Artificial Intelligence

5 important customer service skills in an AI contact center

Celia Cerdeira

By Celia Cerdeira

0 min read

Solving Skills Shortage Purpose Driven Agent Experience

AI is transforming customer service. Whether it’s automating processes, managing data, engaging with customers through self-service, and more. Despite these technological advancements, there’s one critical factor that AI can’t replicate: human qualities such as empathy, intuition, and the ability to forge genuine connections.  AI can’t decipher complex emotions and offer reassurance in a way that feels authentic and heartfelt.

The integration of AI’s technological capabilities with the emotional intelligence of human agents results in an unmatched customer service experience that fuses efficiency with empathy, speed with sensitivity, and automation with personalization.

However, to achieve this, human agents must have essential customer service skills to be able to reap all the benefits that an AI contact center platform has to offer.

Key customer service skills for AI contact center agents.

1. The ability to multi-task.

Agents are often required to handle multiple tasks concurrently. They might be speaking with a customer on the phone, looking up information in real time, or managing interactions across multiple channels simultaneously. This makes multi-tasking a critical skill for modern contact center agents.

For example, an agent helping a customer with a technical issue while guiding them through a purchase process on a company’s website must handle both tasks efficiently. They should ensure that neither task is neglected and the customer’s needs are effectively met.

An AI-powered solution can automate routine tasks, like providing product specifications or processing payments to enable agents to focus on more complex customer issues, leading to better customer satisfaction.

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2. Empathy.

Empathy is one of the most important skills in customer service as it allows agents to understand and share customers’ feelings. It helps build a connection with the customer by making them feel heard, understood, and valued.

For example,  a customer reaches out to a business frustrated over a delayed delivery. An empathetic agent acknowledges the customer’s disappointment, conveys genuine regret for the inconvenience, and reassures them that they are actively working on a resolution. While AI can analyze the customer’s tone and language to determine their emotional state, the genuine empathy a human agent can provide is irreplaceable.

3. Great communication.

Effective communication is key to resolving customer queries and concerns efficiently. It involves clear and concise expression, active listening, and appropriate responses.

Consider an agent explaining a complex billing process to a customer. The agent needs to use simple, jargon-free language, break down the process into manageable steps, and check for understanding before proceeding. An AI platform can assist by providing agents with real-time suggestions and pre-drafted responses.

4. Problem-solving skills.

Problem-solving is at the heart of customer service. Agents must react quickly, analyze situations, and devise effective solutions. The agent’s capacity to think critically enables them to quickly identify and solve problems.

An AI agent assistant can build on this agent skill by proactively delivering contextual recommendations, next-best actions, and automated assistance to achieve exceptional customer experience.

5. Resilience.

Customer service can be a high-stress job, with demanding customers and high-pressure situations. Resilience, the ability to maintain composure and stay positive even in challenging circumstances, is a valuable trait for agents.

Agents often have to handle irate customers. Despite the harsh words and heightened emotions from the customer, the agent must stay calm, respond politely, and focus on resolving the issue.

Unveiling crucial customer service skills in the AI era.

While AI has brought about a significant transformation in contact centers, it hasn’t reduced the importance of human skills, quite the opposite, it has emphasized their importance. AI tools can improve these skills, freeing agents from mechanical tasks and providing valuable insights.

It’s essential to find a balance between utilizing AI technology and nurturing human skills when establishing the skills needed in the contact center. Companies that can achieve this balance will be better equipped to meet customers’ growing expectations and offer exceptional service.

The Talkdesk Global State of Customer Experience 2023 report offers detailed information on how brands can thrive in this new age of AI-powered customer service. Download it today to gain valuable insights into how to meet and exceed rising customer expectations, ensuring your business remains customer-centric and competitive.

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How can AI improve customer service skills?

AI can significantly enhance customer service skills with real-time support and insights to agents. AI tools like chatbots can handle routine queries, freeing up agents to focus on complex issues. They can also provide agents with suggested responses or action steps based on the context of the conversation, enhancing their decision-making abilities. AI can also analyze customer interactions to identify patterns and areas for improvement, enabling targeted training and skill development.

Can AI tools help agents stay informed about product changes?

Yes, AI tools can keep agents updated about product changes. They can be programmed to update knowledge bases and FAQs automatically when product changes occur. Agents can access this information in real time during customer interactions, ensuring they always have the most current information. This improves the accuracy of customer information and enhances agent confidence and efficiency.

Can AI-generated summaries improve call handling efficiency?

Absolutely. AI-generated summaries can greatly improve call-handling efficiency. These summaries can automatically summarize the key points from the interaction, making it easier for your agents to review comments from previous interactions and quickly engage with the customer.


Celia Cerdeira

Celia Cerdeira

Célia Cerdeira has more than 20 years experience in the contact center industry. She imagines, designs, and brings to life the right content for awesome customer journeys. When she's not writing, you can find her chilling on the beach enjoying a freshly squeezed juice and reading a novel by some of her favorite authors.