Customer service representative essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $30,580
- 2012, number of jobs: 2,299,750
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 15 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Customer service representatives; what they do:
Customer service representatives are all around us, everyday and everywhere, from credit card companies and banks to movie theaters and department stores and all places in between. Customer service representatives provide information to customers on behalf of a company or organization. A customer service representative career includes providing information about the company’s services and products as well as handling and resolving customer complaints.
A typical day for a customer service rep includes conferring with customers via phone, in-person or online and responding to their needs and problems. A customer service representative career includes taking orders and overseeing charges, dealing with billing or payment issues, making changes to customer accounts, handling complaints and returns and recording actions.
Customer service careers include confirming details of personal information, finding answers and solutions to customer issues, assessing validity of customer complaints and offering customers the opportunity to discuss issues with supervisors or others who can help.
Customer service representatives job titles:
- Hub Associate
- At Home Customer Service Representative
- Client Services Representative
- Account Representative
- Customer Service Specialist
- Customer Service Representative
- Customer Service Agent
- Account Service Representative
- Call Center Representative
- Account Manager
Customer Service Representatives Education, Certification and License Requirements
People typically need at least a high school diploma to begin a customer service representative career. They typically receive on-the-job training. A customer service representative needs good communication skills and basic computer and phone skills. However, in recent years some employers increasingly emphasize postsecondary education such as an associate’s degree.
Training for customer service representatives can last anywhere between two weeks to several months. Training includes a focus on company products, most frequently asked questions, and using the telephone and computer equipment customer service reps use. Training also consists of classroom learning and following the procedures and protocols of other experienced customer service representatives. Some customer service representatives obtain continuing education.
Customer service representatives who handle insurance or financial services often need a state license and requirements vary by state.
Customer Service Representatives Job Outlook
Forecast: 15 percent employment growth for customer service representatives from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Companies increasingly placing greater emphasis on customer relationships as a way to stand out increases the need for customer service reps. In addition, more and more companies recognize customers favor U.S. based service support.
Even with advanced voice-response systems, customer service reps are still in demand. In fact, technology has created new opportunities for customer service representatives as company online services, such as those for banking institutions, continue to need help showing customers how to navigate their websites. Other online services such as social media and live chat also need customer service representatives.
Customer Service Representatives Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $30,580
- 2012 workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $39,080
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $24,140
- Administrative and support services
- Retail trade
- Credit intermediation and related services
- Wholesale trade
- Insurance carriers