Customer Assistance Technology

Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders and provide information about an organization’s products and services.

Introduction:

Customer service representatives answer questions or requests from customers or the public. They typically provide services by phone, but some also interact with customers face to face, by email, or live chat.

The specific duties of customer service representatives vary by industry. For example, representatives who work in banks may answer customers’ questions about their accounts. Representatives who work for utility and communication companies may help customers with service problems, such as outages. Those who work in retail stores often handle returns, process refunds, and help customers locate items. Some representatives make changes to customers’ accounts, such as updating addresses or canceling orders. Although selling is not their main job, some representatives may help generate sales while providing information about a product or service.

Employment Opportunities:

General customer-service training may focus on procedures for answering questions, information about a company’s products and services, and computer and telephone use. Trainees often work under the guidance of an experienced worker for the first few weeks of employment. In certain industries, such as finance and insurance, customer service representatives must remain current with changing regulations.

Career Opportunities:

  • Information Clerks
  • Receptionists
  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives

Employment Outlook:

Employment of customer service representatives is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

Salary:

The median annual salary for customer service representatives is $31,190, or $14.99 per hour.

Business Administration