Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
43-4051.00 - Customer Service Representatives

Interact with customers to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints.

Sample of reported job titles: Account Manager, Account Representative, Call Center Representative, Client Services Representative, Customer Care Representative (CCR), Customer Service Agent, Customer Service Representative (Customer Service Rep), Customer Service Specialist, Member Services Representative, Sales Facilitator

Also see: Patient Representatives

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Confer with customers by telephone or in person to provide information about products or services, take or enter orders, cancel accounts, or obtain details of complaints. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Check to ensure that appropriate changes were made to resolve customers' problems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Keep records of customer interactions or transactions, recording details of inquiries, complaints, or comments, as well as actions taken. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Resolve customers' service or billing complaints by performing activities such as exchanging merchandise, refunding money, or adjusting bills. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Complete contract forms, prepare change of address records, or issue service discontinuance orders, using computers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Refer unresolved customer grievances to designated departments for further investigation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Determine charges for services requested, collect deposits or payments, or arrange for billing. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Contact customers to respond to inquiries or to notify them of claim investigation results or any planned adjustments. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Solicit sales of new or additional services or products. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Order tests that could determine the causes of product malfunctions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Obtain and examine all relevant information to assess validity of complaints and to determine possible causes, such as extreme weather conditions that could increase utility bills. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Review claims adjustments with dealers, examining parts claimed to be defective, and approving or disapproving dealers' claims. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Review insurance policy terms to determine whether a particular loss is covered by insurance. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Compare disputed merchandise with original requisitions and information from invoices and prepare invoices for returned goods. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Recommend improvements in products, packaging, shipping, service, or billing methods and procedures to prevent future problems. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Autodialers — Autodialing systems; Predictive dialers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Automated attendant systems — Voice broadcasting systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Automatic call distributor ACD — Automatic call distribution ACD system See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cash registers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital telephones — Wireless telephone systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Music or message on hold player — On hold players See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Phone headsets — Wireless telephone headsets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Standalone telephone caller identification — Calling line identification equipment; Dialed number identification systems DNIS See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Backup or archival software — SugarSync See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Communications server software — ShoreTell software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Contact center software — Avaya software; Multi-channel contact center software; Timpani Contact Center; Timpani Email See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Customer relationship management CRM software — Avidian Technologies Prophet; Salesforce.com Salesforce CRM; SSA Global software; Telemation e-CRM (see all 15 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — AS/400 Database; Customer service knowledge generation software; Stamps.com See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Astute Solutions PowerCenter; Email software; IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions software; Microsoft Dynamics ERP; Sage MAS 200; SAP software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Fax software — Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Helpdesk or call center software — j2 Global Communications onebox See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — iShip See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Mobile messaging service software — Unified messaging software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Network conferencing software — Active Data Online WebChat; eStara Softphone; Parature eRealtime; Timpani Chat See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Operating system software — Microsoft Windows See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Point of sale POS software — Main Street Softworks Monetra See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Time accounting software — Kronos Workforce Timekeeper See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Voice recognition software — DSC Pacer Interactive Voice Response System See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

back to top

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

back to top

Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

back to top

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.

back to top

Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Execute sales or other financial transactions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect deposits, payments or fees. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Discuss goods or services information with customers or patrons. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinate operational activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Calculate costs of goods or services. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Promote products, services, or programs. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain financial or account records. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide notifications to customers or patrons. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Respond to customer problems or complaints. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Review customer insurance information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Refer customers to appropriate personnel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Recommend packing or shipping methods. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect items for damage or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Telephone — 100% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 85% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 74% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 66% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 57% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 84% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 51% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 18% responded “About half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 52% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 47% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 42% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 48% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 51% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 47% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 34% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 57% responded “Limited freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 27% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 27% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 44% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 41% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).” See more occupations related to this work context.

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
67   High school diploma or equivalent Help
16   Bachelor's degree
6   Some college, no degree

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications

back to top

Interests

Interest code: ESC

  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.

back to top

Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.

back to top

Related Occupations

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $15.00 hourly, $31,200 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 2,363,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 941,600
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top