Customer service associates are needed at any company that provides products or services to people. A customer service associate job description requires an individual to act as a liaison between a company and its customers to make sure the customers receive top quality products and services in a timely fashion and that they return for more.
A customer service associate is responsible for a variety of tasks including assisting customers with their initial orders, handling billing, taking complaints, correcting errors, processing cancellations and answering customer questions.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Customer Service Associate
- Communicate with customers through a variety of methods such as telephone, email, websites or social media.
- Provides general information about the company’s products and services to prospective customers.
- Collects personal information from customers like addresses and phone numbers and processes their payments in a confidential and secure manner.
- Memorizes and uses a call script when conversing with customers.
- Ensures call recording devices are engaged and informs customers that calls may be recorded.
- Handles both cancellations and renewals.
- Encourages customers to purchase additional merchandise or upgrade services.
- Contacts customers to let them know about sales or special promotions.
- Resolves any customer complaints and recognizes when complaints need to be escalated to management.
- Handles product recalls and recommends solutions to customers when products malfunction.
- Participates in training sessions to learn about new products and services in order to provide better assistance to customers.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Possesses superior verbal and written communication skills.
- Exhibits proficiency with email communications, website navigation and effective marketing through social media.
- Shows excellent organizational skills and is an effective time manager and multi-tasker.
- Demonstrates extensive knowledge of all products and services offered by the company.
- Has exceptional problem solving, negotiation, persuasion, critical thinking and analytical skills.
- Displays strong math skills as well as the ability to satisfactorily appease dissatisfied customers.
Education and Experience
A high school diploma is the minimum requirement for a customer service associate and many have an Associate’s degree in business, marketing, public relations or a similar field from a community college or technical school. Some companies may require a Bachelor’s degree in advertising, computer science or a related field, and most companies have their own unique training programs that customer service associates must complete before taking live phone calls.
Customer service associates often have to do shift work due to the 4 different time zones in the U.S. Many sit in front of computers at call centers where they wear headsets while conversing with customers and typing in orders. They usually work in fast-paced environments and in sometimes stressful situations if they have to meet sales quotas. Customer service associates may have to deal with rude, angry customers at times and they must be able to do so in a calm, professional manner.
The salary of a customer service associate can range between $25,000 and $45,000 depending on experience and the number of calls the individual is able to handle each day. Hourly wages can range from $10 to $20 an hour and more if the customer service associate earns sales commissions.