Customer Service Representative

What is a Customer Service Representative?

Customer service representatives are responsible for interacting directly with customers who reach out to the company for assistance. They may perform a variety of duties, from taking orders to checking the status of a shipment. In many instances, customer service representatives are responsible for resolving customer concerns and complaints. The representative might check the status of a shipment to provide a better estimated arrival time or assist the customer with the return of an unsatisfactory product.

Customer service representatives will typically assist with many different customer requests throughout the day. It’s important for these individuals to maintain a friendly demeanor with a flexible approach to problem solving. It helps greatly for these representatives to have a thorough understanding of the industry they’re working in. A representative for a pharmaceutical company will be able to assist customers more effectively with a sound understanding of the products that the company produces.

Job Responsibilities

  • Taking orders
  • Processing returns
  • Checking shipping statuses
  • Processing billing
  • Checking on fees and charges
  • Giving customers detailed information on products and services
  • Answering customer questions
  • Listening to and resolving customer complaints
  • Following scripted conversations for routine caller needs
  • Helping customers resolve service issues
  • Identifying the cause for interruptions in service
  • Checking on the status of customer accounts
  • Canceling product orders
  • Updating customer accounts
  • Referring customers to supervisors or specialists as needed

Customer Service Representatives: Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 373,400 openings for customer service representatives are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


Customer service positions are often available for entry-level job seekers with as little as a high school diploma. However, the limited growth in this area can create a competitive environment in some areas. You can increase your employability by pursuing a diploma program in a related field. The Business Assistant diploma from Bryant & Stratton College will give you the background you need to provide outstanding customer service in any industry.

This program includes courses on marketing principles, business principles, sales and service principles, computing skills, office applications, and workplace mathematics. Customer service representatives need to have a good understanding of technology to utilize the call systems that are employed in call centers of all sizes. These professionals should also have strong skills in communication and problem solving.

If you’re working in the finance or insurance industries, you might need to carry a specialized license for a customer service position. This varies by state. Obtaining the appropriate state license is usually a matter of passing the appropriate exam.

What Can I Do With a Business Assistant Diploma?

A business assistant diploma will prepare you for many careers in and related to customer service. Since customer service representatives will see less job growth than those in other fields, it’s wise to consider all related positions when you’re conducting your job search. Some titles to consider include:

  • Client Relations associate
  • Contact Center Help Desk
  • Sales Manager
  • Sales Representative
  • Account Coordinator
  • Business Service representative
  • Call Center representative
  • Client Account assistant
  • Customer Care representative
  • Data Services specialist
  • Help Desk associate
  • Service Administrator
  • Service Consultant

Taking a well-rounded approach to your job search will help you improve your chances of finding a successful and satisfying career in customer service with your business assistant diploma.

Please note that information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is for general statistical data only. This is not a guarantee of job opportunities in a particular area. However, this data can give you a better understanding of the state of the business industry.

To learn more about business degrees and your career possibilities with this type of education, check out the business section of our blog.

Employment Settings

Customer service representatives held about 3.0 million jobs in 2022. The largest employers of customer service representatives were as follows:

  • Retail trade 18%
  • Insurance carriers and related activities 11%
  • Business support services 10%
  • Wholesale trade 6%
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services 6%

Customer service representatives are employed in nearly every industry.

If you have specialized knowledge of an industry, this is a good place to begin your job search. Having experience as a store clerk, for example, may give you a well-rounded understanding of the products manufactured by a company. You can bring this knowledge into a career as a customer service representative and use your expertise to better understand callers’ problems and provide them with useful solutions.

While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

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