Customer Service Representatives

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Also known as:
Complaint Clerk, Contact Center Specialist, Customer Complaint Clerk, Customer Contact Specialist, Customer Relations Representative, Customer Support Representative, Gas Distribution and Emergency Clerk, Passenger Relations Representative, Policyholder Information Clerk, Warranty Clerk

ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE CAREERS
Video transcript

Customer service representatives are considered a vital part of any organization that deals with consumers. Research has shown that people still prefer to talk to a live person instead of a machine when conducting business.

Depending on the type of company they work for, customer service representatives collect and verify information, create files, and perform various processing tasks, either by mail, telephone, or in person. They may spend hours a day in front of a computer, documenting the information they receive and must be familiar with the products or services their company provides.

A friendly personality, plus the ability to handle stress well, can come in handy, especially when serving a difficult customer. If you are looking for a flexible work schedule, this may be a good opportunity for you, since many organizations hire part-time and temporary workers.

There are no educational requirements for this occupation. If you have a pleasant personality, like talking to people and desire a flexible work schedule, being a customer service representative may be the right job for you.

SNAPSHOT
Interact with customers to provide basic or scripted information in response to routine inquiries about products and services. May handle and resolve general complaints. Excludes individuals whose duties are primarily installation, sales, repair, and technical support.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
MED
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Keep records of customer interactions or transactions, recording details of inquiries, complaints, or comments, as well as actions taken.

Resolve customers' service or billing complaints by performing activities such as exchanging merchandise, refunding money, or adjusting bills.

Check to ensure that appropriate changes were made to resolve customers' problems.

Confer with customers by telephone or in person to provide information about products or services, take or enter orders, cancel accounts, or obtain details of complaints.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.