what is a customer service representative?

Customer service representatives help customers with orders and handle complaints. In this role, you provide information and answer questions related to the products and services sold by the company. You also process returns and forward complaints to other departments or supervisors. Some customer service representatives are responsible for managing other employees, especially when you move up to a supervisory position.

The role requires someone with a patient and calm demeanour. Customer service representatives are trained to deal with angry customers and acknowledge their distress while finding ways to resolve their problems. A central requirement of the job is keeping your composure and remaining empathetic while responding to customer complaints. You work across multiple communication channels to provide detailed and correct information about the products or services sold by the company.

what does a customer service representative do?

Your role involves keeping customer interaction records, including complaints and comments, and acting as a liaison between the company and customers. You also coordinate and communicate with other employees and prepare product and service reports. You spend a significant amount of time on computers and undergo training to work with different types of software for distributing information.

Would working as a customer service representative suit your patient and calm personality? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a customer service representative role.

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average salary of a customer service representative

According to Payscale, the average salary for a customer service representative in India is ₹273211. Apart from your basic salary, you are likely to receive overtime pay for additional hours and paid sick leave. Other benefits may include contributions to a pension scheme and annual bonuses.

how to increase the salary of a customer service representative 

Post-secondary education isn't mandatory for the role, but having a certificate or diploma improves your career and salary prospects. When you have additional qualifications, you can negotiate a better salary. Working in large cities also improves your salary since the huge demand for customer service representatives increases pay rates. Most employers rely on the cost of living when determining salaries.

customer service representative
customer service representative

types of customer service representatives

The types of customer service representatives depend on their mode of communication with customers. Some include:

  • email customer services support: your job is to interact with customers using emails and live chat. You answer queries and assist customers with the purchase process.
  • social media customer service reps: you monitor a company's social media platforms and respond to queries or assist customers in making purchases.
  • telephone customer support: you respond to customers’ enquiries by telephone. You support them with purchasing goods and accessing the company website, and follow up any issues with products or services.

working as a customer service representative

As a customer service representative, you interact with customers and visitors on behalf of your organisation. Let's explore the specific duties and work environments associated with the role.


education and skills

Some of the paths to becoming a customer service representative are:

  • university: you can become a customer service representative straight after gaining an undergraduate degree. A certification in contact centre operations or customer service will enhance your skills for the role.
  • apprenticeship: complete a customer service intermediate apprenticeship as a customer service specialist to give you sufficient experience to get an entry-level position.

customer service representative skills and competencies

Customer service representatives are computer-literate and capable of working online and via the telephone to create and update customer accounts. The following skills and qualities will help you excel in the role:

  • listening skills: attentiveness is an essential skill to ensure you are attentive to customers and can accommodate their needs. You remain empathetic and willing to help customers. It is important to take time talking to customers to understand their queries and resolve their issues.
  • patience: self-control is one of the most important skills of working in this role. You represent your company, and remaining calm when customers are angry or frustrated helps to ensure the customer is happy and the company’s customer service standards are maintained.
  • problem solver: problem-solving skills ensure that you find ways to resolve issues efficiently. As a customer service representative, you use a systematic, detail-oriented approach to finding solutions. Employers expect people in your role to be creative and resourceful and go the extra mile to help customers.
  • expecting and adapting to challenges: adaptability is another important requirement for working as a customer service representative. Daily contact with customers means you never know what to expect from the calls or messages you receive. Good customer service representatives send legitimate problems or complaints through the correct channels and relay information to the customer efficiently. You remain mentally flexible while responding to different people on various platforms, sometimes simultaneously.

FAQs about working as a customer service representative

FAQs about working as a customer service representative:

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