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Working as a Customer Service Representative

Do you like listening to others' problems? Well, ok, nobody really enjoys listening to complaints, but some are better at pretending to care than others. If that's you, maybe consider a career as a customer service representative.

From customer complaints to processing orders and just being able to answer questions, customer service representative interact with customers throughout their day. The great news is that representatives are needed in almost every industry, so it shouldn't be that difficult to find a job. And as long as you're able to communicate well with others and know your way around a computer, all you need is a high school degree and some on-the-job training.

What Does a Customer Service Representative 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.

How To Become a Customer Service Representative

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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Average Salary$29,547
Job Growth Rate-2%

Customer Service Representative Jobs

Customer Service Representative Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Customer Service Representative. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Customer Service Representative Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Customer Service Representative 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.

View Detailed Information

Customer Service Representative Career Paths

Top Careers Before Customer Service Representative

Cashier
25.9%

Top Careers After Customer Service Representative

Cashier
19.9%

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Customer Service Representative

Customer Service Representatives in America make an average salary of $29,547 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $37,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $23,000 per year.
Average Salary
$29,547

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range29k - 41k$35k$34,786
Salary Range27k - 42k$34k$34,197
Salary Range29k - 38k$34k$33,730
Salary Range24k - 42k$32k$32,449
Salary Range26k - 38k$32k$31,965
Salary Range26k - 38k$32k$31,695
$21k
$42k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Customer Service Representative I
Customer Service Representative I
Transdev, Inc.
Transdev, Inc.
10/31/2020
10/31/2020
$24,00110/31/2020
$24,001
Customer Service Representative
Customer Service Representative
XPO Logistics, Inc.
XPO Logistics, Inc.
10/31/2020
10/31/2020
$36,20910/31/2020
$36,209
Customer Service Representative
Customer Service Representative
Public Storage
Public Storage
10/31/2020
10/31/2020
$26,08810/31/2020
$26,088
Customer Service Representative
Customer Service Representative
Public Storage
Public Storage
10/31/2020
10/31/2020
$24,00110/31/2020
$24,001
Customer Service Representative
Customer Service Representative
Public Storage
Public Storage
10/31/2020
10/31/2020
$21,91410/31/2020
$21,914
See More Recent Salaries

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Customer Service Representative Demographics

Gender

female

65.2%

male

27.9%

unknown

6.9%

Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

19.1%

Black or African American

11.0%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

74.2%

French

6.7%

Portuguese

2.1%
See More Demographics

Customer Service Representative Education

Degrees

High School Diploma

36.4%

Bachelors

24.9%

Associate

19.6%

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Customer Service Representative

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Customer Service Representative

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.9% of customer service representatives listed communication on their resume, but soft skills such as computer skills and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Customer Service Representative

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a customer service representative. The best states for people in this position are Washington, California, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Customer service representatives make the most in Washington with an average salary of $34,655. Whereas in California and Minnesota, they would average $34,285 and $33,748, respectively. While customer service representatives would only make an average of $33,280 in North Dakota, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Wyoming

Total Customer Service Representative Jobs:
190
Highest 10% Earn:
$45,000
Location Quotient:
1.42
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. West Virginia

Total Customer Service Representative Jobs:
479
Highest 10% Earn:
$45,000
Location Quotient:
1.46
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. North Dakota

Total Customer Service Representative Jobs:
222
Highest 10% Earn:
$43,000
Location Quotient:
0.99
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Customer Service Representative Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a customer service representative. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless customer service representative 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 Write a Customer Service Representative Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless customer service representative 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.

View Detailed Information

How Do Customer Service Representative Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

5.0

Customer service repAugust 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoCustomer service repAugust 2019

What do you like the most about working as Customer Service Representative?

I like building relations with other companies, keeping customers satisfied and growing in all areas,

Zippia Official Logo

3.0

MeeaJuly 2019

3.0

Zippia Official LogoMeeaJuly 2019

What do you like the most about working as Customer Service Representative?

The challenge, helping people, Show More

What do you NOT like?

Non caring employer's , standing on my feet all day, working weekends, low pay Show More

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Top Customer Service Representative Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ customer service representatives and discovered their number of customer service representative opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Convergys Corporation was the best, especially with an average salary of $28,526. Alorica follows up with an average salary of $27,251, and then comes Xerox with an average of $44,553. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a customer service representative. The employers include PSCU, Kforce, and Robert Half International

1. Convergys
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$28,526
Customer Service Representatives Hired: 
33,640+
2. Alorica
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$27,251
Customer Service Representatives Hired: 
20,022+
3. Xerox
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$44,553
Customer Service Representatives Hired: 
17,375+
4. Teleperformance
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$28,130
Customer Service Representatives Hired: 
17,127+
5. AT&T
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$61,738
Customer Service Representatives Hired: 
16,269+
6. Walmart
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$33,061
Customer Service Representatives Hired: 
14,806+

Recently Added Customer Service Representative Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020