How to Succeed as a Customer Service Representative

by WorkFromHome on April 11, 2011

Achieving success as a customer service representative is simple. Notice the descriptive is simple, not easy. And that’s the truth.

Working as a customer service representative can be one of the most rewarding jobs available anywhere. After all, if you want to see immediate results for your efforts, this is one job where instant results are practically guaranteed. Further, the object of the job is rather straightforward–to serve the customer’s needs, regardless of what they might be. To most people, that might seem like a tall order, but if you’re the kind of person with a positive attitude, an enthusiasm for solving problems, helping people, and a desire to make a real difference for a company, work as a customer service representative might be just the thing for you.

The key to succeeding in work as a customer service representative is essentially making and keeping a good relationship with your clients. This involves, primarily, a high level of empathy for the customer’s situation. Empathy–that quality of placing yourself in the position of the customer–is instrumental in your success. Fortunately, companies often give their representatives considerable latitude to solve problems with customers, so coming up with creative solutions is encouraged.

Of course, this does not mean to give away the store, but more often than not, it does mean going the extra mile to make sure that your customer is satisfied with your service and that of your company.

So what are the success traits?

First of all, a successful customer service representative must maintain a pleasant manner. Unfortunately, there are frequent times, when, despite your best efforts, the customer is not happy or satisfied. In situations like this, it is often a matter of serving as a go-between with the client and the management of your company to remedy a situation. Even when the customer might not be in the right, you and your company may work to satisfy their needs in order to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship for the future. This is often what some call “going the extra mile.” And it works.

Next, a successful customer service representative must hone their negotiating skills to a sharp edge. the issues that are often given to a customer service representative are not quick fixes. Normally, by the time an issue has arrived on the desk of a representative, it is troublesome and convoluted. It is important that the customer service representative be able to break a problem down to its bare elements and be able to deal with each one, quickly and satisfactorily to all the parties involved.

It’s is also important that a customer service representative maintain a good face for the company. After all, to the customer, you ARE the company. At the moment that you are working with a customer, they see nobody else from your company, and your handling of a situation, whether for good or bad, is all they will experience. Make their experience a good one, and chances are that they will come back for more business in the future.

What are the Rewards?

The rewards of being a customer service representative can be considerable. It’s true that you have to start somewhere, which will mean working for a company where your skills and abilities are an unknown, but once you prove yourself, the sky is practically the limit. After all, companies don’t want to hire people. They want to hire solutions, and if you can prove to a company that you have the ability to solve customer problems, the world is your oyster…along with the salary and benefits to match.

Getting Started

Customer service representatives have a wide variety of training levels. Some representatives are welcome who have little more than a pleasant, eager personality. Others, who work with more technical matters, have considerable training and experience and training before starting their work. Regardless, there is lots of room for those who want to enter the profession and have the desire to prove what they are made of.

It is important to investigate what possible employers are looking for. Then, if you want to have a future as a customer service representative, you will want to get the background you need to be effective, whether you are just entering the field or if you want to advance, even after you are already doing the work.

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