Job Description of a Complaints Officer

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Complaints officers, a branch of customer service representatives, have difficult jobs. Customers call companies to complain about products and services. Oftentimes, the complaints officer represents the company's first line of defense. The job requires thick skin as customers often act angrily in response to their situation. Yet, a person can earn a good wage if they are able to deal with these complaints in a calm and composed manner.

Job Functions

Complaints officers serve as the link between customers and companies that sell them products or services. These officers need to resolve inquiries and attempt to keep the customers’ business. Companies train their complaints officers in different manners. For instance, some may require their complaints officers to simply record the complaint and pass it off to somebody else to deal with it. Other companies may authorize complaints officers to attempt to fix problems or suggest solutions. Some may even be authorized to send replacement products or refund mistaken fees. Others may even serve as gatekeepers, ensuring a customer’s complaint holds water before accepting a return.

Tools Used

Complaints officers should be highly trained in technological applications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many complaints officers work inside call centers. In this setting, complaints officers may be required to use computers, telephones and various other technologies to perform their function. Generally, work flow mandates a complaints officer to pull up a customer’s file as soon as they call the center. Additionally, a complaints officer should be able to type quickly to enter information in real time as the customer states his complaint.

Work Environment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most complaints officers work in well lit and clean office settings. Additionally, they have their own cubicles or work spaces containing a telephone, headset and a computer. Due to some companies operating around the clock, complaints officers might be asked to work odd hours. Additionally, weekends and holidays can be common in this profession. The work can pose challenges in the form of stress, repetition and reduced break times. Additionally, workplace injuries resulting from prolonged periods of sitting, staring at a computer screen and typing can be expected.

Earnings

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a complaints officer in the May of 2008 made an average hourly wage of $14.36. The bottom 10 percent of complaints officers brought home less than $9.15 an hour, while the top 10 percent earned in excess of $23.24 hourly. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.34 and $18.27 per hour.

Advancement

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, complaints officers often represent an introductory position within an industry. Occasionally, an officer can move into a managerial or supervisory position to become in charge of other complaints officers. Others can move into various other areas including product development. The knowledge of customer complaints allows a complaints officer to form theories for better products and marketing.

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