What is a Customer Service Representative?
A Customer Service Representative is a person who interacts with customers to handle complaints, process orders and provide information about an organization’s products and services often via multiple channels including phone, email, mail, social media or live chat.
Customer Service Representatives work for a variety of industries so their customer service duties vary depending on what industry they are employed in. For example, representatives who work for an airline may answer customers’ questions about their flights and travel itineraries. Representatives who work for technology or software companies may help customers with problems with their computer or computer software. Those who work in telecommunications companies often handle issues regarding mobile phones, cable TV and internet services. It is also common for representatives to update customer or product databases and make changes to customers’ accounts. Customer Service Representatives must be familiar with the products and services of the company in which they are employed.
Customer Service Representative Duties
According to bls.gov, some of the daily duties Customer Service Representatives perform are documented as follows:
- Listen to customers’ questions and concerns, and provide answers or responses
- Provide information about products and services
- Take orders, calculate charges, and process billing or payments
- Review or make changes to customer accounts
- Handle returns or complaints
- Record details of customer contacts and actions taken
- Refer customers to supervisors or more experienced employees
Customer Service Skills
Here are some common Customer Service skills required for many job postings by companies seeking Customer Service Reps:
- Ability to actively listen and grasp the key points of a customers concerns or complaints.
- Ability to demonstrate empathy – Listen to the emotion in your caller’s voice. Adjust your own tone of voice accordingly by showing empathy and interest in what the caller is saying.
- Have a Positive Attitude – The ability to project and maintain a positive and enthusiastic attitude through-out the day.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to handle difficult people and people from different cultures.
- Good organizational skills and the ability to multi-task, prioritize and keep track of documents.
- Must be patient, polite and understanding when interacting with customers.
- Possess essential telephone etiquette skills for dealing effectively with customers over the phone.
- Possess good communication skills – Ability communicate clearly and effectively, and ask questions in order to identify a customer’s needs which are relevant to product or service offerings.
- Possess good critical thinking and problem solving skills with the ability to analyze information and make decisions.
- Be a team-player and be able to work on their own initiative in a dynamic and challenging environment
- Maintain Integrity and confidentiality
- Be open to life-long learning for continuous improvement
Customer Service Jobs and Trends
With the trend in customer service no longer being limited to just a call center or a place where agents respond to inbound inquiries, customer service representatives may find themselves working not only as Telephone agents but also Email agents, instant messaging agents and social medial and marketing agents.
Customer Service Representative Salary and Job Outlook
According to the bureau of labor statistics, the demand for Customer Service Representatives is projected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations with the largest growth coming from telephone call centers, also known as customer contact centers, where growth is expected to be 39 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Annual Salary is $31,720 per year or $15.25 per hour. (This may vary significantly depending on the region of employment and the level of responsibility and knowledge the job entails.)
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