Career Development

What Does a Customer Relations Specialist Do?

Find out what a customer relations specialist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a customer relations specialist.

Customer relations specialists are the liaisons between companies and their customers. They work to ensure that customers have a positive experience with the company they’re doing business with, whether it’s buying a product or using a service.

Customer relations specialists may be responsible for handling complaints from customers, resolving issues on behalf of the company, and ensuring that customers feel valued and appreciated by the company they do business with.

Customer Relations Specialist Job Duties

A customer relations specialist typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Following up with customers to ensure that they are satisfied with their purchase or experience with the company
  • Identifying potential risks and addressing problems before they escalate into larger issues
  • Providing information about products, services, procedures, policies, or other topics through written materials such as brochures, pamphlets, or manuals
  • Listening to customers’ concerns, responding with appropriate follow up actions, and keeping records of customer issues and resolutions
  • Monitoring customer satisfaction levels to ensure that customers are happy with their interactions with the company
  • Interacting with customers over the phone, email, or in person to answer questions or solve problems
  • Analyzing data to identify trends or patterns that may indicate problems in need of attention
  • Conducting research to determine customer needs or preferences—for example, by interviewing potential customers to identify their priorities or interests
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with customers to build repeat business through customer satisfaction

Customer Relations Specialist Salary & Outlook

Customer relations specialists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and industry. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)

The employment of customer relations specialists is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for these workers will stem from the continued growth of e-commerce and online sales, which require a large number of customer service representatives. In addition, the use of social media has increased the need for customer service representatives to respond to complaints and concerns posted on websites and social media platforms.

Related: Customer Relations Specialist Interview Questions and Answers

Customer Relations Specialist Job Requirements

A customer relations specialist typically needs the following:

Education: A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is often a requirement to become a customer relations specialist. Some of the most common majors for this role include business, communications, English and psychology.

Training & Experience: Customer relations specialists typically receive on-the-job training. This training may include learning the company’s products and services, the computer system and the workflow for handling customer complaints. Training may also include learning about the company’s policies and procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications can prove an individual’s qualifications to current and potential employers. Customer relations specialists can earn certifications to gain more practical knowledge of their daily responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their careers.

Customer Relations Specialist Skills

Customer relations specialists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Active listening: Active listening is the ability to hear and understand what someone is saying. This can include nonverbal cues such as nodding and smiling to show you’re paying attention. It can also mean asking questions to clarify what the person is saying. This can help you to better understand their needs and provide them with the best service.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s perspective and feelings. Customer relations specialists use empathy to help customers feel heard and valued. For example, if a customer is unhappy with a product, a customer relations specialist might apologize for the inconvenience and offer a refund or replacement.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify and resolve issues for customers. You can use problem-solving skills to identify the source of a customer’s concern, offer solutions and track the resolution of the issue. You can also use problem-solving skills to identify trends in customer concerns and use that information to improve your company’s products or services.

Conflict resolution: Customer relations specialists often work with customers to resolve conflicts. They may need to negotiate with customers to find a solution that satisfies both parties. They may also need to diffuse situations that get heated. For example, if a customer is unhappy with a product, the customer relations specialist may need to help them understand the company’s return policy and help them find a solution that makes them happy.

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to others. Customer relations specialists use communication to interact with customers, answer questions, solve problems and provide information. Effective communication requires listening, speaking and writing skills. You may also use communication to train and educate employees on company policies and procedures.

Customer Relations Specialist Work Environment

Customer relations specialists work in a variety of settings, including retail stores, banks, insurance companies, and call centers. They typically work regular business hours, although they may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays to meet customer needs. They may also travel to meet with clients or attend training seminars. Customer relations specialists typically work in fast-paced environments and must be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. They must be able to deal with difficult customers and handle customer complaints in a professional manner.

Customer Relations Specialist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how customer relations specialists work. Customer relations specialists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for Better Customer Experience

The need for better customer experience is a trend that is being driven by the increasing competition in the marketplace. In order to stand out from the competition, businesses need to provide a better customer experience than their competitors.

This means that customer relations specialists will need to be able to create a positive experience for customers and ensure that they are satisfied with the product or service that they received. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as providing excellent customer service, offering discounts, and providing helpful information.

More Focus on Digital Marketing

As businesses continue to focus on digital marketing, customer relations specialists will need to develop skills in this area.

Digital marketing involves using online channels to reach potential customers and promote products and services. As customer relations specialists become more familiar with these channels, they will be able to use them to connect with customers and build trust. This will be essential in order to achieve long-term success for businesses.

Greater Emphasis on Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has become an increasingly important topic in recent years, as employers have realized the impact it can have on their bottom line.

Customer relations specialists can play a key role in employee engagement by creating a positive work environment and fostering a sense of teamwork among employees. By doing so, they can help to ensure that employees are happy and productive, which can lead to improved business results.

How to Become a Customer Relations Specialist

A career in customer relations can be both rewarding and challenging. It’s important to consider the type of company you want to work for, as well as the type of customers you want to serve. Some companies specialize in serving a certain type of customer, such as healthcare or retail. Other companies may have more diverse customer bases.

It’s also important to think about your own personality when considering a career in customer relations. Are you outgoing and friendly? Do you enjoy helping people? If so, then a career in customer relations may be right for you.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement prospects for customer relations specialists are good. Many organizations place a high value on customer satisfaction, so there is always a need for customer relations specialists. As specialists gain experience, they may move into management positions, such as customer relations manager. In addition, many customer relations specialists eventually start their own businesses.

Customer Relations Specialist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we believe that happy customers are the key to a successful business. We’re looking for a customer relations specialist to join our team and help us maintain our high standards of customer service. The ideal candidate will have experience dealing with customer inquiries and complaints, as well as a proven track record of resolving issues in a timely and efficient manner. He or she will be a patient and clear communicator, with the ability to diffusing difficult situations. The customer relations specialist will be responsible for ensuring that all customers leave our store satisfied with their experience.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as the primary point of contact for customers, handling customer inquiries and complaints in a professional and efficient manner
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with customers by providing outstanding service throughout the customer lifecycle
  • Understand customer needs and pain points, and work with cross-functional teams to resolve issues
  • Proactively reach out to customers to provide account updates and address any concerns
  • Handle customer requests and questions in a timely and accurate manner
  • Keep abreast of product changes and updates, and be able to effectively communicate these changes to customers
  • Serve as a subject matter expert on company products and services
  • Escalate customer issues to the appropriate team or manager as needed
  • Maintain detailed records of customer interactions and communications
  • Generate reports on customer satisfaction levels and areas of improvement
  • Make recommendations on process improvements to enhance the customer experience
  • Participate in customer retention initiatives

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, communications, or related field
  • 2-3 years experience in customer relations, sales, or a similar role
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and with a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with customer relations management software (CRM)
  • Familiarity with social media platforms
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Excel
  • Creative problem-solving skills


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