type that genuinely cares to help and, later, checks in with the customers to see how their help impacts them. 

Good communication skills Technical knowledge 
Empathy Confidence 
Ability to honor deadlines
Attention to details

Ways to Become a Good Customer Service Rep. 

The first step to becoming a good CSR is to start by understanding the impact that a CSR can have on a customer and (therefore) on a company. 

According to statistics, in 2021, 68% of customers admitted that they believe that the key to enjoyable customer service is polite customer service reps. Looking at these numbers, there’s no way to take the task of attending to customers and guiding them lightly. 

Once the impact is acknowledged, the next step is to examine oneself compared to the skills necessary to be considered a good CSR. To the skills you recognize are missing or need further development, you should work on them.   

The best option for working on CSR skills is to undergo training, whether that’s self-training, training based on an online course, or training through a company, under their policy, based on their values and expectations. 

Why are CSRs Important for The Success of Your Business?

As mentioned before, customer service is directly linked to the CSR. Customer service can only be possible if customer service reps do their job thoroughly. The role of the customer service rep is therefore crucial for the customers’ satisfaction with a company.

The customer interprets anything done by a customer service representative as representing the brand and its ideals, keeping in mind that the company is responsible for choosing and training them. 

From another perspective, a brand needs someone who specializes in its brand, products, and customers. Each person must have a specific role in a company for things to run smoothly, and the same is true for the position of the link between the company and the customers. 

How much does a Customer Service Representative Make?

Customer Service reps across the globe earn an average annual income between $18k and $45k, depending on the level of experience, business complexity, and country. It can be a lucrative and emotionally intense role.

Further Readings 

The Most Difficult Thing About Customer Service – Grooming Thought Leaders

Emidio Amadebai

For the past 2 years, I have been working as the head of Customer Experience, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Finance at an international pay as you go solar home system company working in rural areas in Africa. After my previous 7 years working in B2B, IT&Telecoms industry, as a Service Delivery and Project Manager, having worked with Vodacom, Huawei, and other multinational companies. My job is to make sure we improve the lives of thousands of families, with access to electricity, utilities (radio, TV, lights), doing our very best so that they get the best-in-class customer experience, and succeed in acquiring the products for themselves.

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