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How to Become a Customer Service Representative

This article covers how to become a Customer Service Representative, including job description, education requirements, work experience, jobs and salary information.

Customer Service Representative Job Description

Customer service representatives are the liaisons or the point of contact between customers and the company, business, or organization they do business with. They address customer concerns, inquires, account questions, billing inquires, trouble shoot issues, and hopefully with all finesse and integrity intact, find an acceptable and reasonable solution that addresses the customer's concern.

Some companies may have you answering inbound phone calls. Other companies, usually smaller businesses, may need a person to not only handle customer service issues, but handle some administrative details for their business as well. You could be working in a large call center with several other customer service representatives in other cubicles, or you could work for a smaller, perhaps even family owned business with your own desk in the front lobby.

Each company, business, or organization will have its own list of needs and requirements for their customer service representative, but the bottom line still remains that you are responsible for carrying out the company's mission for customer satisfaction.

Through customer satisfaction companies, business, and organizations forge a better relationship with their customers and create customer loyalty and retention.

Characteristics of a good customer service representative:

  • having strong customer service and responsiveness skills
  • focuses on servicing the customer by demonstrating a sense of integrity, urgency, dedication, courtesy, accuracy and efficiency
  • having patience and compassion for customers who act out due to their frustration level
  • ability to build and maintain relationships with customers and vendors (if applicable for your industry)
  • organizational skills
  • ability to prioritize workflow
  • employ problem solving skills, providing solutions and resolutions to customers' concerns or issues in a thorough manner, both efficiently and excellently
  • be reliable and self-motivated

Customer Service Representative Education Requirements

A high school diploma or GED are often all that is needed to become a customer service representative. If you wish to go on to become a manager, you may be required to have a 4-year degree in business or a related field.

Work Experience

Prior experience is not mandatory. Often times call centers and other companies have a training sessions lasting 4-8 weeks or more to train you on their computer software system.

Being proficient with computers, the Internet, and having a general use of Microsoft Outlook , Excel, or other similar software will be useful depending upon what type of customer service job you seek.

Customer Service Representative Salary Information

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in May of 2011, customer service representatives made an average of $14.72 hr and $30,610 a year.

Customer Service Representative Jobs

There are many customer service representative jobs listed on sites like Monster.com and SimplyHired.com.

Other Resources

International Customer Service Association National Customer Service Association (NCSA)


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