Customer Service Representative

The best way to think of a customer service representative is that a CSR is a company’s first point of contact with the public. Indeed the term customer service representative is often used to refer to call centre workers.

The most basic function of a customer service representative is to take calls, chat requests, e-mails and other communications from customers and respond to them. This means that a CSR could end up doing anything from telling a customer the company’s billing address to helping a customer locate a technical manual for a product.

Customer Service Representatives and Customer Service Advisors

The big difference between a customer service representative and a customer service advisor or customer relationship manager is that the CSR provides only a basic level of customer service. The representative responds to basic questions such as requests for information.

A customer service advisor will take a more proactive role. For example a customer service advisor might try to find out who in the company deals with a particular request. The customer service advisor will often conduct follow ups to see if a customer’s needs have been met.

In many cases the customer service representative will refer a person to the customer service advisor. In some cases customer service representatives will fill orders and help customers pay bills.

Customer Service Representative Duties

The main duty of a customer service representative is to provide an immediate response to customer requests. A classic example of is this is to answer every phone call within ten seconds.

Unlike a customer service advisor a representative does not necessarily have to solve customer’s problems. Instead his major job is to maintain contact with the customer so the company can meet her needs.

Traditionally customer service representatives worked in call centers and were closely monitored by managers. This produced a high pressure environment and high turnover. In recent years the trend has been to hire independent contractors that work at home.

In some businesses only good basic phone skills are required. Some technology and finance companies will require customer service representatives to have some knowledge of the business. Some insurance industry representatives may even need to have insurance licenses.

Generally the main requirements to be a customer service representative are a good phone voice and good basic customer service skills. A personality that doesn’t respond to anger and personal attacks is also a plus.

Training for Customer Service Representatives

In recent years the trend has been to give customer representatives quite a bit of training. This training combines phone and customer skills with familiarization with the company’s products.

It often involved a combination of online training, testing, classroom training, face to face training, and on the job training. Many customer service representatives will need to go through several days of paid training before starting work.

Customer service representatives that work at home often need to go to a formal training session. This is usually conducted at a company’s office or a facility such as hotel. Generally this training session is done so that a company’s employees can evaluate job candidates.

The training combines familiarization with the position with classroom training and testing. Many work at home representatives will also need to go through online training as well.

Something to consider is that most customer service representatives face regular evaluations from their employers and managers. Many customer service calls are recorded so that managers can review them and evaluate an employee’s performance for example. Those who do not want to face such regular evaluations should consider other career options.

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This entry was written by Prathamesh , posted on Wednesday January 19 2011at 07:01 am , filed under Customer Services . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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