Jobs are usually full-time, but there are some part-time positions available. Given the "24/7" culture of many of the industries that employ customer service representatives, schedules often include early mornings, late evenings, weekends and holidays. This can benefit those who need to work flexible hours.
Although solving people's problems can be gratifying, dealing with dissatisfied customers can be very stressful. Customers who aren't happy with the product or service they received may take it out on the person whose job it is to make things right.
Certain character traits will serve you well in this occupation. It will not come as a surprise to learn that one needs good communication and interpersonal skills. You must be able to understand customers' concerns and respond to them effectively. You must speak clearly when talking to consumers either on the phone or in person and you need good writing skills if you interact with them by email, live chat or via social media. As they say "patience is a virtue" and it is particularly true for customer service represents who are dealing with disgruntled people.
Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much a customer service representative currently earns in your city.
A Day in a Customer Service Representative's Life:
On a typical day a customer service representative's tasks might include:
- interacting with customers by phone, email, live chat or in person
- answering questions, suggesting solutions to problems, providing information and giving instructions
- making changes to customers' accounts
- arranging for product returns and refunds
- keeping records of calls and other interactions
- doing research in order to find solutions to problems
- taking orders for products or services
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Customer Service Representatives, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm (visited December 11, 2012).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Customer Service Representatives, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/43-4051.00 (visited December 11, 2012).