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Occupation Information

Customer Service Representatives
SOC Code: 43-4051.00

Interact with customers to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints.

Sample of reported job titles: Account Manager, Account Representative, Call Center Representative, Client Services Representative, Customer Care Representative (CCR), Customer Service Agent, Customer Service Representative (Customer Service Rep), Customer Service Specialist, Member Services Representative, Sales Facilitator

Tasks

  • Confer with customers by telephone or in person to provide information about products or services, take or enter orders, cancel accounts, or obtain details of complaints.
  • Check to ensure that appropriate changes were made to resolve customers' problems.
  • Keep records of customer interactions or transactions, recording details of inquiries, complaints, or comments, as well as actions taken.
  • Resolve customers' service or billing complaints by performing activities such as exchanging merchandise, refunding money, or adjusting bills.
  • Complete contract forms, prepare change of address records, or issue service discontinuance orders, using computers.
  • Refer unresolved customer grievances to designated departments for further investigation.
  • Determine charges for services requested, collect deposits or payments, or arrange for billing.
  • Contact customers to respond to inquiries or to notify them of claim investigation results or any planned adjustments.
  • Solicit sales of new or additional services or products.
  • Order tests that could determine the causes of product malfunctions.
  • Obtain and examine all relevant information to assess validity of complaints and to determine possible causes, such as extreme weather conditions that could increase utility bills.
  • Review claims adjustments with dealers, examining parts claimed to be defective, and approving or disapproving dealers' claims.
  • Review insurance policy terms to determine whether a particular loss is covered by insurance.
  • Compare disputed merchandise with original requisitions and information from invoices and prepare invoices for returned goods.
  • Recommend improvements in products, packaging, shipping, service, or billing methods and procedures to prevent future problems.

Technology Skills

  • Access software - Citrix
  • Accounting software - Fund accounting software ; Intuit QuickBooks ; Sage 50 Accounting
  • Backup or archival software - SugarSync
  • Business intelligence and data analysis software - IBM Cognos Impromptu
  • Communications server software - IBM Domino; ShoreTel
  • Contact center software - Multi-channel contact center software; Timpani Contact Center; Timpani Email
  • Customer relationship management CRM software - Blackbaud The Raiser's Edge ; Parature eTicket; Salesforce software ; Telemation e-CRM (see all 16 examples)
  • Data base user interface and query software - Customer service knowledge generation software; Data entry software ; FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access (see all 7 examples)
  • Desktop publishing software - Microsoft Publisher
  • Document management software - Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Electronic mail software - Astute Solutions PowerCenter; IBM Notes ; Microsoft Outlook
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - Microsoft Dynamics ; NetSuite ERP ; Oracle PeopleSoft ; SAP (see all 9 examples)
  • Enterprise system management software - IBM Power Systems software
  • Fax software - Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition
  • Financial analysis software - Delphi Technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Flash
  • Helpdesk or call center software - j2 Global Communications onebox
  • Human resources software - ADP Workforce Now ; Human resource management software HRMS
  • Information retrieval or search software - LexisNexis
  • Internet browser software - Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software - iShip
  • Medical software - Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS ; Medical condition coding software ; Medical procedure coding software ; MEDITECH software
  • Mobile messaging service software - Unified messaging software
  • Network conferencing software - Active Data Online WebChat; eStara Softphone; Parature eRealtime; Timpani Chat
  • Network security and virtual private network VPN equipment software - Virtual private networking VPN software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Apple macOS ; Handheld computer device software ; Microsoft Windows
  • Point of sale POS software - Main Street Softworks Monetra
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Microsoft SharePoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Time accounting software - Kronos Workforce Timekeeper
  • Transaction security and virus protection software - McAfee ; Symantec
  • Video creation and editing software - YouTube
  • Voice recognition software - DSC Pacer Interactive Voice Response System
  • Web page creation and editing software - Facebook ; LinkedIn
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Autodialers - Autodialing systems; Predictive dialers
  • Automated attendant systems - Voice broadcasting systems
  • Automatic call distributor ACD - Automatic call distribution ACD system
  • Cash registers
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital telephones - Wireless telephone systems
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver - Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Music or message on hold player - On hold players
  • Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers - Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Phone headsets - Wireless telephone headsets
  • Scanners
  • Special purpose telephones - Multi-line telephone systems
  • Standalone telephone caller identification - Calling line identification equipment; Dialed number identification systems DNIS

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Interests

  • Interest code: ESC
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
    • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Telephone - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 85% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Electronic Mail - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 57% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 51% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 18% responded “About half the time.”
  • Time Pressure - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 42% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 48% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 51% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 47% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 34% responded “Important results.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 57% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 27% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 27% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 44% responded “40 hours.”
  • Physical Proximity - 41% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
67%High school diploma or equivalent
16%Bachelor's degree
6%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $15.81 hourly, $32,890 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 2,785,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 373,500

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