September 16, 2021

How to Be Effective as a CS Agent

Discover effective Customer Service (CS) agent techniques. Master skills for success. Explore more in this blog.

Jon Tucker
CEO HelpFlow
How to Be Effective as a CS Agent

Your customer service (cs) agents have a lot to handle, with tickets constantly coming in and making sure your customers are happy. As a business owner, it's important to make sure your Customer Service Team is working effectively. Particularly as your operation grows beyond just one or two agents, customer service becomes a notable operational cost, underscoring the importance of an effective CS agent.

Think about this--a single agent that works 20% less effective than they could be has a serious cost to your business. Anywhere from $600-$1000 per month of waste per agent depending on the rate you pay. And based on what we've seen, the effectiveness gap is way over 20%.

With just a few tweaks to the workflow your customer service team uses, you can drastically increase their efficiency. At HelpFlow, we provide 24 / 7 live chat and customer service teams to over 100 e-commerce stores. After processing millions of tickets over more than five years, we learned how to be most effective as agents while keeping customers happy.

In this post, you'll see how you can make your team more effective too! 

Effective CS Agent: Measure the Metrics

Before you can focus on increasing efficiency, you have to actually measure what good customer experience and effective CS agent performance. The most important metrics are first response time, handle time, and customer satisfaction.

When you increase your efficiency, this will drastically decrease handle time while keeping customer satisfaction the same or better due to faster response time.

If you're not tracking these metrics for the entire agent team as well as individual agents, start there (blog post below).

Leverage Keyboard Shortcuts

Customer service agents have to move between software and browser tabs constantly.

  • They have to get into the helpdesk frequently to see the details of the ticket and update the ticket.
  • They also have to bounce back and forth from the helpdesk to Shopify to check on order status or other details.
  • They may also have to get into your project management system or slack to communicate with an internal team member about an issue.

With so much movement between tools, you can massively increase efficiency by empowering your agents to make better use of keyboard shortcuts. This enables them to move much more quickly by navigating mostly without touching the mouse and fostering an effective CS agent workflow.

Here are a few examples:

  1. You can automatically move between apps on your computer with a shortcut such as cmd + space + (type app name) + enter (on a mac).
  2. In the web browser, you can rapidly move between tabs using a shortcut such as cmd + shift + [ or ] to move left and right (again, on a mac).
  3. If you're looking for information in a ticket or on an order, you can use cmd + f + (type phrase) + enter to rapidly find the phrase on the page and scroll to it. This is helpful to find order numbers, tracking numbers, or other information that might be in a ticket.
  4. Within the helpdesk, you can use keyboard shortcuts to reply to tickets, move between tickets, update ticket details and statuses, and more. The specific shortcuts depend on your helpdesk, but every industry-standard system has this.

When you put all of the shortcuts together to force yourself to get through the learning curve, the efficiency of how you work as an agent can be massively improved. Work with your team to identify the keyboard shortcuts they need to accomplish each of the above scenarios depending on what software they use, and help them through the learning curve. You'll both be happy being able to accomplish more in less time.

Additional CS Resources

HelpFlow, we provide 24/7 live chat and customer service teams over 100 e-commerce stores. Below are a few additional resources you can use to level up your customer service operation.

If you want help leveling up your customer service department, contact us today at or let us know your questions in the comments.

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