Do you consider yourself a natural people person who enjoys making connections with others? Are you happiest when you can spend your day engaged in conversation with others? Perhaps you have outstanding problem solving skills, or are often turned to as a mediator among your friends and family members. If this sounds like you, a career as a customer service representative may be the perfect fit.
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. However, this is often an entry-level job where new representatives can learn about a business’s products and services on the job.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for customer service representatives is fair. Job growth is expected to be about five percent between 2016 and 2026. This is slightly lower than the national average of seven percent.
In individual industries, job growth for in-house customer service reps will depend on the state of that industry. However, job opportunities in call centers are expected to grow by 36 percent. This is the result of a growing trend toward outsourcing customer service to companies that specialize in handling many calls quickly and efficiently. If you’re looking for a position in customer service, seeking out these major customer service centers is a smart strategy for securing reliable employment.
Customer service representatives can work for nearly any company, aiding both business clients and individuals who utilize the products and services of the employer. Retail trade employs about 14 percent of customer service representatives. Another 12 percent work for insurance carriers and related activities. Nine percent are employed in telephone call centers, and eight percent work in wholesale trade.
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.
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.
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:
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.