What Do Customer Service Representatives Do?
A customer service representative interacts with customers in order to answer questions about products and services. A customer service representative also has to handle and resolve complaints made by customers.This type of position is expected to see an increase of about 13% across the United States. That could translate into about 94,160 new jobs annually.
Customer Service Representatives Skills and Abilities
In order to be a successful customer service representative, you have to:
- Know how to provide customer service.
- Understand the English language.
- Be knowledgeable about computers.
- Be an active listener and a critical thinker.
- Have sales skills.
- Be able to speak clearly.
- Have reading comprehension to read notes about customers and their service.
These skills, abilities and knowledges will help you be able to do this job well.
Customer Service Representatives Duties
As a customer service representative, your main duty will be to help the customer and keep them as customers. That could mean:
- Talking with customers over the phone or in person.
- Checking customer bills to ensure that everything is accurate.
- Recording interaction with customers.
- Helping customers update their information.
- Contacting customers to help with questions.
- Evaluating validity of complaints by using all relevant information.
- Recommending new products, shipping, services, billing or packaging in order to improve the service that they get and prevent future issues.
- Working with supervisors and peers to make sure that no customer grievance goes unresolved.
As a customer service representative, you are the face of the company. That means that you have to do what you can to keep customers happy with the company that you work for without going against company policies.
Customer Service Representatives Tools and Technology
To help you with these duties, you should be familiar with:
- Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) systems
- Dialed Number Identification Systems (DNIS)
- Cash Registers
- Contact Center Software
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
- Network Conferencing Software
These tools not only help you do your duties, but they make you a more efficient customer service representative.
Education and Training for Customer Service Representatives
Most companies hiring customer service representatives require that you have your high school diploma, and no more. However, there are some institutions that want you to have and Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. No matter what sort of education you have, you will undergo on the job training to learn customer service techniques and become familiar with the company’s unique policies. You may want to take courses like:
- Customer Service Support
These courses will help you learn how to work with customers, and give you other insights into businesses that may be useful as you progress in your career.
Customer Service Representatives Salary
The average customer service representative in the United States makes about $31,200. Of course, there are certain factors that affect you salary. Where you live, what sort of education you have and how much experience you have can put you above or below the national average. When you’re just starting out, you may find yourself in the lower 10%. That would mean that you would make about $19,900. As you get more experience, you might find yourself in the upper 10%. That would mean that you would make about $51,600.
Customer Service Representatives Jobs by Geography
Where you live really does affect your job. As a customer service representative in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts or Connecticut, your average wage will be higher than the national average. If you live in California, Florida or Texas, you will find that there are more customer service representative positions per capita than in other states. Utah, Colorado and Arizona are expected to see the biggest increase in the occupation. When you set out to become a customer service representative, you have to keep in mind that the position will vary depending on where you live, what your education is and what company you work for.