Guide: What Does A Customer Service Representative Do?

Updated 1 August 2023

A customer service representative helps the company they work for maintain a good relationship with its customers. They help the customers find solutions to their problems and send feedback to the respective departments. Knowing what these professionals do and how much they earn can help you decide if this is an effective career for you. In this article, we outline the duties and average salary of a customer service representative, discuss how to become one and explore the different types of customer service jobs.

Related: What Is Customer Service? Definition And Career Advice

What does a customer service representative do?

If you are wondering, "What does a customer service representative do?", here are the main duties of these professionals:

Answering customer and client questions

Customer service representatives are responsible for responding to customer enquiries, either verbally or in writing. They help customers compare products and services and advise clients about which options meet their needs. Customer service representatives may also assist clients with calculating discounts or inform shoppers about sales.

Responding to customer complaints

Customer service representatives handle a wide variety of customer complaints regarding products or services. This includes product issues and refund or replacement requests. They listen to or read about customer problems and suggest solutions. When customer service representatives are unable to resolve a problem on their own, they may refer the client to their supervisors.

Related: How To Write A Customer Service Executive Resume With a Sample

Sharing information about services and products

Customer service representatives inform clients and customers about the company's products and services, including pricing, product information and available options. These professionals often assist clients and customers in comprehending the functions of a product and demonstrate how to use it. Customer service representatives usually follow pre-written scripts to ensure they follow workflows and provide accurate information.

Processing orders and returns

Customers who receive a product that is damaged or does not meet their expectations may ask for a refund or exchange. They can choose to submit the refund or replacement request via the Internet, phone or mail. Customer service representatives handle these requests. They may calculate purchase amounts and process credit cards or cash payments. They may also reimburse customers for returned items or cancelled services.

Documenting interactions with customers

Customer service representatives document their exchanges with clients, often using customer relationship management software. They may create client records, manage digital support tickets and record issues and resolutions. When supporting existing customers, these professionals may retrieve and update client records or tag them for follow-up by supervisors.

Related: Customer Satisfaction: How To Measure And Tips For Improvement

Salary of a customer service representative

The average base salary for a customer service representative is ₹16,782 per month. This figure can vary depending on the candidate's experience, skills and location. For instance, the average salary of a customer service representative in New Delhi is ₹18,349per month, while the average salary of a customer service representative in Ranchi is ₹15,335 per month.

Types of jobs for customer service representatives

Here are the different types of customer service jobs, along with their primary duties and average salary:

1. Call centre representative

National average salary: ₹16,991 per month

Primary responsibilities: The responsibilities of a call centre representative include understanding the needs of customers and providing solutions, selling new products of the company to customers, updating the standard script provided to customers when they find a new issue and forwarding the call to the required department. The skills required by a call centre representative are communication skills, ability to handle pressure, empathy, speed and efficiency of work and problem-solving.

Related: What Is A Call Centre? (Definition And Functioning)

2. Sales representative

National average salary: ₹16,980 per month

Primary responsibilities: The responsibilities of a sales representative include selling products, meeting customer needs, performing account handling services related to existing accounts and making new accounts for customers. They may also study the sales and trade factors, find and deal with potential dealers and make work plans and daily call reports. They may also recommend changes in products based on customer reviews.

Related: What Is The Difference Between Sales And Marketing?

3. Customer support representative

National average salary: ₹16,283 per month

Primary responsibilities: Customer support representatives work on addressing customer issues and helping them reach a solution efficiently and in a timely manner. They have many customers' issues and so a significant part of their day may consist of prioritising issues. They interact with customers on a variety of platforms, including phone, email and social media.

4. Bilingual customer service associate

National average salary: ₹151 per hour

Primary responsibilities: Bilingual customer service associates communicate with customers who prefer to communicate in regional languages. Their responsibilities are the same as any other customer service representative, with a few additions. A bilingual customer service associate can have knowledge of multiple languages and accents to communicate with multiple clients. They also work as translators for their clients during meetings and help resolve queries and complaints.

5. Customer specialist

National average salary: ₹19,928 per month

Primary responsibilities: A customer specialist helps the company maintain a good relationship with its customers. They provide detailed information about the products and services offered to the customers and communicate with the customer support team. They help create and maintain customer accounts. Customer specialists also send customer feedback to the appropriate departments.

6. Administrative assistant

National average salary: ₹15,538 per month

Primary responsibilities: An administrative assistant answers phones and greets visitors. They talk to clients and customers about their requirements, schedule appointments and maintain calendars for the members of the company. They are responsible for conducting meetings and preparing emails, invoices, reports and memos. An administrative assistant also collates and distributes mail.

Related: What Is An Office Assistant? Definition, Skills And Duties

How to become a customer service representative

Here are the steps to become a customer service representative:

1. Get a degree

The basic degree that can help you pursue a career in customer service is a high school diploma or a secondary school education. Additional degrees, like a bachelor's degree, can also help you succeed in this field. The subjects you study in your degree course determine the type of customer service you can provide. After successful completion of the bachelor's degree, you can choose to pursue a postgraduate degree like an MBA. Here are some of the degrees you can pursue:

  • Diploma in Front Office Operations

  • Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialisation in marketing and sales

  • Master of Business Administration

Related: Professional Resume Samples To Help You Land A Job

2. Develop your skills

Successful customer service representatives use a range of soft and hard skills to do their job well. Here are some important skills you can consider developing:

  • Computer skills: Customer service representatives use computer skills to retrieve product and service information, process orders and communicate with clients by phone or email. They know how to use file management, word processing, spreadsheet, and email or phone applications.

  • Empathy: Being empathetic helps customer service representatives communicate with clients who have limited knowledge of or experience dissatisfaction with a product or service. Cultivating this sense can help support professionals understand client concerns and resolve them effectively.

  • Written communication: Customer support representatives often send emails and messages to customers, draft meeting agendas and write reports for the company. Having strong written communication skills helps them communicate their messages in a clear and concise manner.

  • Verbal communication: The job might frequently require you to speak with customers or clients who are experiencing problems while on the phone. Verbal communication not only includes the language you use but also the way you express your thoughts on the situation.

  • CRM mastery: Customer service representatives use CRM software to document client interactions and track tickets. Most employers look for candidates who know how to create and update tickets and how to search for customer records.

  • Problem-solving: Having strong problem-solving skills can help customer service representatives resolve client complaints. They assess customer concerns and resolve issues in a way that is satisfactory for the customer and the company.

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions And Examples

3. Gain work experience

You can work in many different fields to gain experience as a customer service representative. You can even work part-time or as a freelancer during your education. Some examples of jobs you can take include cashier, call centre representative, customer service representative, support specialist or paralegal. Upon successful completion of your education, you can actively look for job openings and apply for them.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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