Customer Service Associate Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: April 21, 2022

A Customer Service Associate, or Customer Retention Associate, is responsible for helping customers with questions or concerns regarding company products and services. Their duties include communicating with customers in-person, over the phone or via email, filling out forms after each interaction to determine frequent customer feedback or questions and participating in meetings with the customer service team to develop new strategies.

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Customer Service Associate duties and responsibilities

Customer Service Associates perform a variety of support tasks to offer exceptional service to customers. Their duties and responsibilities often include:

  • Listening to customers’ concerns and handling complaints and returns
  • Giving detailed explanations of services or products
  • Working with a sales team to create better methods to address customer complaints
  • Reviewing customer accounts and transactions while resolving issues
  • Communicating with customers in-person, through email or chat, over the phone or on social media
  • Receiving orders, calculating charges and processing payments
  • Monitoring customer satisfaction levels
  • Referring customers to superiors when necessary
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What does a Customer Service Associate do?

Customer Service Associates typically work for corporations as a member of the customer service department. They work closely with customer service personnel and members of the sales team to determine the best methods for revenue retention and customer loyalty. Their job is to help customers purchase products, troubleshoot problems and receive refunds for defective products. They may also be responsible for learning about new products and services to best assist customers with questions or concerns.

Customer Service Associate skills and qualifications

A Customer Service Associate uses many soft skills and transferable skills to provide the best experiences to customers that they can, including:

  • Great communication abilities, including written and verbal communication
  • Patience, empathy and professionalism
  • Good problem-solving and decision-making capabilities
  • Basic computer skills, including data entry, website navigation and other software
  • Effective time management, prioritization and multitasking skills
  • Ability to work in a team setting
  • In-depth understanding of the company’s products or services

Customer Service Associate salary expectations

A Customer Service Associate makes an average of $10.78 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of education, experience and geographical location.

Customer Service Associate education and training requirements

Many Customer Service Associate candidates have at least a high school diploma or GED. Some may have completed or be in pursuit of an associate or bachelor’s degree, which may demonstrate more advanced computer skills, communication abilities and possible industry knowledge. Entry-level Customer Service Associates should complete several months of on-the-job training to learn how best to interact and help customers. Experienced Customer Service Associates may benefit from some on-the-job training to better learn the specificities of their new role and company.

Customer Service Associate experience requirements

Entry-level Customer Service Associates may only have completed the minimum education requirements and be fit to complete on-the-job training. Some entry-level candidates may have 1 or 2 years of experience in another customer service role or elsewhere. Experienced candidates are likely to have a few years of previous experience in customer service or as a Customer Service Associate. Other experienced candidates may have years of serving in other relevant roles where they gained many transferable skills. Those with 5 or more years of experience may be fit for leadership positions or more complex tasks.

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Frequently asked questions about Customer Service Associates


What is the difference between a Customer Service Associate and a Sales Associate?

The difference between a Customer Service Associate and a Sales Associate is that Customer Service Associates focus on helping customers process payments, receive refunds and communicate complaints or other feedback regarding company products and services. In contrast, Sales Associates aim to persuade customers either in-person or over the phone to buy a company’s products or services. It is important to note that Sales Associates do need a degree of customer service skills to help explain the importance of specific products or services and make customers feel comfortable speaking with them.


What are the daily duties of a Customer Service Associate?

On a typical day, a Customer Service Associate starts by checking their email or phone messages to respond to missed messages from the previous day. They participate in meetings with the customer service team to discuss reoccurring customer questions or complaints and how to address them effectively. Throughout the day, they answer phone calls from customers or respond to email messages and do their best to help customers find a solution to their problems. After each customer interaction, they fill out the appropriate form to for a customer complaint or question and place them in the proper file.


What qualities make a good Customer Service Associate?

A good Customer Service Associate has a personable nature that allows them to connect with people from various backgrounds. This quality also ensures that they keep customers calm and help them feel at ease, even in confusing situations. They actively research company products or services and use them in their daily lives. This allows Customer Service Associates to provide sound advice to customers on the set-up, use or repair of products and services. 

Further, a good Customer Service Associate has excellent written and verbal communication, enabling them to assist customers in-person, over the phone or by email. A good Customer Service Associate also needs to have patience when engaging with confused or upset customers to provide solutions and act as credible representatives for their company.


Who does a Customer Service Associate report to?

A Customer Service Associate typically reports to a Customer Service Supervisor or a Customer Service Manager within the customer service department. These individuals train Customer Service Associates and help them navigate complex situations with customers. In the absence of a Supervisor or Manager, Customer Service Associates may report to a Senior Customer Service Associate who has more experience with the company.

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