A customer service assistant provides clerical duties for customer service or sales representatives. Customer service assistants file invoices, type reports, manage phone calls, handle customer inquiries and respond to email. Sometimes, the assistant might greet clients, schedule appointments, help make a sale, or perhaps follow up with customers to make sure the product or service sold had been delivered as promised.
Customer service assistants perform duties that might be considered ordinary, but are crucial to their department's success and, ultimately, their company’s prosperity. A customer service assistant has to be able to manage a wide variety of tasks, occasionally performing them at the same time. She also needs to be flexible, in that her responsibilities can change on a daily, and even hourly, basis. Occasionally, she acts as the link between the customer service representative and potential customer.
A customer service assistant must possess outstanding verbal and written communication skills. He needs to be organized, courteous, professional and work well alone or as a member of a team. He also must be able to follow instructions from a supervisor, and understand his company’s mission. On top of those things, customer service assistants need to possess basic office skills such as typing, filing and answering phones.
Customer service assistants work in a wide array of industries, and requirements to secure a job vary greatly. Most companies prefer candidates who have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some prefer assistants who have obtained a certificate or license, which differ by state and occupation. Other companies look for customer service assistants who have obtained a bachelor’s degree, with a focus on courses in business, marketing, administration and perhaps communications.
Jobs for customer service representatives were expected to grow 18 percent from 2008 to 2018 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That is faster than average for all occupations. While no data was provided specifically to customer service assistants, it is assumed their employment will rise along with the rest of the industry.
Salaries for customer service assistants are as wide ranging as the industries that employ them. According to PayScale.com, customer service representatives earned anywhere from $28,000 to more than $50,000 per year in March 2010. However, customer service assistants likely earned wages more in line with administrative assistants, who earned anywhere from $9.82 to $18.58 per hour in March 2010, PayScale.com reported.
- Photo Credit A friendly secretary/telephone operator at a call-center image by Christopher Meder from Fotolia.com
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