The Role of HR in Customer Service


HR is at the heart of every organization, positioned to make customer service an integral part of your organization’s culture. The department is often tasked with hiring, training, and dealing with employees on a regular basis. This gives HR tremendous power when it comes to shaping new employees and training them on customer service techniques.

Choosing the Right People

Since HR is the gatekeeper when it comes to hiring, the department must look for candidates who show promise as customer service representatives. Below are some key traits to look for:


To be a good customer service representative, you must have empathy. A significant hurdle in many interactions with customers is not fully understanding or empathizing with their emotions. This can make customers feel like they are not being heard. A tactful employee knows how to validate a customer’s emotions while still working toward a resolution.


While the mantra “the customer is always right” is good to internalize metaphorically, it doesn’t hold up to a literal test. Customers might now know what exactly is wrong when they ask for help, or they may identify a symptom of an issue instead of its root cause. In either case, a customer service representative should be able to assess the situation and ask probing questions to help the customer full articulate the issue at hand.


Communication is the backbone for a successful customer service representative. Being able to explain complex topics clearly to customers is crucial. Oftentimes, customers just want the important facts and don’t need the minute details. The happiness of the customer is most important, not their technical understanding of the issue. To that end, providing timely updates to issues and offering well-written resolution details are critical for customers.


Customer service representatives should be able to listen to an issue and think of the next steps for achieving a resolutions. They must repeat processes and determine root causes with limited information. A customer may come to your organization with an incorrect description of their issue, and the customer service representative must sift through the details until they understand how to proceed.