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
            BA/Service Management
            • Provides an exclusive Ashford Mobile app to keep students connected to the online classroom on the go.
            • Offers a business program in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
            • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
            • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
            • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            M.B.A.
            • Do you have entrepreneurial visions to advance your career in the business world? Learn about the options available at GCU.
            • Earn a competitive bachelor's or master's degree in the areas of business administration, business analytics, accounting, marketing and more.
            • Many of our business degrees have attained elite accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP).
            • GCU nurtures the startup spirit, propelling your entrepreneurial visions on a powerful platform with opportunities to help you thrive.
            • Pursue a next-generation education with an online program or join Grand Canyon University's vibrant and growing campus community in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona.
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Business Administration (BS) (Online)
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
            • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
            • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
            • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Fashion & Retail Management (BFA)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Business Administration (BBA)
            • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
            • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
            • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
            • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Business Administration

            The University of Delaware’s tradition of proven academic excellence in online learning brings together expert faculty, experiential learning, and the flexible access online learning offers.

            • Online Courses
            Flexible MBA
            • Dedicated to the exceptional education of exemplary business leaders & citizens
            • Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
            • 10+ business degree and certificate programs with online and on campus options
            • 4 campuses conveniently located between Baltimore, MD & Washington D.C
            • U.S. News & World Report ranked JHU #10 among U.S. colleges and universities
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Master of Business Administration - Marketing

            Winthrop University is a public, comprehensive university located just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, with a rich tradition spanning more than 130 years.

            • Online Courses
            General Business - D.B.A.
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Certificate - Business Office Administration
            • At Charter College the entire curriculum is built around student success
            • Accredited by the ACICS with easy-to-use online remote classroom platforms
            • Offers training programs in healthcare, business, veterinary care, IT, & more
            • Receive excellent online support from faculty and staff members
            • Many members of the military have found their ideal fit at Charter College
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses