Inbound customer service representatives (CSRs) play a significant role in building the reputation of an organization, as they are the company's representatives who deal with the customers on behalf of the organization. These are the personnel who work in call centers to answer queries about services or products as well as sell them. They handle client complaints, queries, billing inquiries and requests with the optimal degree of professionalism and courtesy. Resolving issues of the clients within one call resolution is their prime objective. Managing business transactions which may involve activation of new client accounts on the terminal of computer, providing alternative solutions with an aim to retain customer's business, etc., are some of the primely focused inbound customer service representative responsibilities. They use web-based tools to demonstrate and communicate with clients.
These representatives are trained for specific service or product, so that they are able to answer the clients' query about the product or service. For example, a mobile network service provider company has thousands of clients to call to get their connection or ask questions about their services and plans. The staff answering the calls are trained to acquire knowledge about various plans, services and policies; they are provided with certain tools that are not accessible to the clients to research and answer any questions.
Types of Customer Service Representatives
Generally, all type of organizations have the job post of customer service executive and often their responsibilities and duties vary as per the type of industry or organization they are working for. CSRs work in various sectors of the service industry to provide services to the clients. CSRs who work as pharmacy technicians resolve queries related to medications, whereas others who work to sell insurance policies manage paperwork while answering questions related to the insurance plans and dealing with policy renewals. CSRs who work in banks may have to deal with similar duties as bank tellers, cashing checks, counting money and servicing accounts, whereas those who work for utility and communication companies may provide assistance to the clients who have outage.
These trained representatives need to have upgraded knowledge of the services and products about which they are inquired by the customers. They provide required information and answer any type of question associated with the product with just one phone call.
Responsibilities of these executives involve various tasks:
Perform Clerical Tasks: Clerical duties of customer service representatives include answering calls and transferring them to the appropriate department when required. Other duties involve maintaining accounts of potential customers, processing new customer accounts, filing documents and implementing modifications to existing documents and other back office paperwork.
Handling Problems: In case of any complaints or inquiries, customers call up the CSRs, so these professionals need to capable to handle such cases as per the guidelines and policies of the company. In some cases, these executives may attempt to propose solutions or resolve the issue. Some may have the authority to reverse erroneous fees or send the replacement products to the customer.
Provide Assistance in Sales: Marketing as well as selling the company's services and products can be a part of inbound customer service representative responsibilities, even though he or she may not be in the sales divisions. CSRs may also provide information about any product or service to assist customers in deciding which product or service is suitable for them. They also contribute in generating sale leads. For example, after addressing a consumer's inquiry, these executives may attempt to provide information or sell the upgraded products.
Required Educational Qualification and Licenses
Candidates with a high school diploma is eligible to get hired for the job post of a customer service representative. This is the typical minimum qualification required to get entry in this field of service industry. Some employers will only hire candidates with bachelor's degree or an associate's degree course to get more skilled workforce.
Executives who deal with financial and insurance companies often require a state license. For obtaining this license, they need to qualify for a written exam.
Since these executives have to deal with the customers, they need to have sound communications skills (written and oral) as well as inter personnel skills. In some cases, they may have to handle angry customers or difficult situations, where being polite and patient is essential. They should have quick analyzing, investigating and problem solving potential.
Contributing to build good reputation of the organization in the market or among the customers is one of the inbound customer service representatives responsibilities, which they have to perform effectively by using their knowledge and training skills.