Customer service representatives are the link between an organization and its customers. These professionals help customers to represent their company in a positive way. They use a variety of tools and technology to support customers. Whether customer service representatives work with customers face to face, on the telephone, through email or live chat, their job is to ensure customers are satisfied.
Most employers require a high school diploma or GED for this occupation. Customer service representatives are trained on the job through classroom instruction and working with seasoned customer service representatives. Along with education, customer service representatives must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills because they spend the majority of their time interacting with customers. They must be patient and polite at all times, as some customers can be difficult. Good computer and typing skills are also required because most customer information is stored on computer databases.
Customer service representatives listen to customers’ needs and resolve them. They take orders from customers and then add the order information to the customer’s account. They determine billing amounts and payments and then process the billing information. If customers have a complaint or problem with the products or services they purchase, customer services representatives attempt to resolve those issues. In some cases, resolving issues requires a supervisor or manager’s assistance.
Along with satisfying the needs of customers, customer service representatives sell products and services. When a customer places an order, customer service representatives suggest other items or services that complement their purchase. They may suggest discounted items or shipping for customers who increase their order.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects about 15 percent growth for customer service representatives from 2010 to 2020. Quality customer care plays a critical role for many companies to stay competitive, spurring the demand for these professionals. Among more than 2.2 million customer service representatives employed in the U.S. in 2011, the average salary was $33,120 per year or $15.92 per hour.
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