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Becoming a Customer Service Representative

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A customer service representative is the professional who is responsible for handling the incoming calls from the customers of a company as well as helps solve their queries. The job of the customer service representatives is to take care of the concerns of the customers. They are hired by different types of companies for working at the front desk of a local office branch or a corporate call center cubicle. The task of the representative of customer service is to communicate the needs of the customers via the following media such as:

  • E-mail
  • Fax
  • Phone
  • Regular mail correspondence
A customer service representative is typically hired by companies as the first point of contact for the customers and answering their queries regarding a product or a service. They are generally equipped for answering the most basic questions.

The basic responsibilities of the customer service representatives include the following:

  • Handling the complaints of the customers
  • Answering questions that are related to the products and services of your company
  • Connecting the customers with the appropriate resources in case you are not able to find a particular solution
Other than the above mentioned duties, the job of the customer service professional also involves answering queries about the balance of the customer, updating their information, or signing the customer up for new services. If erroneous charges and calls are involved, the customer service representative directs the call to a specialist.

The academic qualifications of the customer service representatives involve a high school graduation to be completed as this is preferred. With the basic computer as well as typing skills, the customer service agent must be able to bag the job. Generally, a high school diploma is the norm amongst the customer service agents, although this can be backed with a graduation in any discipline.

The customer service professional is required to be intelligent and pleasant with a neat appearance which can actually be the more important points to consider than a formal education. They must also be patient and must like working with people. The customer service representatives should be able to handle repetitive as well as stressful work, without taking verbal abuse personally and be satisfied to solve and troubleshoot problems for the customers.

Customer service organizations train their representatives regarding the various ways through which they can handle their customers and handle their queries. The training programs can typically last for weeks and they are regarding how to deal with the queries of the customers and how to use the phone systems and the computer. If you are a customer service representative at an electronics store, you can have the benefit of getting the job if you know anything about the products that are being marketed.

Experience in the job of being the customer service representatives relate to being able to use the most popular computer operating systems like Microsoft Windows. The job also teaches you to retrieve information swiftly from a database that is software driven. For this, you must be familiar with the different concepts that are related to the products.

The global career prospects of the professionals involved in customer service are good, as has been estimated by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2004 itself, 2.4 million people were employed in the insurance and finance industries. The prospects are supposed to grow faster than average with new customer service representatives being created. This high turnover will ensure maximum job opportunities with favorable office automation.

The salaries of the customer service representatives on a median annual basis are $27,000, depending on the size and location of the employer. As an insurance carrier, you can make $30,000 a year, and if you work as a business support customer service representative, the salary is $22,000. Other benefits of the customer service agent include health insurance and vacations.

The customer service representatives' position allows you to work from home, more so if you need to stay at home and look after the kids. You may thus have to pay for different kinds of equipment like a special phone connection to connect you with the call center customer service. The customer service representative often operates from a counter in stores, the conditions varying according to the store. As you have to spend most of the time before a PC, eye strains, back aches, and carpal tunnel syndromes are common to watch out for.
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