How to Get a Job as an Customer Service Representative

How to Get a Job as an Customer Service Representative

Do you love that warm, fuzzy feeling you get from helping others? If so, working in customer service might be right up your alley.  Customer Service Representatives answer a customer’s questions and do their best to fix issues. They spend their days connecting directly with customers to improve their overall experience and relationship with a business or product. They make a career out of helping customers every day by answering questions, processing orders, resolving problems, and serving as brand ambassadors for the organization they work for. Most Customer Service Representatives interact with customers via telephone, email, or live chat. You have to have strong communication skills and high attention to detail to make it in the world of customer service.  

What does a customer service representative do?

As a customer service representative, your main job is to serve customers. Customer service reps work for most any business that engages with customers, including retail stores, banks, and insurance companies. Their primary tasks may include greeting and communicating with customers in person, by phone, or by computer via chat or email. Specific duties will vary depending on the company and industry where you work, but they may include:

  • Answering customer questions about the company, products, or services
  • Resolving customer complaints
  • Directing customers to the right department or supervisor 
  • Taking orders or processing payments 
  • Making changes to customers' accounts
  • Handling returns and exchanges
  • Addressing billing concerns
  • Keeping records of customer interactions
  • Selling products and services

Where do customer service representatives work? 

Customer service representatives work in a variety of environments and across many industries. They may communicate with customers in person or via phone, chat programs, or email, and work.

 The need for Customer Service Representatives spans nearly all industries, making it easy to find customer service job openings and opportunities in almost any area. Taking a role in the customer service industry means being the first line of defense for consumers. You’re there to help them every step of the way, whether it’s scheduling a service, facilitating the return of a defective product, or helping a customer understand how to use or fix the company’s product.

You'd be great for this position if...

– You love helping people
– You’re a creative problem solver
– You’re attentive
– You have good time management skills
– You stay cool under pressure
– You’re optimistic and able to stay positive despite setbacks

Resume Tips for Customer Service Representatives

To have a successful career as a customer service representative, there are certain skills that hiring managers know to look for. Take inventory of these important qualities and emphasize them in your resume:

  • Active listening
  • Patience
  • Excellent people skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Familiarity with computers and software
  • Building and maintaining long-term professional relationships
  • Anticipating the needs of others
  • Strong communication and personal diplomacy skills

If you don’t have much on-the-job experience, include things like…

  • Volunteering activities or mentoring programs
  • Community outreach programs
  • Sales experience
  • Any additional strengths, like being multilingual, computer literacy skills, etc

If you’re still feeling stuck on what skills to list in your resume, check the job description! Hiring managers list the key qualities they’re looking for, so you can score serious points for including them.

Interview Pointers for Customer Service Representatives

Prior to your interview, be sure to think of examples of personal experience applicable to the role:

  • Offer an example of a time you provided a creative solution to someone’s problem.
  • Describe a situation in which you have successfully worked with someone you didn’t like.
  • Give an example of a time when you were able to stay calm during a chaotic situation and how you were able to focus on the task at hand.
  • Discuss a time you have defused a tense situation with an angry coworker when they were being unreasonably demanding.
  • Provide the hiring manager with your conflict resolution tactics and why you think they work.

Be prepared to answer questions like:

  • What do you do when you don’t know how to answer a question?
  • What is good customer service?
  • What would you do if the customer was wrong?

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The top five ways to guarantee success as a Customer Service Rep

Are you ready to apply your enthusiasm and passion to a career in Customer Service? Let us help prepare you with our five tips to successful Customer Service. 

1). Make the customer feel comfortable

People often feel unsure when communicating with Customer Service, mainly because of past experiences, so it is vital to make the customer feel comfortable and taken care of within the first minute. Start out with a warm greeting and follow up by asking how you can be of assistance. When offering your help, don’t be too pushy, but rather listen to what the customer needs and/or wants. This creates a relaxed, welcoming relationship that makes it easy to properly serve a customer.

2). Be an expert in the services and products your company provides

As a Customer Service Representative, especially in the beverage industry, it is your responsibility to have a complete working knowledge of the products and services your company provides. It’s imperative to know more than the customer does so you can successfully answer any and all questions, as well as make recommendations as needed. If a question comes up that you cannot answer, never lie but rather ask for further clarification regarding the question or find someone who can resolve the inquiry. This allows you to build trust with the customer and create revenue for your company.  

3). Take customers’ complaints seriously

Let the customer know that their feedback is important, and as a Customer Service Representative you will do what it takes to resolve the issue. A Customer Service strategy that comes in handy in these situations is known as the CARP method.

  • Control the situation
  • Acknowledge the drama
  • Refocus the conversation
  • Problem-solve so the customer leaves happy

Using this method as a step-by-step guide of how to handle customer complaints will help ease the situation and allow the customer to feel satisfied.

4). Practice effective time management

The Customer Service field can be highly fast-paced to work in, therefore practicing effective time management skills will not only benefit your customer but yourself, as well. With days filled with phone calls, reports, data entry, etc., it is easy to feel overwhelmed and lose track of time. That is why it is recommended to create daily and weekly to-do lists, create a schedule that includes meetings, phone calls, etc., and reminders of the most important tasks each day. Following these simple time management tasks can greatly help you stay on target.

5). Create professional goals

Creating professional goals not only helps keep one’s focus but also increases motivation and drive. Professional goals can include daily, weekly, monthly or annual goals, and can include something you would like to improve on, a benchmark that you would like to meet within a certain time frame or even receiving a promotion. So whether you want to meet the daily goal of resolving at least one customer’s problem or a monthly goal of selling X amount of products,  the intention is to work toward something bigger. In the end, this helps build professional growth as well as increase customer satisfaction through hard work.

 

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