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Working As a Customer Service Associate

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $31,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Customer Service Associate Do

Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services.

Duties

Customer service representatives typically do the following:

  • Listen to customers’ questions and concerns, and provide answers or responses
  • Provide information about products and services
  • Take orders, calculate charges, and process billing or payments
  • Review or make changes to customer accounts
  • Handle returns or complaints
  • Record details of customer contacts and actions taken
  • Refer customers to supervisors or more experienced employees

Customer service representatives answer questions or requests from customers or the public. They typically provide services by phone, but some also interact with customers face to face, by email, or live chat.

The specific duties of customer service representatives vary by industry. For example, representatives who work in banks may answer customers’ questions about their accounts. Representatives who work for utility and communication companies may help customers with service problems, such as outages. Those who work in retail stores often handle returns, process refunds, and help customers locate items. Some representatives make changes to customers’ accounts, such as updating addresses or canceling orders. Although selling is not their main job, some representatives may help generate sales while providing information about a product or service.

Customer service representatives typically use a telephone, computer, and other office equipment. For example, representatives who work in call centers answer phone calls and use computers to review and select standard responses from a list of options. Those employed in retail stores use registers to process returns or orders.

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How To Become A Customer Service Associate

Customer service representatives typically need a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training to learn the specific skills needed for the job. They should be good at communicating and interacting with people and have some experience using computers.

Education

Customer service representatives typically need a high school diploma.

Training

Customer service representatives usually receive short-term on-the-job training, lasting 2 to 3 weeks. Those who work in finance and insurance may need several months of training to learn more complicated financial regulations.

General customer-service training may focus on procedures for answering questions, information about a company’s products and services, and computer and telephone use. Trainees often work under the guidance of an experienced worker for the first few weeks of employment.

In certain industries, such as finance and insurance, customer service representatives must remain current with changing regulations.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Customer service representatives who provide information about finance and insurance may need a state license. Although licensing requirements vary by state, they usually include passing a written exam. Some employers and organizations may provide training for these exams.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Customer service representatives must be able to provide information in writing, by phone, or in person so that customers can understand them.

Customer-service skills. Representatives help companies retain customers by answering their questions and complaints in a helpful and professional manner.

Interpersonal skills. Representatives should be able to create positive interactions with customers.

Listening skills. Representatives must listen carefully and understand a customer’s situation in order to assist them.

Patience. Representatives should be patient and polite, especially when interacting with dissatisfied customers.

Problem-solving skills. Representatives must determine solutions to a customer’s problem. By resolving issues effectively, representatives contribute to customer loyalty and retention.

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Customer Service Associate Career Paths

Customer Service Associate
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Average Length of Employment
Customer Associate 1.9 years
Customer Assistant 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Customer Service Associate
Cashier 22.1%
Internship 4.1%
Server 3.6%
Volunteer 2.7%
Manager 2.3%
Associate 2.1%
Teller 1.8%
Waitress 1.8%
Hostess 1.8%
Top Careers After Customer Service Associate
Cashier 15.3%
Server 4.4%
Internship 3.8%
Associate 2.8%
Teller 2.5%
Manager 2.4%
Volunteer 2.0%

Do you work as a Customer Service Associate?

Average Yearly Salary
$31,000
Show Salaries
$20,000
Min 10%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$31,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Portland, ME
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
2.1 years
How much does a Customer Service Associate make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Customer Service Associate in the United States is $31,493 per year or $15 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $20,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $47,000.

Real Customer Service Associate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Manager, TMC & CSA Channel Strategy United Airlines, Inc. Chicago, IL Oct 18, 2010 $111,840
CSA Patni Americas Inc. Atlanta, GA Mar 01, 2012 $69,500
CSA Patni Americas Inc. Mayfield Heights, OH Mar 01, 2012 $60,400
Customer Service Associate International Private Banking Israel Discount Bank of New York New York, NY Sep 09, 2016 $50,898
Customer Service Associate International Private Banking Israel Discount Bank of New York New York, NY Sep 09, 2015 $50,128
Customer Services Associate (Retirement Products) Ing North America Insurance Corporation Windsor, CT Nov 07, 2011 $42,000
Ecommerce and Customer Service Associate Assembly New York New York, NY May 29, 2015 $37,566
Ecommerce and Customer Service Associate Assembly New York New York, NY Jun 29, 2015 $37,566

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Top Skills for A Customer Service Associate

  1. New Merchandise
  2. Customer Service
  3. Phone Calls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed daily departmental responsibilities, such as merchandise inventory, cashier and labeling of new merchandise.
  • Provided customer service, including anticipating customer needs, suggesting alternatives, problem solving and performs multiple task simultaneously.
  • Provided customers with account information and assisted with handling accelerated phone calls.
  • Maintained and accurately inventoried sales floor keeping records of merchandise.
  • Prepared sales and customer relations reports by analyzing and categorizing sales information; identifying and investigating customer complaints and service suggestions.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Customer Service Associates

  1. Maine
  2. West Virginia
  3. Kentucky
  4. New Jersey
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. North Carolina
  7. Illinois
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Ohio
  10. Wyoming
  • (553 jobs)
  • (585 jobs)
  • (1,433 jobs)
  • (3,448 jobs)
  • (4,562 jobs)
  • (3,222 jobs)
  • (4,553 jobs)
  • (819 jobs)
  • (4,850 jobs)
  • (313 jobs)

Customer Service Associate Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 182,712 Customer Service Associate resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Customer Service Associate Resume

View Resume Examples

Customer Service Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

55.8%

Male

33.4%

Unknown

10.8%
Ethnicity

White

62.0%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

French

7.9%

German

3.1%

Arabic

2.3%

Portuguese

2.3%

Japanese

1.9%

Chinese

1.9%

Russian

1.8%

Mandarin

1.8%

Italian

1.8%

Hindi

1.6%

Polish

1.2%

Tagalog

1.1%

Cantonese

1.0%

Korean

0.8%

Urdu

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Filipino

0.6%

Carrier

0.5%

Swedish

0.5%
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Customer Service Associate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

23.1%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

6.4%

Kaplan University

6.0%

Strayer University

4.9%

The Academy

4.8%

Ashford University

4.5%

University of Central Florida

4.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.4%

Liberty University

4.2%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.5%

Miami Dade College

3.5%

Valencia College

3.5%

University of South Florida

3.4%

Temple University

3.4%

Arizona State University

3.4%

Houston Community College

3.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.1%

Florida State University

2.8%
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Majors

Business

25.3%

Criminal Justice

7.7%

Psychology

7.0%

Health Care Administration

6.1%

Nursing

5.9%

Medical Assisting Services

5.8%

Accounting

5.4%

General Studies

5.3%

Communication

4.1%

Liberal Arts

3.1%

Computer Science

3.0%

Marketing

2.8%

Management

2.8%

Biology

2.6%

English

2.5%

Education

2.4%

Finance

2.2%

Graphic Design

2.1%

Cosmetology

1.9%

Human Resources Management

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.6%

Other

33.4%

Associate

17.4%

Certificate

5.6%

Masters

5.3%

Diploma

2.7%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Top Customer Service Associate Employers

Jobs From Top Customer Service Associate Employers

Customer Service Associate Videos

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Updated May 19, 2020