Career Development

What Does a Customer Service Representative Do?

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

Customer service representatives are the face of a company’s customer experience. They interact with customers on a daily basis, resolving issues and answering questions about products or services. Customer service representatives may also be responsible for providing general information about their company to customers who call in but don’t have an issue to resolve.

Customer service representatives must be able to effectively communicate with people from all walks of life. They need to be able to listen carefully to understand customer needs and respond appropriately.

Customer Service Representative Job Duties

A customer service representative typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Processing incoming calls and emails from customers who have questions about products or services provided by the company
  • Providing customer service to clients or customers by resolving issues or problems.
  • Coordinating with other departments or departments within their organization to ensure that customers are happy with their experience with the company
  • Assisting customers with billing problems or issues regarding their account status
  • Recording customer orders and maintaining customer records in order to provide excellent customer service
  • Answering incoming calls, greeting customers, and assisting them with any questions they may have about products or services offered by the company
  • Providing information about products or services to customers who are interested in purchasing something new from a company
  • Following up with customers to ensure that they are satisfied with their experience with the company and the products or services they received
  • Providing information about products or services to potential customers who are interested in purchasing something new from a company

Customer Service Representative Salary & Outlook

Customer service representatives’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company they work for. They may also receive bonuses or commissions based on the number of sales they make in a given period.

  • Median Annual Salary: $38,000 ($18.27/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $60,500 ($29.09/hour)

The employment of customer service representatives is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited because many companies are automating processes that customer service representatives previously handled. Automation allows companies to handle more calls with fewer representatives, reducing the need for these workers.

Customer Service Representative Job Requirements

A customer service representative typically needs to have the following:

Education: Customer service representatives are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers prefer candidates who have completed some college coursework or have a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Relevant coursework includes communication, business, and computer skills.

Training & Experience: Most customer service representative jobs require candidates to have at least six months of experience in a customer service role. Some companies may prefer candidates who have at least one year of experience. On-the-job training for customer service representatives typically lasts between one and three months. During this time, they learn the company’s policies and procedures, as well as the software and technology they will use to perform their duties.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not required for customer service representative roles, they can help you stand out from other candidates when applying for openings.

Customer Service Representative Skills

Customer service representatives need the following skills in order to be successful:

Active listening: Active listening is the ability to hear what someone is saying and then respond to them in a way that shows you understand their needs. As a customer service representative, you may be in contact with many different types of people, each with their own unique needs and concerns. Active listening is an important skill to have when interacting with customers because it can help you understand their needs and provide them with the best service possible.

Communication skills: Communication skills are a necessary part of being a customer service representative. You must be able to communicate with customers in a way that makes them feel heard and understood. You also need to be able to communicate with your coworkers and managers to ensure that customers receive the service they need.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings. Customer service representatives often use empathy to help customers feel heard and cared for. For example, if a customer is upset about a product they purchased, a representative might apologize for the inconvenience and offer to help them resolve the issue.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify and resolve issues for customers. You can use this skill to help customers find the right product, find a solution to a technical problem or find a solution to a billing issue. You can also use problem-solving skills to help customers find the right solution to a problem they’re having with a product.

Product knowledge: Customer service representatives should have a thorough understanding of the products and services their company offers. This ensures they can answer questions from customers and direct them to the right resources. Product knowledge also allows you to sell products effectively and answer any questions a customer may have after the sale.

Customer Service Representative Work Environment

Customer service representatives typically work in call centers, although some work in other types of customer service environments, such as retail stores. They typically work full time, and some customer service representatives work more than 40 hours per week. Many customer service representatives work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Some customer service representatives travel to meet with clients or customers. The work can be stressful because customer service representatives must deal with angry or upset customers. They also may have to work at a fast pace to meet customer demands.

Customer Service Representative Trends

Here are three trends influencing how customer service representatives work. Customer service representatives 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. Companies are now realizing that they need to provide a better customer experience if they want to stay competitive.

This means that customer service representatives will need to be able to provide excellent customer service and understand what customers want. They will also need to be able to handle difficult situations and be able to resolve them quickly.

More Use of Technology

As technology continues to evolve, businesses are beginning to use it more often in order to improve their operations. This includes using technology to automate tasks, streamline processes, and connect with customers.

Customer service representatives can utilize this trend by becoming familiar with new technologies and how to use them to help their company succeed. They should also be prepared to work with customers who are using technology to communicate with the company.

Greater Focus on Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is becoming an increasingly important focus for businesses as they strive to create a positive workplace culture.

As customer service representatives are in contact with customers on a daily basis, they are in a unique position to influence the overall feeling about the company. By providing excellent customer service, they can help to create a positive impression that will last long after the interaction is over.

How to Become a Customer Service Representative

A career as a customer service representative (CSR) can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the business world. As a CSR, you’ll learn how businesses operate and what customers want, which will help you when you move on to other positions. You’ll also develop important skills like communication, problem solving, and teamwork.

The best way to start a career as a CSR is to find an company that needs workers and apply for the job. Many companies post their openings online, so check out their websites or search job boards for opportunities near you. When applying for a job, make sure to include any relevant experience you have and show why you would be a good fit for the position.

Related: How to Write a Customer Service Representative Resume

Advancement Prospects

Most customer service representatives start in entry-level positions and advance to higher-level jobs based on their performance and experience. Some may advance to supervisory or managerial positions, or they may move into other areas of the company, such as sales, marketing, or human resources. With experience, customer service representatives may become experts in a particular product or service and may train new customer service representatives. Some customer service representatives work from home after gaining experience.

Customer Service Representative Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we believe that happy customers are the key to a successful business. We’re looking for a customer service representative (CSR) to join our team and help us maintain our high standards of customer satisfaction. The ideal candidate will have experience dealing with customers, either in person or over the phone, and will be able to handle customer inquiries and complaints in a professional and courteous manner. He or she will also be able to upsell products and services, and will have a strong understanding of our company’s products and services.

As a CSR, you will be the first point of contact for our customers, and you will be responsible for handling customer inquiries, complaints, and requests. You will also be responsible for upselling products and services, and for providing accurate and up-to-date information about our products and services.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Answer customer inquiries via phone, email, or chat in a friendly and professional manner
  • Take ownership of customer issues and follow through to resolution
  • Update customer accounts as needed
  • Process customer orders accurately and efficiently
  • Provide product and service recommendations to customers
  • Upsell products and services when appropriate
  • Cross-sell products and services when appropriate
  • Resolve customer complaints in a timely and efficient manner
  • Escalate customer issues to supervisors or management as needed
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of company products, services, and policies
  • Follow all company policies and procedures
  • Participate in ongoing training and development

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven customer service experience, with excellent communication skills
  • Ability to stay calm and professional in challenging situations
  • Strong time-management skills, with the ability to prioritize and multitask
  • Basic computer skills, with proficiency in Microsoft Office and aptitude to learn new software
  • A positive, can-do attitude

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or higher
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)
  • Previous experience working in a call center
  • Experience with CRM software
  • Exceptional people skills, with a natural ability to build rapport

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