what is a customer service representative?

Customer service representatives help customers with processing orders and handling complaints. In this position, you provide information and answer questions related to products and services sold by the company. You also process returns and forward complaints to other departments or supervisors. Some customer service representatives are responsible for managing other employees, especially when you move up to a supervisor position.

The role requires someone with a patient and calm demeanour. Customer service representatives are trained to deal with angry customers and acknowledge their distress while finding ways to resolve a problem. Keeping your composure while responding to customer complaints across multiple communication channels and remaining empathetic is important. You also provide detailed information about products or services sold by the company.

what does a customer service representative do?

The role involves keeping customer interaction records, including complaints and comments or acting as a liaison between the company and customers. You also coordinate and communicate with other department employees and prepare product or service reports. You spend a significant amount of time on computers and undergo training to work with different types of software to distribute information.

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average customer service representative salary

As a customer service representative, you earn an average salary of $60,000 annually. However, the remuneration package fluctuates based on various factors. When you work in entry-level roles, you are likely to earn lower salaries than experienced customer service reps. Entry-level roles attract a remuneration package of $55,000 yearly, while senior-level positions have salaries of up to $65,000 per year.

what factors affect the remuneration package of a customer service representative?

The earnings of a customer service representative often depend on their experience and qualifications. While most customer service roles don't require educational qualifications, you can negotiate a higher salary if you have a marketing or customer service course certificate.

Where you work also determines your earnings. When you work in a call centre, your earnings may be lower compared to customer service representatives working in-house. The responsibilities you undertake in the company also determine your remuneration. If your job is to answer phone calls only, your earning will be lower than a customer service rep who performs additional administrative duties like managing customer accounts. Your work location also influences your remuneration package. Working in metro areas raises your salary expectations.

Want to know what you will earn as a customer service representative? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

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types of customer service representatives

The types of customer service representatives depend on the mode of communication with customers. Some include:

  • email customer services support: your job is to respond to emails and live chats from customers. You answer queries and assist customers with the purchase process by replying to emails. You also prepare reports on the emails received and customer complaints.
  • social media customer service reps: you monitor a company's social media platforms and respond to queries or assist customers in making purchases. You also post on social media pages and chat with your audience.
female and male working together
female and male working together

working as a customer service representative

Working as a customer service representative allows you to interact with various customers. If you are interested in the role, check out the daily duties, responsibilities and work schedules.


education and skills

There are no minimum qualifications for working as a customer service representative. However, you can benefit from the following educational qualifications:

  • education: undertake courses to improve your skills in administration software and communication skills. For instance, complete a course like Certificate III in business and specialise in customer engagement. The courses are available in registered training organisations. If you want a career in sales, business and administration, you can further your study with a bachelor's degree in business.
  • work experience: most customer representative jobs are entry-level, and you don’t require prior experience. Employers provide on-the-job training to prepare you for the role. You also gain experience through internships and jobs in retail positions.

customer service representative skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a customer service representative include:

  • communication skills: you spend most of the day talking to clients on the phone or responding to emails. Communication skills help you respond to clients in a friendly manner. Your written and verbal communication skills ensure you communicate flawlessly.
  • computer skills: it is crucial to sharpen your computer skills as a customer service skills. You rely on your computer skills to access updated customer databases, file management information, and write reports.
  • flexibility: as a customer service representative, you handle diverse clients daily. Hence, it is important to be flexible and ready to answer unique questions from every customer. You should also be comfortable with communicating using various channels since some customers prefer phone conversations while others opt for live chats.
  • time management: as a customer service representative, you should assist customers immediately. Time management skills help you prioritise tasks and streamline your work to offer accurate responses. For instance, you can create schedules to organise tasks and ensure every customer is served.

FAQs about working as a customer service representative

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a customer service representative.

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