13 Pros and Cons of Being a Customer Service Representative
Updated January 31, 2023
Customer service representatives perform a variety of tasks to assist customers and resolve their issues. These professionals work in a variety of industries, and they often hold entry-level positions. Understanding the potential advantages and disadvantages of this role may help you determine whether it is a good career choice for you.
In this article, we discuss 13 pros and cons of being a customer service representative.
9 pros of being a customer service representative
Here are some pros of working as a customer service representative:
1. Access entry-level job opportunities
Many customer services jobs offer entry-level positions. This makes them appealing for people looking for their first jobs. It also allows people to transition to working in new industries or change career paths easily and learn more about the particular industry or organization. It's important to demonstrate enthusiasm for the job to achieve success during the transition.
2. Build problem-solving skills
Working in customer service requires you to provide customers with solutions for whatever problems they may experience. It's important to be able to provide a resolution that the customer feels happy about and aligns with company policies.
This allows you to practice and develop your problem-solving skills by determining the appropriate solutions, especially when customers have unique situations. Also, problem-solving skills are often transferrable to all other types of professional roles.
3. Develop interpersonal skills
Customer service representatives work directly with others, especially with customers who may feel frustrated. This work requires excellent interpersonal skills, which are the skills required to understand the feelings of others to respond appropriately and create good relationships with them. Encountering new people consistently allows customer service representatives to better evaluate how customers may react or what they may need to best respond and determine how to meet their needs.
4. Earn bonuses and commissions
Some customer service representatives have the opportunity to earn bonuses or commissions in addition to their base wages. For example, some organizations may reward representatives for upselling additional products or services to customers or motivating customers to sign up for a company-specific credit card or rewards program. However, it's important to remember these opportunities may vary by industry, type of customer service job and organization.
5. Explore opportunities for growth
Working as a customer service representative is often a good entry-level position with the ability to grow and advance to other roles both internally and externally. For example, succeeding as a customer service representative may demonstrate your value and skills to others in your organization, showing your potential for internal promotions. Conversely, customer service representatives often have transferable skills to help them succeed in other external roles.
6. Learn about the product or service
Becoming a customer service representative generally requires becoming an expert on the organization's products and services. This is essential to be able to best serve as a subject matter expert and resolve customers' concerns. Learning about the products or services may be interesting, and sharing knowledge about them may be helpful for developing additional skills.
7. Participate in on-the-job training
Many organizations provide you with on-the-job training. This helps prepare you properly to begin your role and ensure you are comfortable with the job's requirements. On-the-job training also allows you to learn more about the organization and how you may be able to apply your previous experience and skills to the job.
8. Receive good pay
The national average salary for customer service representatives is $16.54 per hour. Exact pay rates may vary based on factors like geographic location, specific employer and job, experience and qualifications. However, this average rate is higher than the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour.
For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link(s) provided.
9. Work from home
Some organizations allow their customer service representatives to work remotely. This allows you to assist customers via phone, online chat or email rather than in person. Working from home may provide you with more flexibility and help you save money on commuting costs. However, it's important to remember these opportunities vary by industry and organization.
4 cons of being a customer service representative
Here are some cons of working as a customer service representative:
1. Experience burnout and stress
Working as a customer service representative requires you to maintain a friendly demeanor at all times, regardless of how customers act or how you personally feel. This may be difficult to cope with, especially if you experience many challenging customers during the same shift.
As a result, you may feel burned out with your work or stressed about helping customers. However, you may experience more friendly customers than you do unfriendly ones, balancing your workday and helping you feel pleased with work.
2. Handle frequent changes
Customer service representatives often deal with frequent changes in policies, procedures, products and services. This requires learning new things continuously and often involves being customers' first point of contact if they're frustrated about the changes. However, the consistent changes may help keep the job interesting, especially as you often learn new things.
3. Hold many responsibilities
Many customer service representatives have significant responsibility within their organization to assist customers and ensure their satisfaction. For some, this may be stressful to try to balance the level of responsibility and the workload.
However, having this amount of responsibility may allow you to experience new challenges and further develop your customer service skills. You may also experience a sense of satisfaction from resolving a complex issue or making a customer feel happy with a result.
4. Work an irregular schedule
Many customer service jobs are within industries that have hours outside of a normal business week or standard business hours. This may require customer service representatives to work evenings, weekends and holidays, and they may receive different schedules each week.
However, this also provides more flexibility with the work schedule, and it may create opportunities to work additional hours and earn overtime pay. For example, customer service representatives working evening shifts may have more time during the day for appointments and errands.
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