17 Ways on How to Work Successfully as Customer Service Representative

Customer Service Representative

Customer Service Representative: Customer service representatives are required for almost every industry and exist to help customers and increase their satisfaction. As a customer service representative, you’ll most likely have to do things like take complaints, process orders, and answer questions. While the job is rewarding for some people, it can also be stressful. If you’re a people person and like helping, being a customer service representative may be for you.

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1. Get your high school diploma. Most jobs in customer service will require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent education. If you’re a teenager or someone without their diploma, customer service is still viable for you in places like retail, but it may be harder to get a job. Check with the employer or look at the application requirements before applying for the position.

  • If you are older than high school age, look into GED programs provided by your local school or community college.

    Customer Service Representative

2. Determine the industry you want to work in. There are a variety of industries that you can work in as a customer service representative. Some of the most popular industries include banking, finance, retail, and technology. Think of the environment you want to work in. Determine if you’d like to work with customers in-person, over the phone, or online by considering your best personality traits. For instance, if you’re likable and approachable, working in retail may be your best move. If you’ve got a great phone demeanor, then working in a call center maybe your best option.

  • Many customer service representative jobs offer training, but it helps if you already have some knowledge of the industry you are looking to work in.
  • Customer service in the technology industry is one of the most profitable sectors you can get into.

    Customer Service Representative

3. Consider the pay and benefits you require. Customer service representative jobs can vary in pay significantly depending on your industry. The average customer service representative makes $34,560 a year. Consider the benefits that the company is providing and whether or not other people in your house rely on you. Choose a job that can fulfill the financial need in your life.

  • Vehicle manufacturing customer service representatives make $55,570 while business support service reps only make $28,340.
  • Benefits could include paid time off, vacation and sick pay, profit sharing, or seasonal bonuses.

4. Apply to job listings online. Type “customer service” into job websites to find listings in your area. You can also lookup companies that you’d want to work for individuals and apply through their website. Find a position that meets your skills and experience and apply to the job.

  • Take your time when filling out the application and make sure there are no typos in your resume.
  • Apply to more than one job and make sure always to provide the proper contact information.
  • Many customer service jobs will require a minimum of a resume and cover letter.
  • Experience increases the likelihood of getting the job.

    Customer Service Representative

5. Wait for the callback. Once the company you apply to gets your resume, they will evaluate it and give you a call back if you have the skills or experience they are looking for. Make sure to keep your cellphone accessible and return the call as soon as possible if you missed it. Usually, during the callback, they will ask short and general questions, then try to schedule a time for an interview. Make sure that you articulate your words clearly and keep an upbeat and positive attitude.

  • Be available for the interview and try your hardest not to reschedule, as it could hurt your chances of landing the job.
  • Be polite and energetic to the person who is calling you. It may be your future boss.

6. Prepare for standard interview questions. To increase the chances of you getting the job, it’s a good idea to review commonly asked questions for customer service interviews. Rehearse in front of a friend, family member, or in the mirror. Think of your answers ahead of time and be prepared to articulate answers as effectively as you can. Try to cater your answers towards what the interviewer would want to hear.

  • For example, if they ask you “How would you handle a rude customer?” the appropriate response could be something like, “I would try to reassure them and calm the customer down. Then I would resolve their problem to the best of my ability, before sending them on their way.”
  • Other interview questions could include, “Why would you be a good fit for our company as a customer service rep?” “Tell me about a time that you helped resolve a particularly difficult customer issue.” or “Do you consider yourself a team player?”

    Customer Service Representative

7. Dress the part. Employers want customer service representatives that look put together and clean. If you are going for a retail job, they’ll also want to see that you have a keen sense of fashion. Determine what kind of job you are going for and dress the part. If it’s a corporate or office job, wear a suit and tie with slacks, or a dark blouse with black pants.

  • Always go conservative if you’re unsure of how to dress for the interview.
  • Avoid wearing loud colors.
  • Shower and brush your teeth before going to the interview.

8. Nail the interview. Once you apply and get a call-back, it’s likely that the employer will call you in for an interview. This can happen at their corporate office, in-store, or at a call center. Make sure to be enthusiastic and positive while the interviewer is asking you questions. Your personality in the interview will reflect how you will interact with customers.

  • Remember to talk about your desire for helping people and having satisfied customers.
  • For more help with interviews, visit, Go-to-an-Interview.

    Customer Service Representative

9. Start working as a customer service representative. Once you get the job, make sure to read the employee handbook and listen to others while they train you. While many customer service skills can translate from one job to another, the operations at different companies can sometimes be vastly different. When you first start working as a customer service representative, there will probably be a lot to take in at first. Concentrate on nailing the basic operations before going into more complex things. For example, if working in retail, you may want to learn how to tag products and the company’s policies before you start working on more complex tasks like inventory management.

  • Keep good working habits and stay organized so that you can learn as much as possible and secure promotions in the future.
  • The hiring manager wants to see that you’re personable, can resolve problems, and have the right demeanor to interact with customers.
  • Good work habits include coming into work on time and working well with your colleagues.

    Customer Service Representative

10. Know your product or service inside and out. The more you know about the product or service, the easier it will be to answer customer questions. Study the product or service that your company provides, and take note of frequently asked questions or common points of confusion. Knowing the product will make your job easier and you’ll be more efficient.

  • You can even use or purchase the product or service to understand how the customer feels.
  • If you have questions about the product or service, ask your supervisor.
  • For example, if you’re a customer service representative for a cable company, it would help to know what channels your company provides as well as common issues with cable boxes or modems.

11. Learn the procedures and operations at your job. While customer service jobs require the same traits to be effective, each company and industry will have different standards and procedures. Even if you have some experience, learn the methods that your company uses. This could include a system to handle angry customers or the procedure to log individual calls into a database. Work closely with whoever is training you, and make sure to ask questions when you’re unsure of something.

  • It’s usually better to take your time and get something right, rather than rushing and messing it up.
  • Follow the instructions from the person training you carefully.

    Customer Service Representative

12. Maintain clear communication. A misunderstanding or miscommunication can damage your reputation with a customer. Keep the conversation clear and concise and don’t talk about something unless you are certain about it. Identify their problem and work to solve their issue without diverting into a different topic.

  • If a customer asks you a question that you’re not sure about, say, “I’m not sure why, but let me put you on hold and I’ll get the information from my supervisor. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
  • A miscommunication may make a customer have false expectations which could get you in trouble.
  • For instance, if a customer asks how much something costs and you say “It will be included in your bill,” it could be misconstrued as a free product, when what you actually meant to say was, “The cost will be listed on your bill.”

    Customer Service Representative

13. Be polite and courteous. When you’re dealing with a customer, they will most likely mirror your attitude. If you act irate or annoyed, there’s a good chance that they will return the favor and the interaction will be less than favorable. If you remain polite and courteous, even in the face of someone who’s angry, your energy will affect the way they act.

  • Try to set the tone for the interaction. If the customer is initially angry, you can reduce their frustration by staying calm and polite.
  • If you’re dealing with an angry customer, you can say something like, “I understand why you’re angry, but I’m going to figure it out and resolve the issue.”
  • If the tone of the conversation escalates, and the customer remains mad, consider forwarding them to a supervisor.

    Customer Service Representative

14. Have patience and be understanding. Some customers will know precisely what their issue is, and others will ask a lot of questions. Regardless of the knowledge of the client, you must have patience. Try to understand their issue from their perspective. If they are a new customer and haven’t used your product, there’s a chance that they don’t understand how to use it, or don’t know your company’s policies. Make sure to explain everything so that they can walk away satisfied with your interaction.

  • If the customer is new to your product say something like, “I totally understand how frustrating it can be. I’m going to help you figure this out.”
  • Ask the customer questions so you can ascertain their familiarity with your product or service.
  • If you have a file on the person and they are a brand new customer, make sure to have extra patience with them.

    Customer Service Representative

15. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes a customer will vent their frustrations on you and it can affect your emotions. Taking customer anger personally can put you in a negative space and make your day harder. Realize that the customer is most likely angry or disappointed at their situation, and not you. A defective product could have unforeseen consequences, which can put customers in a bad mood. Channel your emotions so that you can better serve the customer instead of getting upset.

  • If a customer is angry, you can say something like, “I’m sorry that happened,” or “I understand your frustration. I’ll do my best to help you.”

16. Maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you are working too many overtime hours or are on call frequently, it could increase your stress and have a negative impact on your health. Even if you have set hours, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t bringing your work home with you mentally. Remember to separate your work from your home life and leave work at your office. Bringing the stress and anxiety home with you can deteriorate your own well-being and relationships with family and friends.

  • Take your vacation time and make sure to plan something that you can enjoy.

    Customer Service Representative

17. Maintain a healthy diet. Eating unhealthy things like fast food every day will reduce your focus and limit your concentration. This can make it hard to communicate effectively to customers or help them find solutions. Eat healthy during the day. If there isn’t anywhere healthy to eat around you, consider making your lunch and bringing it to work.

  • Foods that help boost concentration and efficiency include beets, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, salmon, and walnuts.

    Customer Service Representative

18. Talk to your supervisor for help. If the stress of the job is having a negative impact on your life or relationship with others, it’s a good idea to talk to your supervisor. They may be able to relocate you to a different department that could be less stressful or reduce the amount of work that they expect from you. Supervisors may also have additional techniques or strategies to help you become more efficient or minimize your stress.

  • There’s a good chance that if you are having problems coping with the work environment your colleagues are experiencing similar things.
  • You can say something like, “I’m doing my best, but I can’t seem to get everything accomplished and it’s making me a bit stressed. Do you have any tactics that you think would help me?”

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