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What Do You Want From Your Customer Service Agent

Get What You Want From Your Customer Service Representative

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

Executive Vice President

I read an article titled “Getting what you want from your customer service representative largely depends on you.”

After reading this, I was reminded of the subway experience.

When you walk into a subway, you must make many decisions to have your sandwich.

The type of bread – Italian, White, Wheat, Honey Oat, and Hearty Italian

Size of bread – 6 inch or a footlong bread

Vegetables – you have to be very specific, like “light lettuce,” because telling the worker that you want pepper doesn’t help because they carry green, mild, and jalapeno peppers.

Meat and cheese – they add to the cost.

Warming – would you like your sandwich placed in the oven and toasted or microwaved?

Order condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, and sweet onion sauce, as nothing is put on automatically.

Ask for water, and you will get a free cup.

Here is the icing on the cake – it is your responsibility to be very polite and keep the subway employee happy, as a happy employee is expected to craft a better sub sandwich for you.

I had a similar feeling when I read this article stating that getting what you want from your customer service representative largely depends on you.

How Do You Get What You Want From Your Customer Service Representative?

You don’t have to. Period.

The onus is on the organization to ensure and empower customer service representatives to provide what you need.

How Do You Go About Providing What Your Customers Want?


Most customers don’t want to talk to a customer service representative if they can sort out their issues and challenges themselves.

Besides, most queries are commonplace, which probably occurred to your other customers, and you helped them sort them out.

Put all these common queries and resolutions in your knowledge base and make them accessible to your customers on the self-service platform. Alternatively, have your chatbots access them and provide the solution conversationally.

Self-service platforms easily reduce 30 to 50% of phone calls, freeing your human agents to handle complex queries.


Understand the channels of choice for your customers. If they are comfortable on social media, ensure that you are present on social media. If they are comfortable talking to you on the phone, focus on that.

Ensure you are present in all the channels where your customers feel comfortable talking to you: more conversations lead to better relationships and better business.


Now that you have multiple channels for customer communication. Do they exist in silos, or are they integrated?

Ensure they are integrated and you can offer omnichannel communication.

You can start interacting with your customers on a chat application or messaging app and continue the conversation on the phone without your customers having to repeat themselves with omnichannel infrastructure.

Omnichannel allows you to integrate channels and customer interaction applications like CRM, helpdesk software, ticketing apps, and other best-of-breed applications.

This allows your customer service representatives to have a single view of your customers across all channels and interfaces, which allows them to provide speedy resolutions.

Service Level Agreements

What are your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with your customers?

  • Do you pick up all phone calls within the first three rings?
  • Do you staff all of your channels to handle customer queries within the first three to five seconds?
  • Do you provide a response to their questions and possible resolution times within 15 minutes of your customers registering a request?
  • Do you provide a time stipulation for different queries and stick to them?
  • What takes priority in your metrics – resolution or handling times?
  • Do you give the option for your customers to pick and choose the channel of their choice and switch between channels at any time during their interaction?

It doesn’t matter how many channels you offer; you should be able to provide the best possible experiences for your customers in those channels where you are present.

You must have heard of famous brands like CDBaby and Zappos offering voice as their primary channels, and customers are happy with their experiences because CX is at the core of everything they do.


I did a random Google search on ‘Get what you want from your customer service representative.’

This is what it threw up.

  1. Be polite and respectful.
  2. Be clear and concise.
  3. Provide relevant information that would help the representative.
  4. Stay calm and patient.
  5. Ask questions when you don’t understand something.
  6. Request a supervisor, if necessary.
  7. Use the escalation option.
  8. Document the conversation.
  9. Be persistent but not pushy.
  10. Know your rights.

While all of these are virtues, is the science wrong here? I don’t seem to get the train of thought here.

Isn’t it the responsibility of the brand to make its customers happy and successful in adopting their products or services?

The onus should entirely lie on the organizations to enable and empower their agents to provide what the customer wants.

Let me know what you think.

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