How Do I Become a Customer Service Representative?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

You can become a customer service representative (CSR) in a variety of ways, depending upon the individual field you are entering. Most potential CSRs prepare themselves by becoming proficient with dealing with the public, both on and off the telephone. They also learn to use the Internet and computer software specific to the position they are applying for.

Large businesses often have dedicated customer service call centers.
Large businesses often have dedicated customer service call centers.

In many cases, a high school diploma or its equivalent is sufficient to become a customer service representative. Some industries, however, may require continuing education credits or a degree in business, especially for anyone intent on advancing. Course work in computer programs, communications, finance, and other business areas are generally recommended for this career. Most companies provide additional job training if necessary.

Customer service representatives have to treat customers well, even if they're having a bad day themselves.
Customer service representatives have to treat customers well, even if they're having a bad day themselves.

To become a customer service representative, you should maintain a neat and presentable personal appearance to ensure your clients will be comfortable working with you. Good interpersonal skills and communication skills are required for this line of work. The ability to read and write well, sometimes in multiple languages, is also very important. Most customer service representatives are expected to type quickly and well, too.

The wages for customer service reps vary by experience and job placement.
The wages for customer service reps vary by experience and job placement.

A person who wishes to become a customer service representative should determine which field he or she wishes to work in. Many CSRs work in the manufacturing industry, while others might develop a career at a call center to help troubleshoot customer problems or manage their accounts. People interested in the medical field, publishing industry, and many other job sectors can usually find a customer service job opening in those areas.

If you have the general requirements may generally become a customer service representative by applying for available CSR jobs in their area. Interviewers will then determine whether you are qualified for the position. If you are not selected to work as a CSR, then inquire about what skills you are lacking, and how you might improve your chances of being chosen for the next opportunity.

When working as a customer service representative, people should be able to separate work and personal life by not taking customer complaints or angry comments personally. If you cannot do so, then you may not be able to handle the stress of the job, and might do better in another type of work. You should also be comfortable answering questions, as well as possibly selling products.

The wages for customer service reps varies by experience and job placement. Many customer service representatives are paid on commission, or earn bonuses based on commission. To earn more money as a customer service rep, you can further your education and experience, as well as take on more clients if applicable.

Customer service representatives should be approachable so customers feel comfortable.
Customer service representatives should be approachable so customers feel comfortable.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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