Customer service agents need to possess an appropriate mix of education and specific personal skills to succeed. This includes completing a high school diploma and displaying good communication skills along with having a strong work ethic. For more advanced positions, such as in banking and finance, some college and additional training may be necessary to become a customer service agent.
A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum education required for entry into many positions, including a position as a customer service agent. The basic education received at this level ensures competence with understanding basic directives and assignments common to customer service agents. This includes being able to remember guidelines and policies and knowing how to utilize basic research skills to get answers for customer questions and concerns.
Taking classes that teach computer skills can help provide those who wish to become a customer service agent with the basic computer skills necessary to do the job. Each company will typically use a computer operating system that is specific to the job and needs of the company, but understanding computer basics can make transitioning to a new computer system less of a challenge. These classes may include keyboarding and advanced computer programming courses.
Solid communication skills are necessary for those looking to become a customer service agent. This includes speaking clearly and listening actively. In active listening, a customer service representative puts all of the pieces of the puzzle together and gets to the root of the problem while reaffirming with the customer that the analysis of the current situation is correct.
With the appropriate combination of education and experience, those looking to become a customer service agent can find work in many industries. Retailers, catalog companies, and utility service companies are just a few. Other options include working with a consumer products company or local attraction, such as an amusement park. All of these entities utilize customer service representatives to service customers and help secure repeat business.
Positions in some industries may require additional education or significant experience in the field to become a customer service agent. Among these industries are the banking, financial, and insurance sectors. These positions may require college degrees directly related to the position. Examples of some of the degrees required to enter these industries include degrees in business, economics, accounting, and finance. Positions as a customer service agent in these fields may also require successful completion of industry specific licensing tests and exams.