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What Does a Customer Service Specialist Do?

A customer service specialist may communicate with customers via telephone.
A customer service specialist may answer customer questions about a company's services.
A customer service specialist might work at a call center, or a help desk.
Customer service representatives have to treat customers well, even if they're having a bad day themselves.
Customer service specialists need excellent communication skills and patience.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: Beth Turley
  • Revised By: A. Joseph
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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A customer service specialist is a person who represents a company while communicating with its customers, whether face-to-face, over the telephone, over the Internet or through another method. Also referred to as a customer service representative, this person might perform a broad range of tasks to meet the need of the company's clients. For example, he or she might provide support for the company's products and services, take order requests, answer questions, resolve complaints or even make sales. Customers often view customer service representatives as the eyes, ears, faces and voices of the company.

Job Duties and Training

The primary job duties of a customer service specialist are often to handle complaints, explain the company's policies and provide information about products and services. Training is often required by employers to guarantee the accuracy of the information given. These representatives also need excellent communications skills, so those skills might be a prerequisite for the job and could be further developed through training by the company.

Work Settings

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There are many settings where a customer service specialist might work, with some of the most common being inbound call centers, help desks and customer service counters. In a call center, the specialist answers incoming phone calls from current and potential customers. A help desk is often used by technology-related companies to provide support from products and services, and a representative might communicate with customers by telephone, through email or in a live Internet chat. Many types of companies have customer service departments that allow clients to go to a counter and speak face-to-face with specialists to have their questions answered or their problems solved.

Questions, Complaints and Sales

A customer service specialist typically needs to be able to help clients with a wide variety of issues. For example, a customer might call a company to question a charge on a bill or to complain about a product or service. In these cases, the specialist not only must have knowledge about billing procedures, products and services, he or she also must know how to solve these problems without losing the customer for the company. In addition, the representative might be able to make sales in certain situations, such as encouraging customers to upgrade to better products, or services.

Beneficial Characteristics

The customer service industry can be both challenging and rewarding. A customer service specialist generally needs to have a clear understanding of his or her role in the company and must be able to maintain a positive relationship with the customer. It is not uncommon for a specialist to interact with angry customers, and it is vital for the representative to stay calm, communicate effectively and make the experience a positive one for the customers. These representatives often need to have computer skills and might be helped by learning business writing and business math skills.

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Discuss this Article

oasis11
Post 4

Sneakers41 - I think that customer service positions require a certain degree of patience and personality.

These people have to be able to diffuse customer service complaints that arise when the customer is not satisfied with a product or service and sometimes these exchanges can become heated from the customer.

sneakers41
Post 3

Subway11-I know that in most supermarkets the customer service administrative position at the front counter is actually a promotion from the line cashier position.

These cashiers are promoted because of their excellent customer service and superior cash handling skills.

Their customer service duties include cashing checks for customers, selling lottery tickets answering the phone and balancing the front office till.

There is another customer service admin that is referred to as the back office cashier because she mainly works in the back part of the office and is not seen often.

This cashier is promoted to this position based on a high degree of responsibility and a stellar cash handling experience from the front office work. The duties involve picking up cash from each cashier and counting it and entering it into the system. This cashier also helps out in the front customer service counter when it gets busy.

subway11
Post 2

Crispety - Usually, customer service duties include following a script almost verbatim which includes a greeting and an offer of the customer service representative’s name and an offer of assistance.

They also have to have a certain inflection and cadence in their voice that demonstrates a cordial demeanor and a willingness to help.

In addition, they have to be able to answer the customer’s questions with ease and should adhere to any sales development goals as well.

Many customer service representatives also have to offer upgrades or sell additional products in order to achieve their goals.

They also have to provide a friendly parting greeting and end with asking the customer if they needed anything else or had any other questions. This allows the customer to be completely satisfied because he had no more questions.

A customer service specialist salary really varies but they are generally paid by the hour and it is usually between $10 and $15 per hour.

Crispety
Post 1

A certified customer service specialist has a customer service job that entails speaking with customers regarding their orders or possible complaints.

These customer service employees may work at a customer service counter or may even work in a call center taking incoming calls.

The function is basically the same. They have to process complaints and handle distressed customers too.

In a call center, the calls are monitored in order to offer feedback to the customer service representative and enhance his job performance.

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