Customer service representatives work in many different industries, including insurance and banking. They provide customers with assistance in billing issues, complaints and service questions. Usually working at a call center, they take calls and answer questions from customers. To do their job effectively, customer service representatives must be familiar with the organization's products and its policies for resolving customers' complaints.
The employer typically provides customer service representatives with standard answers to general questions about the product or service. The representative directs phone calls to technical support to resolve problems or schedules an appointment with a technician. The representative has direct access to customer information relating to the question or request. Some representatives can update customer information, make changes to billing invoices or suggest fixes for problems.
A customer service rep must have excellent communication skills and the ability to remain calm with difficult clients or customers. The position usually requires computer skills. A friendly telephone manner and clear speaking voice are also essential for call center representatives.
Importance of the Role
Customer service representatives play an important role in an organization by encouraging customer loyalty and providing help to those with problems. The representative has direct contact with the public and affects how customers view the business.
The education requirement for a customer service representative depends on the industry and employer. A high school diploma is sufficient for some jobs, but representatives who provide technical support may need an advanced degree. Employers usually provide on-the-job training for customer service representatives.
Average Salary and Range
The average annual salary for a customer service representative was $33,370 as of 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Eighty percent of customer service jobs paid between $19,640 and $50,570 per year in 2013. Salary depends on years of experience and the technical skills and educational requirements for the position.
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