Do you have outstanding communication skills and emotional intelligence, and like helping people solve their problems? If yes, you may consider a career as a Customer Service Representative.
Customer service representatives support customers on behalf of the business face-to-face, over the phone, or by email/online chat. They provide information about services, and products, take orders, respond to customers’ queries and complaints, and process returns.
To become a Customer Service Representative, you do not need any formal qualification. However, a VET or degree qualification in Customer Engagement, Retail, or Business could improve your entry into this role.
This blog is the best place to learn about the Customer Service Representative profession and how you can become one in Australia.
Read on to find out their daily duties, desired skills, work environment, national average salary, and some frequently asked questions about pursuing this role.
1. What Is Customer Service?
Customer service is the act of providing prompt and empathetic assistance to existing and prospective customers through in-person, phone, online chat, email, and social media interactions.
It involves solving customers’ queries/ complaints, informing them about the products and services they need, and advising them on how to use available services.
2. What Are Customer Service Representatives?
Customer service representatives help business customers by answering their questions, solving issues, handling requests, and processing orders in person, over the phone or through digital means such as email and chat.
They also share information about the pricing, specifications, and available options in the company’s products or services and guide them on using a specific product or service.
Some reps specialize in a specific communication mode, such as email, voice, or chat, but others communicate with customers via more than one contact channel. For example, voice agents majorly deal with customers over the phone but may respond to email queries if there is some downtime.
3. Customer Service Representative Job Description
Almost every industry needs Customer Service Reps, and their job tasks differ based on the industry they work:
Those working in banks may require answering customers’ queries concerning their accounts.
When they work for Utility and communication companies, they assist customers with service problems like power outages.
Many retail stores also employ CSRs to assist customers in locating the desired item in the store and facilitate repairs and returns.
Representatives working in loan lending firms usually make outbound calls to potential customers to generate sales leads and answer inbound calls.
Below we have discussed the general customer service representative’s duties and responsibilities:
Listen and respond to customers’ requirements and concerns in a friendly and professional manner.
Answer incoming calls, make outbound calls to customers, including interact with customers via live chat, face-to-face, email, or other methods.
Enter data into Customer Relationship Management software.
Look up information to resolve customer queries.
Process orders, invoices, and payments.
Communicate, and coordinate with other departments to solve inquires
Be the first point of contact for the customer to solve their general inquiries related to product/service pricing, features, scheduling, etc.
Provide timely and accurate service to promote customer loyalty.
Log tickets for jobs and escalate certain matters to supervisors, managers, and other senior representatives.
Meet Key Performance Indicator targets, such as time in queue and time on the phone.
Review or make modifications to customer accounts.
Handle complaints or return requests.
Record details of customer contact information and take necessary actions
Respond to questions and complaints.
Document customer interactions in customer relationship management software by creating client records, managing digital support tickets, and recording issues and resolutions.
Retrieve and update client records or tag them for follow-up by senior reps to assist existing customers.
Follow pre-written scripts to ensure specified workflows.
Share information about products and services such as pricing, specifications, available options, and the right way to use and operate a product.
4. Customer Service Skills
Here are the top customer service skills that every support professional should have.
Knowledge of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and CRM software
Deep product knowledge
Good writing skills (correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling) for CSRs who use non-voice contact channels
Time management skills
Good typing skills to quickly input data into a database system
Good teaching skills help people understand how things work.
Strong communication skills
Social and Friendly
Able to work effectively in a busy work environment
Comfortable working in shifts and talking over the phone for a long duration
5. Customer Service Representative Qualifications
To work as a Customer Service Representative, you don't need formal qualifications or university degrees. However, completing Year 10 education or gaining relevant work experience is beneficial.
Refine your oral and written communication skills and develop proficiency in using MS Office.
Consider completing a customer service representative course, such as Certificate III in Customer Engagement (BSB30215) or Certificate IV in Customer Engagement (BSB40315) via TAFE or an RTO. A Bachelor of Business is helpful to secure entry-level roles in sales, administration, or business.
6. Steps To Become A Customer Service Rep In Australia
Here is a simple three-step guide to getting ready to start working as a Customer Service Representative in Australia:
Step 1: Complete Your High School Education
Although you can pursue this role without specific education, or training, completing courses in Customer Engagement, Business, Retail, or any other related field will help you develop the skillset and knowledge to work in this role effectively.
However, to enter any VET or degree qualification, you must complete your high school education.
Step 2: Develop Your Skills
In addition to good business knowledge, you need a range of soft skills to deliver a great customer experience to business customers.
Consider completing courses that instil the much-needed qualities in you, such as communication, patience, listening, reasoning, and problem-solving.
Furthermore, mentioning these courses on your resume will enhance your employability for the role.
Step 3: Complete Relevant Professional Courses
Customer Service Representative is a highly competitive role. To get a quick entry into this role, you must showcase your skills and differentiate yourself as a highly qualified candidate. Earning relevant courses and certification is a great way to strengthen your candidacy and stand out from the rest applicants.
Certificate III in Customer Engagement (BSB30215)
Certificate IV in Customer Engagement (BSB40315)
Certificate III in Business BSB30120
7. Customer Service Representative Courses In Australia
Duration: 2 years
Delivery Mode: Face-To-Face, Flexibly, Or Mixed Mode
Course Outcome: Sales Assistant, Senior Sales Assistant, Customer Service Assistant, Point-Of-Sale Operator in specialty stores, department stores, retail fast food outlets, supermarkets, and other retail store settings.
Study Mode: Classroom / Workplace
Location: Perth and regional Western Australia
Course Outcome: You can pursue a range of roles such as Analyst, Call Centre Analyst, Call Centre Scheduler, Call Centre Team Leader, Customer Service Team Leader, Sales Team Manager, Scheduler
Certificate III in Business – Australian College
Certificate III in Retail - College Australia
Certificate III in Business (Customer Engagement) – OPEC
Bachelor of Business - University of Technology
8. Customer Service Representative Salary In Australia
The most common factors that affect the average customer care representative salary in Australia are:
Type of industry you work in
Type of Employment (full-time or part-time employment)
According to PayScale, the average salary for a Customer Service Representative is AU$52,051 per year, or equivalent to AU$23.50 per hour.
Estimated Salary based on Experience:
Entry-level Customer Service Representatives (<1-year experience): AU$49,532 per year
Early career Customer Service Representatives (1-4 years of experience): AU$51,547 per year
Mid-career Customer Service Representatives (5-9 years of experience): AU$54,351 per year
Experienced Customer Service Representatives (10-19 years of experience): AU$55,168 per year
The Entry Level Customer Service Reps salary based on Work Location:
North Sydney: $58,033 per year
Sydney, NSW: $56,802 per year
Sydney Central Business District: $55,700 per year
Melbourne: $52,205 per year
Carnegie: $45,384 per year
Parramatta: $45,000 per year
Castle Hill: $45,000 per year
Top-Paying Employers in Sydney Area
Woolworths Group: $25 per hour
Commonwealth Bank of Australia: $56,987 per year
Datacom Systems: $44,406 per year
Service NSW: $63,752 per year
Coles Express: $25 per hour
Datacom Systems: $27 per hour
KFC: $19 per hour
NAB - National Australia Bank: $60,000 per year
eToro Social Trading: $50,000 per year
Westpac Group: $59,846 per year
BP: $24 per hour
Domino's: $19 per hour
McDonald's: $19 per hour
9. Where Do Customer Service Representatives Work?
Customer service jobs are available in a variety of business types and industries, including:
B2B customer service
Customer service in healthcare
B2C customer service
Start-up customer service
Financial services customer service
Customer service in education
Small business customer service
Ecommerce customer service
Customer service in Non-Profit organizations
10. Work Environment Of A Customer Service Representative
They usually work in office cubicles in a call centre, customer contact centre, banks, insurance agencies, retail stores, or other organizations to interact with their customers by phone, online chat, email, or in person. Some employers also offer the convenience of working from home.
While at work, they use a telephone, headset, and computer to take incoming telephone calls from customers or make outbound calls to their customers.
The work environment is crowded and noisy, and the work is stressful or repetitive, with little time in-between calls. Dealing with difficult or angry customers makes the job challenging at times.
As most call centres run 24*7, Customer Service reps may require work in shifts for standard work hours.
11. Job Outlook For Customer Service Representatives In Australia
Customer service reps play a role in acquiring, retaining, or up-selling customers. Where poor customer service results in the loss of customers and business profitability, good customer service generates revenue giving a complete and cohesive customer experience.
Understanding that customer service is the keystone of business growth and profitability, businesses are leveraging it as an opportunity to please their customers and engage them in new and exhilarating ways.
The demand for Customer Service Representatives is steadily growing in Australia across all industries and employment sectors, including corporate enterprises, government departments, community service organizations, and private businesses.
12. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are The 7 Qualities of Good Customer Service?
Here are the most desirable skills you need to work and succeed as a Customer Service Representative:
Like helping people solve their issues
Able to read customers' current emotional states
Patience and Perseverance
Willingness to learn
What Are The Three Most Important Things In Customer Service?
To become a successful Customer Service Representative, you need to have the following:
A genuine interest in assisting people
Good communication skills (listening skills, ability to anticipate customer needs, and offer apt solutions to their queries)
Basic knowledge of working with computers
How Do I Start A Career In Customer Service?
You usually have to complete a high school diploma or preferably an Associate degree in Business or Arts to get ready to work as a Customer Service Rep in the fast-paced technology industry.
In addition to the qualification, you must have good interpersonal and communication skills, including computer proficiency. Completing courses that develop these qualities will be an added advantage.
Who Are The Top Employers For Customer Service Reps?
Beverage industries and several other companies
How Hard Is It Being A Customer Service Representative?
Like any other career, the customer service representative job demands certain types of skills. This role is suited for only those comfortable talking over the phone for many hours, working in shifts, enjoying dealing with people, can communicate effectively, and working in a busy environment.
If you aren’t that good at communication, can’t face angry or upset customers, and can’t handle the stress of working in a fast-paced work environment, you will find this role challenging.
However, people who like a dynamic work environment and thrive on challenges may find it comfortable to work and make a long-term career in this profession.
Considering the shift work and stress involved in the role, not many people want to make a long-term career in this field. The job may suit younger people with the right skills but may not be a good option for 35+ individuals.
Graduates who have completed their education can start in this profession to develop transferable customer-service skills and later switch to related jobs like Receptionist, Sales or Office Assistant, Retail Supervisor, and Cashier.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Customer Service Agent?
The ideal qualification to kickstart your career as a Customer Service Representative is 12-18 months for a Certificate III in Customer Engagement. However, if the role is more sales-focused, a 12-month Certificate III in Retail can be a better option.
How To Become A Customer Service Rep from Home?
MCI Institute (RTO 91088) is one of the leading and accredited training institutions that offers a range of online courses in Customer Service to help you become a Customer Service Rep from home.
Nationally Recognised Course
Course duration: 12 months
Online and Supported
The course introduces you to the business world, giving you the skills to understand customer needs, build customer loyalty and a brand reputation, and offer a positive customer experience that keeps your customers returning.
Nationally Recognised Course
Course duration: 12 months
Online and Supported
The course introduces the dynamic retail sector and the skills to create customer engagement, communicate product information effectively, maintain store operations, use retail technology, and deliver on business expectations.
Being a Customer Service Representative could be a satisfying experience if you are passionate about helping and advising people to improve their experience with businesses. However, like any other job, the role has pros and cons.
People keen to make a career in this field must assess the required skills, work environment, advantages and drawbacks of working in this profession to make an informed decision.
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