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Customer Service Representatives Job Description and Earnings Outlook

Customer service representatives are responsible for obtaining information concerning products or services provided by a company. Click "play" to watch customer service representatives career video.



By Jessica Mousseau
Posted 2010



Customer service representitive jobs: From the information obtained through the initial contact, customer service representatives locate original files, paperwork or documentation. That information is then compared with the information provided by the consumer, and the appropriate measures are taken to resolve the problem or complaint, if there is one, or to see that the transaction has been fully completed in the appropriate manner.

The customer service representative may refer the consumer to another person or department, or may work with the consumer until the situation is fully resolved. Afterward, documentation is added to the consumer’s file denoting the particulars of the contact, the resolution that occurred and the manner in which it was accomplished.

Job Summary

  • This job can be performed by someone possessing a high school diploma or equivalent, or a college degree.
  • Training can be performed by on-the-job resources, or by attending classes or instructional sessions provided by the employer.
  • Practically every field imaginable offers employment opportunities for customer service representatives.
  • The U. S. Department of Labor projects growth in this field as being between 14% and 17% through 2018. In fact, O-Net Online has flagged this occupation as a “Bright Outlook” opportunity.

Work Environment for Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives usually work in an office setting. The work location may be off-site, or may be on the same campus as the main or district office.

Customer service representatives are usually the first people with whom consumers will have contact, and that contact will most often be either face-to-face or by phone. For this reason, customer service representatives must possess emotional maturity and the ability to communicate verbally in a clear, concise, and professional manner. They may be required to work under moderate to heavy stress, moving from one call or contact to another with minimal, if any, pauses in between.

Education, Training, and Licensing

A high school diploma or equivalent may be sufficient to obtain employment as a customer service representative. Those people possessing college degrees, however, should not be discouraged from applying for and accepting employment as customer service representatives, as often this position serves as one of the best ways with which to establish a career with a company.

Bi-lingual abilities, with extreme familiarity with English being foremost, are often a major plus in this area of employment; also, especially if the other language spoken is one’s native tongue or they have extensive education or exposure to the language.

Training may be through on-the-job resources, or may be given over a period of days, weeks, or even months. During this time, the employee may be considered as being in a probationary or trial period, with full employment being guaranteed only after successful completion of the training program. In some instances, training is ongoing, particularly if new equipment or new products are introduced, so that the customer service representative will remain cognizant of all changes within the organization.

Usually no licensing is required for customer service representative positions, although holding a notary public or similar license that allows one to attest to sworn affidavits and statements can be an asset. Further, the ability to be bonded and/or insured or to pass security clearances of varying degrees can give an employee an extra advantage.

Employment Figures and Earnings for Customer Service Representatives

As mentioned earlier, this occupation is considered by O-Online to have a bright outlook. As of May, 2009, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2,195,860 customer service representatives earning an average of $32,410 annually.

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