dcsimg

Customer Service Representative

Customer service representatives interact with customers to ensure their company is providing an adequate level of service. They answer questions about products and service, and handle any questions, concerns, or complaints. Some specialize in specific areas, while others may act as general contacts. They communicate with customers either in person, over the telephone, through email or regular mail, by fax, or over the Internet. Some of the questions they receive are simple and only require looking up easy-to-access information, while other questions are more complex and may involve additional research. Customer service representatives may be responsible for determining if complaints are valid, suggesting solutions to the problem, providing refunds or exchanges, following up with customers, or helping customers decide which products suit them best. Much of their work involves the use of computers and telephones. Their job responsibilities may vary depending on the industry in which they work, such as banking, insurance, communications firms, or utilities companies.

Job Skills

Because they represent a company or organization to the public, customer service representatives must have a friendly and professional disposition, as well as strong interpersonal communication, listening, and problem-solving skills. They must be able to remain patient and courteous when dealing with impatient and angry customers. They should have the ability to work independently. Employers look for candidates who have a clear speaking voice and are fluent in the English language. Bilingual skills are highly advantageous. Those who communicate with customers via email must have good typing and computer skills.

Income

In 2002, customer service representatives earned a median annual salary of $26,240. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $17,230, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $42,990. The following shows the median annual salaries for the industries employing the highest numbers of customer service representatives:

  • Wired telecommunications carriers - $38,980
  • Insurance carriers - 28,560
  • Agencies, brokerages, and other insurance - 28,270
  • Management of companies and enterprises - 27,990
  • Nondepository credit intermediation - 25,600
  • Depository credit intermediation - 24,850
  • Employment services - 22,510
  • Electronic shopping and mail order houses - 21,530
  • Business support services - 21,130
  • Grocery stores - 17,230

Training and Education

The most common educational requirement for customer service representatives is a high school diploma. The addition of basic computer knowledge and good interpersonal communication skills makes for a qualified candidate. Although training varies between industries, almost all new employees receive training before and after they start their jobs. This training usually includes phone skills, products or services, common customer problems, operation of telephones and computers, and company policies and regulations. Training usually lasts for several weeks or more, and after employees begin working, they continue to receive training updates. Many customer service jobs are entry-level positions and can serve as a good opportunity for entry into a company. Customer service representatives may advance to supervisory or managerial positions, or to areas such as product development. Insurance agencies and brokerages require their customer service representatives to have previous work experience in insurance and to be licensed like insurance sales agents.

Employment

In 2002, customer service representatives held about 1.9 million jobs. 25% worked in finance and insurance, while others worked in administrative and support services, telecommunications, manufacturing, and wholesale trade. 30% were employed in California, Texas, Florida, or New York.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of customer service representatives is expected to increase faster than the average. Growth will be fueled by an increased reliance on these workers due to the realization that they are directly linked to the success of an organization. Industries such as financial services, communications, and utilities will attempt to gain a competitive edge by improving customer service and by hiring more customer service representatives. Prospects for those seeking positions as customer service representatives will be excellent, with more job openings than jobseekers. Demand will be especially high for bilingual employees.


Customer Service Representative Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
            • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
            • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
            • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
            • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            PMP
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Music Business, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            MS Organization Development & Leadership

            Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person). The strong liberal arts foundation promotes an environment of open-minded investigation and debate and attends to developing students beyond their academic accomplishments, while maintaining high academic standards. The University strives to be recognized as the preeminent Catholic comprehensive university in the Northeast.

            • Online Courses
            Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

            Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history, an environment of intellectual curiosity and discovery, and a supportive, student-centered approach to learning. Founded in 1869 as a land-grant school, the University is known today for its prolific faculty as well as a record of distinguished research and achievement in aerospace, engineering, technology, science, and math. Our goal is to educate and develop men and women of personal integrity and scholarly excellence.

            • Online Courses
            Good for Working Adults
            • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Received the 2013 Making a Difference for Students Award from Quality Matters.
            • Offers a free student app for smartphones and tablets, helping students keep up to date.
            • Has a Golden Key International Honour Society and SALUTE Veterans Honor Society.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Master of Business Administration Online
            • Study at a university accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
            • Immediately apply what you’re learning to current workplace challenges
            • Experience the convenience and flexibility of online learning—access coursework 24/7
            • Take advantage of four start dates per year
            • Benefit from no required GRE/GMAT 
            • Enjoy small class sizes and students from diverse backgrounds
            • Earn your degree from a respected institution in as few as 18 months
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master in Business Administration - Management
            • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            • Its main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, with campuses located throughout the State of Florida and internationally. 
            • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Certificate - Business Administration (Management)
            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Business Administration - Associate
            • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
            • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
            • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
            • Michigan's largest independent college.
            • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
            • Programs are continuously updated to ensure classes are career-relevant and in sync with what's needed in the industry
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits