Customer Service Agent Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a customer service agent. Feel free to use our customer service agent job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a customer service agent.
Who is a Customer Service Agent?
Service, first of all, is defined as the act of rendering help or being of assistance to someone. Customer Service is regarded as the act of rendering services to customers, before, during, and after a transaction. It can be viewed as a department that renders helpful and relevant services to existing and potential customers. A Customer Service Agent, therefore, is an individual who provides relevant and useful information to clients and customers, while answering questions, inquisitiveness, responding to complaints, and proffering possible solutions.
This individual or set of individuals are at the front desk of support to customers and they are to ensure that customers are well satisfied with the products or services of the brand/industry they represent. These they carry out through various mediums including, telephone calls, emails, live chats, and facial encounters.
The second decade of the 21st century is an era whose market is found to be more competitive. With this increase in competition, greater emphasis has been placed on the great and swift customer as a means of overcoming serious and gaining a competitive advantage over competitors. The greatest aim of any given organization is to attain significant success by achieving its set goals and objectives. A company will go to any length and apply as many market strategies as possible to make sure they thrive in this competitive era, and one of the most important of these strategies is efficient customer service. This generation of customers is more advanced in knowledge and as such require greater effort, even though we are well aware that the needs of man are insatiable, but a good and well-trained customer service agent knows how to handle them. Various CEOs and Directors of various industries and establishments, tend to pay more time, attention, and resources to get good customer service agents because they are aware of this advantage they have over competitors when their company is found with effective customer service.
On the side of e-businesses, their potential customers on their own, many at times search online to find customer reviews on a particular company’s services before engaging with them. These potential customers are discouraged from doing business with you when they find from reviews that your company has poor customer service. Hence, every business is expected to build excellent customer service and employ good customer service agents.
As a customer service agent, you are obliged to go for adequate training to enable you to become perfect and fitting for any industry. You should know that unless the emotional and functional sides of customer service are considered alongside each other, then there would be no overcoming of the barriers of excellent customer service.
Customer Service Agents are perceived by customers to be experts and as such are capable of handling whatever complaints or issues they encounter. That is why, customer service agents should take their time to study whichever company or industry they work for, and have a deep understanding of how they operate and function; in and out of the company.
Furthermore, customer service agents can be a very big determining factor in the sales boost of an organization. They can either appreciate or depreciate the value of an organization and the regard customers have for them. From your telephone approach to the distinct order-fulfillment systems, almost every sector of your brand affects the way your customers view your brand. Hence, building a solid and responsive customer service system can place your company in the hearts of your customers forever.
Customer Service Agent Job Description
Below are the customer service agent job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a customer service agent job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The first thought of any customer who tends to have a question or a complaint about any service of an organization is to call or contact the customer service agent of that particular organization. They are occupied with obligations like attending to customers’ inquiries about services rendered, products purchased, or wrong transactions. As a customer service agent, you are meant to serve; and this service should be a service without grudge.
The various job descriptions of a customer service agent can be found below.
- Receive and place customer service phone calls.
- Take records of customer feedback, comments, transactions, and interactions, and report to the employers, areas where improvements are needed.
- Communicate with existing, new, and potential customers via email, live chat, telephone, or social media platforms.
- Reply timely and adequately to customers’ quests, but according to company guidelines.
- Know the products and services of the organization you work for, in and out, to ensure that you give an accurate response to customers.
- Maintain friendly, positive, and calm behavior at all times towards customers.
- Process applications, forms, orders, and requests of customers.
- Provide steady feedback on the efficacy of the customer service sector, and report when an upgrade is needed.
- Prepare call-related messages for purposes of auditing and reporting.
- Ensure customer satisfaction and provide professional customer support.
- Record and document personal data of the client, to create, update or adjust the client’s accounts.
- Recommend products and services to customers based on their needs.
- Manage a team of junior customer service agents. This does not apply to all customer service agents, but to senior colleagues who have acquired experience over years of work.
As a customer service agent, you should create a kind of analytics on the general performance of the company or organization, in relation to the customers; where there is progress, and where there are loopholes. For instance, an MTN customer can put a call across to customer care, informing them of the non-functioning of the login page in their app or website. It is then the job and responsibility of the customer service agent to write a report or give feedback to the appropriate quarters, for fixing. This also includes feedback to the appropriate quarters on the functionality of the customer service working tools. This is to enable the customer service agents, to render a hinge-free service.
Customers find it comfortable and soothing when customer service agents reply to their quests, promptly and adequately, more especially, via emails and live chats. They get pissed off when they have to wait for so long before getting a reply from the customer service. Hence, a customer service agent is advised to give prompt attention to clients and customers in order to uphold the regard of the organization you represent.
Customers should not at any time be misled, or given wrong information from the customer service agent. When you give wrong information to a customer and he/she finds out, such a person is discouraged from doing business with your company, and dishonesty as you know tarnishes the image of a firm or industry. Therefore, the customer service agent should endeavor to carry out thorough research and study on the organization represented, and have an in-depth knowledge of it.
You should act friendly towards customers and attend to their requests with cheerfulness and calmness, irrespective of the fact that so many customers tend to act annoyingly and irritatingly. You have to calm situations down in order not to escalate the situation. Also, avoid the use of complicated words that may seem insulting. Your professionalism must come to play in the satisfaction of your customer, even when aware that all cannot be pleased.
Communicate, cooperate and coordinate with colleagues when necessary. You are meant to liaise with colleagues towards planning for the betterment of services rendered, but when necessary, and not during the work period.
Customer service is a strong, secret weapon and marketing strategy used by various companies and industries, for making customers happy, thereby, boosting the brand and making more sales. When service experiences are friendly and positive, people would want to keep patronizing that company because they are confident that even when a problem arises, they will not be left behind.
If you are the type that finds joy in assisting and directing people, then being a customer service agent could be the perfect career for you!
Nevertheless, it goes way beyond just wanting to help someone. You also need to have the right skills, qualifications, and character to render that assistance and ensure it works almost perfectly. It could be difficult to know what is expected, owing to lack of experience, probably before your first customer service agent job, find below, therefore, the needed qualifications to become and remain a successful customer service agent.
- General education degree, a high school diploma, or similar.
- You should be computer literate and should be comfortable using computers and computer software.
- You should have a year or more experience in any customer service-related role.
- Adaptability towards working periods and shifts, including holidays.
- Ability to remain calm even when clients are vexed.
- Having a service-oriented attitude.
- Willingness to work as an individual or as part of a team.
- Willingness to undergo training before being employed.
- Ability to adjust to a fast-paced and pressurized environment.
- Openness to corrections and learning.
Customer Service is the ability of an agent to assist customers in a particular company or organization when they need it.
There are tools needed to make this process work out smoothly, rapidly, and successfully, and these tools are known as skills. Some skills can be innate, while some others are acquired over time via learning and experience and furthermore, mastered.
These necessary and basic skills include the following:
- Basic Computer Skills: A customer service agent should have at his fingertips, basic computer skills like typing, spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentations, etc.
- Writing Skills: This is the ability to put down spoken words on paper. As a customer service agent, you should be a good writer as your work would demand that you take down notes, and fastly.
- Emotional Intelligence: This is the ability to know your emotional level, that of others, and the ability to manage them. Knowing these emotions, and the capability of managing them, is an essential skill of a customer service agent, because you wouldn’t want to react angrily to a customer, or show signs of frustration.
- Diplomacy: Every customer service agent should be diplomatic and as such be able to handle customers and resolve their issues, without creating hostility or hurting the feelings of the customer.
- Patience: This particular skill is utmostly needed by every customer service agent. Some customers might be in the habit of repeating questions and at times it tends to put pressure on you, you are expected to remain calm and patient with them, by taking your time in discussions with them, without cutting them off.
- Authenticity: You ought to be perceived as genuine especially when you have younger customers.
- Tenacity: This is the ability to work through anger and yet put out a smile. Customers at times may be wrong but yet put the blame on you, you would need to be tenacious and keep providing support with smiles.
- Attentiveness: This is the ability to pay wrapt attention to customers and sometimes have to repeat their complaints to their hearing to demonstrate that you are with them, and understand them.
- Empathy: Placing yourself in the position of customers, makes them feel more comfortable and relaxed. This is the ability to understand how others feel and their point of view. This is the first step to customer satisfaction.
- Adaptability: People differ in character and as such, as a customer service agent, you should be able to adapt to each of them. It can also mean adapting to ways of replying to customers across various mediums via calls, social media platforms, emails, etc.
- Friendliness: It is your ability to put a smile on the face of a customer. This is a skill that when applied, makes the customer feel comfortable and relaxed. This can be by thanking them and sometimes cracking a joke (when necessary) if it is a facial encounter.
- Persuasiveness: This is the ability to use spoken words to make a customer take a particular action, or think in a way you would want them to. This skill helps you convince a customer that an issue has been resolved.
- Collaboration: Some persons are born with this particular skill, but you can master it if you were not born with it. Customer service agents collaborate so much because they are a team and work together. This is to help you learn more and gain more experience. You should develop ‘Team Spirit’.
- Organizational Skill: The ability to manage multiple tasks and projects at the same time.
- Time Management: It is the judicious use of time, and the ability to complete a particular project or task in a specific period.
- Responsiveness: The ability to think and act fast. It is the ability to gather all set skills and apply them when needed and fast, without having to think much.
- Forgiveness: You should always let go when customers tend to provoke you or say things that hurt you.
- Creativity: Customer Service Agents should be creative and innovative. They can come up with creative ways and ideas to handle a particular solution, especially if it is going to handle it better.
How to Become a Customer Service Agent
One can become a Customer Service Agent, via education or training.
On the educational ground, you would need a high school diploma. Some customer service agents who handle issues regarding finance may need a state license, even though it may vary from state to state. It is usually in form of a written examination. Some organizations, however, make available training to prepare their staff for such exams.
Customer Service Agents normally receive training while employed, which lasts for about 2 to 3 weeks. This training focuses on the procedure and enlightenment about the company products and services.
Finally, to become a customer service agent, you ought to develop the necessary skills needed to become a successful one.
Where to Work as a Customer Service Agent
A customer service agent is usually needed by all sectors and businesses that want to increase their sales and boost their brand.
As a customer service agent, you can be employed in any organization, health sectors like hospitals and pharmacies, financial sectors like banks and loan companies, network-providing companies like MTN and Airtel, etc.
There is always going to be a need for you as a customer service agent.
Customer Service Agent Salary Scale
Well, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for a customer service agent is $35,830. But then, so many factors may contribute to the variations in the earnings of customer service agents. The earnings of a customer service agent could differ according to location, the financial strength of the company and the popularity of a firm, and years of experience on the side of the agent. Nevertheless, it is a high-paying career, as some are even paid hourly.
The basic salary of a Customer Service Agent in Nigeria is ₦504 per hour and ₦1,146,502 annually, which is good but poor when compared to so many other countries, especially in Europe and America.