Deal with People
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.