Customer Service Representatives are professionals whose main responsibilities include answering inquiries and providing information regarding an establishment’s goods, services, and policies. The specific duties of Customer Service Representatives may vary depending on the kind of company they work for. However, they all focus on providing customer services to the general public or to existing clients. Customer Service Representatives can be found in retail establishments, contact and call centres, insurance, telephone and utility companies, as well as other establishments throughout the private and public sectors.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Customer Service Representatives are required to complete.
- Providing customer services to clients and the general public regarding different companies, organizations, or any other similar establishments (e.g. concerning goods, services, schedules, rates, regulations, and policies):
- Answering inquiries, questions, complaints, or requests from customers in person, on the phone, by email, or live chat;
- investigating and resolving complaints regarding the company or establishment’s goods, services, regulations, and policies;
- handling and arranging refunds, exchanges, and credit for returned merchandise;
- taking, changing, or cancelling customer orders for goods or services;
- receiving payments for products or services;
- receiving and forwarding credit and employment applications;
- promoting the establishment’s goods or services;
- explaining the type and cost of services offered;
- providing information about existing claims or accounts;
- making changes or updating customers’ accounts; and
- helping customers locate ordered items.
- Answering customers’ questions and complaints in a helpful and professional manner at all times.
- In some cases, contacting customers on a regular basis to assess their satisfaction, update their accounts, or offer samples/promotions if necessary.
- Referring customers to a supervisor or manager in case they request it or when the issue can’t be resolved.
- Interacting with subscribers, clients, and the general public, as well as Sales Representatives, the accounting department, supervisors, managers, and other coworkers.
- Listening and responding to customers’ inquiries, needs, complaints, and concerns.
- Providing information about goods and services.
- Taking orders, determining charges, and overseeing billing or payments.
- Reviewing or making changes to customer accounts, when requested.
- Handling returns and exchanges, taking into account the policies and regulations for the different payment methods.
- Recording details and actions taken while interacting with the customer, such as contact information.
- Researching and providing answers or solutions as needed.
- Referring customers to supervisors, managers, or other employees who might be able to provide further assistance, in case it’s necessary or requested by the customer.
The average Customer Service Representative salary is $33,230 per year or $17 per hour. This is the same as the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $23,000 while most experienced workers make up to $47,000. These results are based on 2,688 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills:
- Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to inform and assist customers with their inquiries, questions, complaints, needs, and requests;
- having a friendly and engaging personality in order to create positive interactions with the customers;
- listening carefully and understanding customers’ questions and complaints in order to be able to help them;
- being able to remain calm when interacting with customers who are upset or angry;
- displaying strong customer service skills, as well as professional and pleasant telephone manners; and
- being a demonstrated team player.
- Ability to work independently with little supervision.
- Outstanding problem-solving skills:
- Being able to solve customers’ problems effectively and in a timely manner; and
- being polite and patient while dealing with difficult clients.
- Exceptional organizational and time management skills:
- Multitasking; being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment; and
- being able to handle time constraints while achieving the required goals.
- Great attention to detail:
- Staying focused during highly repetitive tasks.
- Proactive and goal-oriented.
It’s especially important for Customer Service Representatives to pay attention to how they explain something or deal with an issue, especially since most of their work is done on the phone or online. Outstanding customer service skills are essential for this job; therefore, a successful candidate must remain polite at all times, be patient, and convey a positive attitude.
No undergraduate degree is required for this position, although Marketing or Communication degrees may help professionals progress in this field, but are not necessary for entry-level positions. Customer Service Representatives are typically required to have at least a high school diploma and they receive on-the-job training to learn the specific skills needed for the job. Exemplary communicating skills and basic computer knowledge are a must when applying for a Customer Service Representative job.
Most Customer Service Representatives have to reach a required number of calls a day while supervisors monitor them for quality assurance, which can make the job stressful. Furthermore, interacting with difficult or angry customers might make it more complicated.
The majority of Customer Service Representative positions are entry-level jobs that require little to no experience, usually between 0 and 1 year. Due to the fact that most call centers are open 24/7, these positions may require early morning or late night shifts, as well as working during weekends and holidays.