Customer Service Representative: Job Duties, Requirements & Career Info
Customer service representatives require little formal education. Learn more about the education, job duties and training requirements to find out if this is the right career for you.
Customer service representatives respond to customer inquiries regarding problems with a company's products or services. They do so by way of phone, e-mail, fax and face-to-face meetings. Customer service representative jobs often require only a high school diploma, but the level of education needed might be higher for certain fields. Customer service representatives must also undergo on-the-job training.
|Required Education||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Other Requirements||On-the-job training|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||13%|
|Average Salary (2013)*||$33,370|
Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Customer service representatives take customer questions, complaints and comments. They typically use a computer, telephone or other form of communication to respond to customers' inquiries. They must treat customers with respect and do whatever they can, within company policies, to make sure customers are satisfied with their purchases.
The duties of an individual customer service representative often depend on the nature of the company with which they're employed. For instance, customer service representatives at a telephone company might spend their days providing customers with bill support, while those working for clothing companies might work returns or take questions regarding individual products.
Customer service representative jobs often require only a high school diploma and skills in communication, writing and math. However, the level of education needed might be higher for certain fields. For example, a high tech industry, such as engineering, typically requires that its customer service representatives have an associate's or bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field. Specific customer service representative certificate programs are available as well. These often focus on computer and communication skills.
Additionally, customer service representatives often must undergo on-the-job training, during which they may have to learn about an industry that they have little or no prior knowledge of. The length of this training varies by employer, and customer service representatives might be required to update their knowledge and skills on a regular basis.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), customer service representative jobs were forecast to increase by about 13 percent from 2012-2022, which was about as fast as the average for all other occupations. Growth was due in part to anticipated new technologies creating opportunities, especially for customer service representatives who work through online chat and e-mail. However, some automated technologies will allow customers to conduct their business entirely online and bypass representatives. Average yearly earnings for customer service representatives were $33,370 as of May 2013.
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