Career summary

Details for Customer Service Representatives


Description

Interact with customers to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints.

Tasks

  • Confer with customers by telephone or in person to provide information about products or services, take or enter orders, cancel accounts, or obtain details of complaints.
  • Check to ensure that appropriate changes were made to resolve customers' problems.
  • Keep records of customer interactions or transactions, recording details of inquiries, complaints, or comments, as well as actions taken.
  • Resolve customers' service or billing complaints by performing activities such as exchanging merchandise, refunding money, or adjusting bills.
  • Complete contract forms, prepare change of address records, or issue service discontinuance orders, using computers.
  • Refer unresolved customer grievances to designated departments for further investigation.
  • Determine charges for services requested, collect deposits or payments, or arrange for billing.
  • Contact customers to respond to inquiries or to notify them of claim investigation results or any planned adjustments.
  • Solicit sales of new or additional services or products.
  • Order tests that could determine the causes of product malfunctions.
  • Obtain and examine all relevant information to assess validity of complaints and to determine possible causes, such as extreme weather conditions that could increase utility bills.
  • Review claims adjustments with dealers, examining parts claimed to be defective, and approving or disapproving dealers' claims.
  • Review insurance policy terms to determine whether a particular loss is covered by insurance.
  • Compare disputed merchandise with original requisitions and information from invoices and prepare invoices for returned goods.
  • Recommend improvements in products, packaging, shipping, service, or billing methods and procedures to prevent future problems.

Interests

  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Related careers

  • Bill and Account Collectors
  • Counter and Rental Clerks
  • Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs
  • Insurance Policy Processing Clerks
  • Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan
  • License Clerks
  • Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks
  • Retail Salespersons
  • Telephone Operators