While Customer Service may be part of the responsibilities of every single member of the staff of a company, some choose to have a team of employees focused solely on this task. It is the main task of this team to ensure that all queries, questions, and special requirements any customer may have is met.
Besides the aforementioned responsibilities, Customer Service Representatives are also tasked with building loyalty of the customers and maintaining the company’s image.
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 company policies, special requirements, and inquiries:
- Answering inquiries, questions, complaints, or requests from customers in person, on the phone, by email, or live chat;
- assisting customers claiming to have problems with the goods or services the company sells;
- giving refunds or store credits to customer when company policies allow it;
- taking, changing, or cancelling customer orders for goods or services;
- receiving payments for products or services;
- promoting and explaining goods and services provided by their company; and
- following up and tracking the progress of special requests made by customers.
- 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.
- Assisting customers with questions, inquiries, complaints, or special requests.
- Promoting goods and services offered by the company.
- Signing customer to store loyalty and rewards programs when requested.
- Handling returns and exchanges, taking into account the policies and regulations for the different payment methods.
- Keeping records of customers’ information.
- Liaising with 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;
- being able to understand and assess problems in a prompt and timely manner;
- being able to remain calm when dealing with angry customers;
- 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.
- 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.
The educational requirements for this position are not standardized, although most employers only require a high school diploma. However, further studies in areas such as Marketing and Sales are always an asset. Exemplary communicating skills and basic computer knowledge are a must when applying for a Customer Service Representative position.
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.