A customer service job description shows that these individuals must enjoy talking with people and helping people solve their problems. It is unlikely that a customer would talk to a customer service representative unless they had a special service or needed an issue to be resolved. These professionals must be able to use a welcoming tone, even when they are frustrated, and be a good representation of the company they work for.
A customer service representative must be able to communicate effectively with their employees and with the customers they interact with. Customer service representative will complete similar tasks, regardless of where they work. Interested in learning more about what a customer service representative does from their essential skills, education needed, and their job outlook? This article will cover all you need to know about being a customer service representative.
What Do Customer Service Representatives Do?
A customer service job description shows that they are responsible for interacting with customers to communicate basic information about their accounts, to advertising promotional opportunities, to canceling accounts for customers who no longer wish to do business with their company. A customer service representative must be able to not take complaints personally.
A high school diploma or GED is required to be a customer service representative. The median salary for a customer service representative is $13.00/hour or $36,070 annually. These individuals must be technologically proficient and willing to work flexible hours.
Customer Service Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities
Customer service representatives are a vital part of a business. Those who are able to sell customers on the business while at the same time preserving fractured relationships can significantly increase the bottom line. The following job duties are critical to being a successful customer service representative.
- Answer customer questions via various methods such as phone, email, face-to-face, or live chat.
- Keeping accurate records of communication with customers both for the satisfaction of the customer and history for the business.
- Listen to and resolve customer conflicts.
- Handles multiple conversations at once and takes minimal breaks between interacting with customers.
- Identifies customers who qualify for various upgrades or promotional materials and seamlessly work those opportunities into the communication with the customer.
- Identify when a conversation with a customer should be handled by someone in a more supervisory position.
- Cancel accounts that customers no longer want to keep.
Customer Service Representative Required Skills
Empathy skills. Customer service representatives must be able to put themselves in the shoes of the client or customer they are talking to. We have all been disappointed or mad at a company and called in to get the issue resolved. Customer service representatives must remember that even though they did not cause the initial problem, they must have empathy for that customer.
Listening skills. Customer service representatives must be able to listen to the customer. This means they must tune out distractions or non-work problems when talking to a customer. People who call or interact with the customer service representative might explain their problem, issue, or question differently but the customer service representative must be able to interpret what they really mean.
Communication skills. Customer service representatives communicate for the vast majority of the day. They must be able to talk in a way that solves problems but reassures customers. There are subtle differences that can make a conversation with a customer pleasant or frustrating and being able to communicate positively is an essential skill.
Persuasion skills. Customer service representatives will often have to offer customers a promotional deal trying to get them to sign up for additional services with the company. This can be an uncomfortable position to be in, but being able to persuade customers into signing up for something additional is often a goal in a customer service job description.
How to Become a Customer Service Representative
The customer service job description shows these individuals need to have their high school diploma or GED. While some students in high school can hold customer service positions, these are more likely to be in a retail store rather than in a call center. Companies will offer training for customer service representatives. A career progression for customer service representatives is to become an office manager, executive assistant, or customer service manager.
Companies will offer training to become a customer service representative. These professionals who work in finance and insurance will have to take continuing professional development and remain licensed due to the nature of the information they must provide.
Education & Training Requirements
A high school diploma or GED is required to be a customer service representative. Training is provided for these professionals. This training will go over how to interact with customers, what typical questions are, the policies and information about the company’s products, how to record communications, and how to pass a call on to a more supervisory person. The training is normally 2-3 weeks long. Those who are in finance or accounting will have longer training because they have more complex rules and procedures to learn when it comes to interacting with customers.
Customer service representatives do not need prior work experience to begin their position. Even if these professionals have worked in customer service before, they will still undergo training in a different position because all companies will have different procedures and rules for customer service representatives to follow. An internship is not required to be a customer service representative, but job shadowing is a good idea to learn more about what these professionals do during a working shift.
The most common industries for customer service representatives are in administrative services, retail, insurance, or financial related jobs. It is common to work in a call center with many other customer service representatives. Customer service representatives can work full-time or part-time and will have to work all hours of the day. Some companies will strategically hire customer service representatives from different parts of the world depending on the time of day.
The typical day for a daytime customer service representative starts at 8 AM and the professional will begin talking with customers at 8:30 AM. They will have an hour off for lunch and will have time scheduled to get back to customers on more complex issues. The afternoon is a long stretch of talking to customers without a break and the day ends at 5 PM.
During the day, an office manager may do things from going to company executive meetings to answer emails to approving payroll to ensuring the accuracy of business contracts. The variations in their work schedule and environment are primarily due to the type of company they work for.
Customer service representatives can enjoy better than average job growth at 10% through the year 2024. The growth can be attributed to call centers that work for multiple companies when businesses centralize their customer service operations. Specific industry growth for customer service representatives depends on the industry that they work for. Chat customer service representatives can increasingly be ‘bots’ who can interact with customers based on artificial intelligence.
The median salary for a customer service job description is $36,050 dollars with a range from $25,674 to $50,385. The salary is highly dependent on industry. Customer service representatives who work more than 40 hours a week will earn overtime pay due to their nonexempt status. It is not extremely competitive to be a customer service representative because there is not a high level of education required and companies need a lot of customer service representatives.
Customer service representatives have a relatively low level of pay but they enjoy spending the day helping clients or customers solve their problems. These professionals only need a high school diploma to begin their career. These professionals will have to work various hours and can earn bonuses or commissions for meeting or exceeding targets.