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A customer service agent is generally responsible for ensuring buyer satisfaction, even after a transaction is complete. They may solve problems, address complaints and process returns. Depending on the establishment, a person in this role may interact with customers over the phone, in person, or both. They often answer incoming calls to provide basic information — such as driving directions — or solve billing issues. A successful customer service agent usually has exemplary problem solving skills, a pleasant, helpful personality and a lot of patience.
Most businesses, including utility companies, supermarkets, clothing stores and repair centers employ customer service agents to satisfy the needs of shoppers and consumers. Sometimes, these individuals assist with billing issues, such as when a customer reports a discrepancy on a credit card statement. Other times, depending on the company, they offer basic technical support.
Since a customer service agent is usually the face of any given company, their roles are very important to the success of a business. If shoppers are not happy with the service or product provided by an organization — or they are left feeling unsatisfied by the level of assistance they receive — they will likely shop elsewhere in the future. As a result, the corporation could suffer financially; the jobs of others within the company may be jeopardized; and ultimately, the store might go out of business.
To avoid this from happening, a customer service agent solves problems in a diplomatic fashion. He may reassure a consumer that her concerns are important by going out of his way to help. When shopping experiences are pleasant, customers often reward an establishment with repeat business and referrals.
If a person buys an electronic device and the product does not work properly, she may call the customer service agent to complain. At first, the buyer might be very angry. The company's representative will likely speak in a soothing manner, apologize for the inconvenience, and reassure her that he will help solve the problem.
The customer service agent may begin by troubleshooting common technical glitches with that particular device. If that does not work, he may suggest other alternatives, offer a refund or replace the unit at no charge. If, when the customer hangs up the phone, she feels that her issue has been resolved, then the customer service agent probably did a good job.
In many cases, a person with little or no customer service experience can be hired as an entry-level employee. Most companies offer on-the-job training for people in these positions. Over time, there is usually an excellent opportunity for growth. For example, a productive and qualified customer service agent may be promoted to a management position, thereby taking on the responsibility of training and supervising other agents.