How to Build a Successful Customer Service Team: Recruitment, Training & More

Building a successful customer service team takes planning and dedication. From recruiting to training, here’s everything that customer service leaders need to think about.

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Customer support has come a long way from the traditional helpdesks of the past. Not only are customer expectations through the roof but the techniques and tools you can use to meet those expectations are becoming more and more varied.

So, how do you know which decisions will keep customer satisfaction high when you’re trying to build a successful team? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be exploring what makes a good customer service team and leader.

What Makes a Good Customer Service Team?

A truly exceptional customer service team will understand the importance of going above and beyond to meet the needs of their customers. They make it their priority to provide personalised support, offer active listening, and work diligently towards resolving any issues that arise.

In practice, this means that your team must consist of members with a good mix of hard and soft skills aimed towards providing the best support. Communication and listening skills are must-haves for most customer-facing employees, but other skills like good writing ability and point-of-sale or data entry experience can be incredibly valuable.

Why Customer Service Teams are Important

The personalised touch offered by a human can’t be replaced and your customers would be lost without an efficient, productive, and knowledgeable customer service team to help them.

A dedicated team – no matter how small – should be on hand as much as possible to guide customers through purchases, answer queries, solve issues and provide expert knowledge about your products and services. While self-service support services can be useful, these should be supplementary to the work that the team does.

Your team are essentially the face of the brand, and without them, it would be incredibly difficult to portray the business in the most customer-centric way.

How to be a Good Customer Service Team Leader

The building blocks for becoming a good customer service manager are rooted in empathy and responsibility. Your leadership skills can have a huge impact on how well the team operates and how successful it can be.

Whether you’re brushing up on your management skills through training courses or creating clear policies and mission statements for your team to follow, good leaders should always be looking to improve themselves. Not only does this show the team that you’re dedicated to supporting them, but it also sets the standard and helps create clear expectations. One of the most important things for team leaders to do is take responsibility for the entire team – whether you’re celebrating success or looking for ways to develop.

customer service team leader

Building a Customer Service Team

Planning is important when it comes to building your customer service team – here are the main points to consider before you begin.

Define “Excellent Customer Service” for your Company

Before you even think about pulling a team together, it’s important to define what excellent customer service means for your company. Not only will this give you clarity on the standards you’re setting, but it’ll also show your employees how they’re expected to deliver their support.

To help you come up with your own definition, it can be useful to think about the core principles of customer service. Think about who your customers are, the type of service they expect, and how you want your brand to be perceived. For some businesses, this could mean prioritising speed and efficiency, while others might want quality at the top of the radar.

You can formalise your definition of excellent customer service through key metrics like CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) and FCR (First Call Resolution). You can calculate your CSAT score by adding up all of your positive responses, divided by the total responses collected and multiplied by 100. This gives you a percentage of satisfied customers. Similarly, you can work out your FCR rate by adding up all of the cases resolved on first contact, divided by the total cases and multiply by 100.

define what excellent customer service means

Determine the Channels Required

Customer service can be provided via a variety of channels, including email, social media, chatbots and, more traditionally, over the phone. Selecting the right mix of channels that works for the team, the business and your customers is crucial.

Not only do you need to make sure that you have enough trained staff on your team to handle the chosen channels properly, but you’ll also need to determine whether these are the most suitable for your customers. Tailor the channels to the needs of your customers and build a team of experts who are well-versed in operating on your chosen channels.

Recruit the Right People

As we’ve already touched on, recruiting the right people for the job is important. When you’re on the lookout for the best team members, you should be thinking about the customer service roles that need to be filled. In most teams, you’ll need supervisors, call centre agents, customer service representatives and specialists.

When you post the job ads, be sure to include your specific requirements. Any skills, qualifications or experience required should be clearly listed so that there’s no confusion on either side about what you want from your employees.

The structure of your team should also be considered. It’s the responsibility of a leader to determine how many employees are needed at each level of the team, from management down to the agents. You can use average productivity figures for your specific industry to understand this better. For example, a reasonably productive team for retail queries should be able to handle upward of 12 contacts an hour, but it may be less for telephony. Think about the demand you’re projected to face and how many people it would take to handle it when it comes to structuring your team for success.


Not only should you focus on recruitment, but it’s equally as important to retain those employees. High turnover is never a good thing when you’re trying to build an effective and successful team, so don’t forget to turn your attention to retention so that you don’t lose valuable employees. Whether you introduce rewards schemes for high performance or offer regular check-ins to find out how they feel about working for your business, you should be doing as much as possible to boost employee satisfaction. You should also consider monitoring to spot those ready for promotion or an increase in responsibilities.

The longer your employees stay, the better they’ll become and the more knowledgeable they’ll be about your systems, services and products. As a result, your team can continue to grow rather than needing to be built back up every few months. More often than not, the best team leads grow into their roles.

Discuss Company Values

Company values and culture should be properly communicated to your employees during interviews and throughout their onboarding process. Let your new staff get to know the values and where these fit into their roles so that they can see the whole picture before joining the team.

The people you hire should embody the company values, and if they don’t, it can be difficult for them and you to succeed. Whatever your values are, talk about these as much as possible to get a better idea of whether they’ll be a good cultural fit for the team.

Train your Team

Training shouldn’t come to an end once onboarding is complete – continuous training should be offered regularly to allow employees to develop new skills and keep progressing in their careers. This can include things such as monthly quizzes, 1:1 training sessions for areas of concern and QA ratings to help your team get the most out of their role.

Leaders should create training plans to map out their expectations and offer support when needed. This will help your employees feel adequately supported, while also showing your dedication to their progression. Plus, when your team progresses, you can collectively become more successful at delivering excellent customer service so it’s a win-win situation.

Train your team

Invest in the Right Technology & Tools

Although your customer service team is primarily about the employees, it’s also worth investing in the right technology and tools. Things like helpdesk software, live chat, customer feedback survey tools, CRM software and knowledge bases can transform your customer service by offering more self-service options. With the right technology on hand, your team can let go of the reins when it comes to repeat queries and simple tasks, and instead focus on adding value for customers that have bigger problems or questions.

Team Building

Team building activities are perfect for bringing everybody together and discovering how different employees like to work. Group exercises and team building activities can be ineffective if there aren’t clear goals behind why you’re doing them, but when they serve a specific purpose, they can make a huge difference in culture and boost morale. Team building activities can be anything from fun games to practising customer service scenarios, but you should always think about what the team can gain from them before going ahead.

Workforce Management

Effective workforce management in call centres can make a huge difference for your team. Yours should be able to predict workloads, build schedules around demand peaks and help your agents respond to issues in real-time.

With the right WFM software, your team can be more productive and have more time to respond to customers rather than manually deciding which tasks and customers to prioritise.

Gnatta Book a Demo

We hope this insight provides useful guidance for building an efficient customer service team. From recruitment to training, our tips and advice are here to help you create a well-oiled machine that’s ready to face your customers. 

Get in touch to try our free 30-day demo to discover how Gnatta can help your customer service team thrive. 

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