It's so difficult to boil down all the qualities needed for a successful person in the modern workplace to one word. Different employees in different companies will have their own expertise to bring. One business, however, puts a premium on highly educated candidates.
Quartz featured a brief snippet from David Gilboa, co-founder of "hipster" glasses company Warby Parker, on the apparently highly educated and professionally experienced workers the company seeks out for service positions, in what he views as a rather blunt component of strong company success.
This seems to match up with a recent New York Times interview with Neil Blumenthal, another member of the foursome that generated this up-and-coming company, in which he describes the corporate culture as "rooted in open and honest feedback."
He also spoke about the way different members of the company's various departments "humiliate" each other at meetings in order to develop a sense of "vulnerability" which Blumenthal sees as a positive thing.
These words seem like they could apply equally to the amount of humanity your answering service employees can display to callers, especially if you consider providing strong service a form of "collaboration."
"It's through vulnerability that human beings create connections," he said. "The more vulnerable we can be with one another, the more that we'll trust one another and the more we'll be able to collaborate effectively."
Even with a plain old telephone answering service in place, empathy can be a factor worth pursuing, and that's a worthy goal no matter what degree your customer service employees hold.