How to Become a Customer Service Representative

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Having the skills to solve problems quickly and efficiently, communicate well, listen attentively, and understand the business environment are beneficial to becoming a customer service representative. Many customer service representatives work in customer connection hubs. Others work in stores, banks, insurance agencies, or other places that have contact with clients. Variable schedules and part time work is available, however, most customer service representatives work full time.

Being the visible “face” of their company, customer service representatives are typically the initial people customers talk to when they have a query or problem. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, growth of customer service representatives’ employment is 15 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.[1]


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Flickr: Seattle Municipal Archives
Education High school diploma[2]
Starting pay $9.38 per hour [3]
Median pay $14.64 per hour[2]
10 yr growth Average[2]
Related professions Cashier, insurance agent, bank teller
Author Tammy Feeney
 

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Contents

Customer Service Representative Job Overview

Customer service representatives communicate with patrons on behalf of a business. They respond to customer complaints and give information about the business’ products and services. Some also take orders and process returns. Customer service representatives typically perform the following tasks:

  • Listen and respond to customers’ concerns and needs
  • Provide information about services and goods
  • Accept orders, ascertain charges and supervise invoicing or payments
  • Inspect or make adjustments to customer accounts
  • Deal with complaints or returns
  • Document specifics of customer meetings and actions taken
  • Analyze solutions or answers as needed
  • Direct customers to managers, supervisors, or others who can assist[4]

Customer Service Representative Education

Usually customer service representatives only need to have a high-school diploma or its equivalent. Now some customer service positions require an associate or bachelor's degree because employers are seeking more-skilled personnel. Customer service representatives need to be good at interacting and communicating with people. They also need phone skills and basic computer experience. A lot of what the profession involves depends on the technicalities of the given circumstance.[5]

Customer Service Representative Training

Customer service representatives typically train on the job. Training can last as long as several months, but usually lasts about 2 to 3 weeks. This training generally focuses on the business and its products, the telephone and computer systems the customer service representatives will be using, and how to handle customers’ most commonly asked questions.[6]

Customer Service Representative Jobs

CSRs provide one-stop telephone contact for customer service requests, collections and credit extensions, billing inquiries, appliance adjustments and service trouble.

Also See: How to Become a Cashier, How to Become a Flight Attendant, How to Become a Travel Agent, How to Become an Insurance Agent

References

  1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm#tab-6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm
  3. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes434051.htm
  4. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm#tab-2
  5. http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/customer-service-representative
  6. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm#tab-4