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.view jobs
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.
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.
duties and responsibilities
Some of the duties and responsibilities of a customer service representative include:
- answering questions about the company: as a customer service representative, you answer general and specific customer questions. You need to know the details of the organisation's offerings to relay accurate information. You provide comprehensive responses and reassure new customers that they are making the right purchase decision.
- processing orders and transactions: as a customer service representative, you receive and process incoming orders. You ensure customers receive the right goods on time. You also handle product returns, exchanges and order cancellations.
- resolving issues and troubleshooting problems: customer service representatives provide technical assistance to customers by troubleshooting problems with products or website functionality. You also assist customers with product installation, maintenance and upgrades.
- collecting and analysing customer feedback: you collect customer feedback for analysis, which enables you to follow up with customers and check if the remedies you provided were effective. The feedback helps you identify areas for product improvement.
Customer service representatives work in offices and at home, depending on the company and work hours. It is very common to telecommute in this type of position. The role requires working during normal business hours or busy times of the day when more customers contact the company with questions or complaints. When working in an office, some representatives meet with other teams to address customer issues with the aim of reducing future complaints. Some companies require customer service representatives to work in call centres to ensure immediate access to supervisors.
who are your colleagues?
Depending on your employer and industry, your colleagues may include call centre operators, customer service advisors, customer service administrators and counter service assistants. You may also work in close proximity to field sales agents and marketing executives, as well as other specialists that could include sales managers, customer advisers and accountants.
Full-time and part-time customer service representative positions are equally available in the job market. The typical work hours of a full-time customer service position are 9 am to 5 pm. Depending on the industry, you might work weekends or nights. Some customer service representatives have flexible work hours.
As a customer service representative, you have many opportunities for career progression. Since the position is entry-level, it is possible to progress to other business specialisms like account handling and sales. You can work in the sales department as a sales representative before moving into management roles. You can become a team leader if you want to progress in a customer service role. When you have extensive experience, you can become a customer service manager.
advantages of finding a customer service representative job through randstad
Finding your customer service representative job through Randstad provides important advantages, such as:
- a wide variety of training and development opportunities
- an experienced contact person to provide help if needed
- a range of opportunities in your area
- get paid on a monthly basis
- temporary and permanent contracts
Looking for a permanent role? A temporary job as a customer service representative is often a stepping stone to an attractive permanent job. Every year, thousands of people earn a permanent contract with great employers, thanks to a temporary job found through Randstad.
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:
what does a customer service representative do?
As a customer service representative, you handle a high number of incoming calls, emails, or messages each day and address customers’ questions and concerns. You have a high level of knowledge about your company’s products or services to ensure you can give customers detailed and accurate information, and you also process orders or issue refunds. In some cases, the company may ask customer service representatives for suggestions on how to improve customer satisfaction.
what are the duties and responsibilities of a customer service representative?
Customer service representatives track and record all interactions with customers and take the necessary steps to help each customer feel satisfied. You are required to resolve any issues and answer customer questions.
what are the skills of a customer service representative?
Customer service representatives have excellent communication skills, which enable them to deal with the high level of daily interaction with different types of customers. As a customer service rep, you will thrive if you have emotional intelligence and the ability to use positive language. You have persuasive verbal skills and the ability to maintain empathy towards customers.
what are the 3 important qualities of customer service?
The three important qualities of customer service are professionalism, patience, and a people-first attitude. These qualities allow customers to feel more valued and ensure their needs are met.
how do I apply for a customer service representative vacancy?
Applying for a customer service representative job is easy: create a Randstad profile and search our job offers for vacancies in your area. Then simply send us your CV and cover letter. Need help with your application? Check out all our job search tips here!