A customer service center is a place that is designed so that a customer may be in direct contact with a business. The ways that the two parties communicate can vary. A person can reach a customer service center on the phone, in person, through email, through postal mail, or any combination of these. The service center can also be the party that initiates the communication for a variety of reasons.
Many companies, small to large, need ways to communicate directly with their customers. They need to communicate for a variety of reasons in addition to fielding complaints. Other reasons include billing, gauging customer satisfaction, selling additional products and services, and more.
A customer call center is a customer service center that does most of its business over the phone. It is not even completely necessary for the center to be staffed by people, since calls can be taken by computers. A digitally recorded list of options can sometimes allow a caller to do the business they need to do. However, a caller will typically be redirected to a real person at some point in the phone call, and this list of options will help a customer to be connected to the correct department.
Customer service centers can be staffed by any number of employees. While a majority are usually customer service representatives, there are other positions that may be needed for smooth operation, such as management and technical support people. The center can also be outsourced by a different company than the one it is representing, and can be located practically anywhere throughout the world.
The contact between a company and its customers mainly takes place through a customer service center. Often times, the center will be the "face" of the company and must uphold a high set of values to help the company maintain a professional image. The main goals that are important in representing a company are to treat customers politely, with respect, and in a timely fashion. Customer service representatives must know how to calm down angry customers while upholding company policy, as well as know what to do with information when a customer contacts them to offer praise for one reason or another.
Staff members of a customer service center will need to go through training to learn the specific values of a company. They will also need to know the details of what issues customers may be calling about. The customer service center of a bank, for instance, will need to have employees who are knowledgeable about different types of bank accounts, loans, investments, and more. The customer service department for an automobile repair shop, on the other hand, may need staff that knows about the various services that are performed on cars, in addition to being able to handle customer complaints.