10 Core Principles of Customer Service: Explained

Customer service representatives should always strive to uphold the top principles of their trade and provide the best quality of service every time. From speed to accuracy, here’s the 10 core precepts of customer service and how to apply them.

Every customer service representative follows a certain set of principles that direct them through their daily interactions. Not only do these guidelines outline what customer service means to your business, but they also ensure every agent understands how to adapt their behaviours to suit the business and the customers.

In this guide, we’ll be outlining the ten core values of customer service and how to put these into action to boost your level of customer care.

Principles of Customer Service

There are ten core precepts that every customer service representative should be aware of and follow in their day-to-day duties, to ensure their roles are being fulfilled to the maximum. Find out more about each one below.


There are a few customer service metrics you can measure to find out how well your team performs in delivering customer service with speed. These include average handling time (AHT), first response time (FRT) and resolution time (RT). From finding out how long customers are typically waiting for a response, to the amount of time your customers spend in contact with your team, these can provide a good indication of where your team might need to speed up.


Accurate customer service is crucial because it builds trust and ensures your customers are always receiving the right information during interactions. The best way to ensure your accuracy remains high is to provide regular training for all agents and representatives. This can include things like weekly quizzes to ensure your team are up to speed, as well as more formal training such as 1:1 training in problem areas that may keep cropping up. You may also find it helpful to re-brief key processes on a monthly rotation, so your team are able to keep the most important information at the forefront of their minds.

By offering accurate service to your customers, you’re eliminating the need for multiple interactions and instead, ensure that they’re given everything they need to fix a situation or address a concern straight away.


Taking accountability in customer service is important, regardless of whether you’re directly involved in customer interactions or not. In a customer-centric organisation, every action should be carried out with the customer in mind. Therefore, it’s the responsibility of everybody in the business from top to bottom to keep customers informed and be fully accountable for their role in the customer journey.

Effective collaboration towards shared goals across the business will help your teams uphold this principle, since it allows for regular check-ins. It also means that targets will be more realistic because everyone can gain a better understanding of other areas of the business.


Empathy in customer service is a key skill to learn, since this is where you’ll typically gain loyalty and retention from your customers. While some support tasks can be tricky to handle, customers will always appreciate an empathetic response. Taking the time to understand how individuals are feeling, connecting with those emotions and providing a compassionate response is the cornerstone of providing excellent customer service.


The quality of your customer service should remain consistently high. While going above and beyond for every customer might not always be possible, it should always be something you strive towards. Customers often remember when they’ve received great quality customer service, and being memorable for this reason is always a good thing.


Ease of accessibility can also play a huge factor in whether your customer service is good or not. Customers should be able to find the information they need quickly and easily without searching for hours on end or getting stuck in an endless loop on your website. Resources should be readily available and easy to locate, while your contact information should also be clear and accessible to all.

accessibility is crucial to the success of your customer service


Businesses must communicate openly and honestly with customers. Whether the communications are good or bad, honesty is valued highly among many customers. Therefore, transparency is a key principle of customer service because customers are more likely to trust your brand if you can own up to mistakes and keep customers in the loop.


If customers can’t understand what’s being communicated to them, then they’re likely to become frustrated and could be turned off from your business. Improving clarity and conciseness while still adding personal touches can be a tricky balance to create, but it’s key to try and reach equal measures.


Being empowered to help customers is something that comes with experience and training. But it can also mean being empowered to help your customers serve themselves. If the information they need is readily available to them, you can point them in the direction of the relevant resources. Therefore, they receive a quick and easy solution that’s efficient for both the representative and the customer.


Providing a different level of customer service in each interaction can be confusing, not to mention being unfair on the customers than receive less-than-stellar care. All customers should receive the same standard of support and service, regardless of whether they’re new or existing.

What is Good Customer Service?

Generally, good customer service is often a combination of the core principles, alongside taking a customer-centric approach business-wide. Keeping the customer at the centre of the service ensures they feel listened to, understood and – most importantly – they should have their issue resolved.

It can be helpful to understand what bad customer service looks like since your representatives should be doing the opposite. For example, bad customer service might involve general, non-personalised responses to complaints, long waiting times on responses, a lack of contact information and poorly trained representatives that aren’t certain about services or products. By avoiding these pitfalls, you can work towards offering good customer service for all your customers.

Putting Customer Service Principles into Action

One of the easiest ways to adopt these principles into your workplace culture is to include them in your values. Integrating these precepts into workplace values shows that your business is dedicated to investing in the customer service team and understanding what it means to deliver good service.

So, what does this look like in practice? Below you can see a few examples of how these principles match up to the actions that should be taken to include them in your customer service strategy.

  • Speed: If customers typically have complaints about the speed of service or you don’t feel like your contact centre is quick enough with response times, automated routing can be implemented to help. Automated routing can easily direct the customer to the next available agent able to help resolve the issue at hand.
  • Accuracy: Businesses that provide regular training to ensure all employees are up to date on the latest processes, products and services are more likely to offer accurate customer service. Create training programs and resources tailored to different teams in the business so that they’re all prepared to provide the most accurate information.
  • Accessibility: Keeping FAQs and knowledge bases in easy-to-find locations like the homepage is an example of customer service teams collaborating to think of the best way to present this information.
  • Transparency: Keeping your customers in the loop when you’re experiencing large volumes of customer calls can improve transparency. In turn, your customers will understand why wait times might be longer than usual.

When it comes to the guiding principles, understanding and applying these to a customer service role is vital for providing successful support. We hope this guide helps you understand the core values and how to action these effectively.

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