Acting as a liaison between a company and the public, customer service representatives require a unique combination of interpersonal skills and knowledge of their particular industry in order to be successful. Employees in this field need to handle a high volume of calls, complaints and requests and they also need to be able maintain a positive, upbeat attitude. This field has greatly proliferated in recent years as call centers have returned to the US from overseas. Young people seeking job experience often apply for these positions; employers need to ensure that their youthful energy is coupled with the professional attitude essential to customer service.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, customer service representatives usually have a high school diploma, though increasing industry demands have led many hiring managers to pursue college graduates. Training is typically done on-site and lasts around two to three weeks depending on the industry and company. Job opportunities in this field are projected to increase by 15% by the year 2020. The job functions of customer service agents are expected to change as new technology is developed. As social media and live chats become more and more common, hiring managers must consider these factors when evaluating job applicants.
Criteria Corp's pre-employment tests help hiring managers make informed decisions about their customer service applicants. Employers who screen candidates for customer service positions typically use the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST), a skills test that measures important skills and characteristics, such as verbal and communication skills, attention to detail, basic math ability, spelling, grammar and reading comprehension. They also utilize the Customer Service Aptitude Profile (CSAP), a personality test that assesses key personality traits for customer service reps, including patience, diplomacy, and cooperativeness. Computer proficiency tests, such as the Computer Literacy and Internet Knowledge (CLIK) test, can also be used to determine if a candidate has adequate computer skills for the position.
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Rank in HireSelect:
1 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
$33,890/year or $16.29/hour
Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
Number employed (2014): 2,511,130
Education level of Customer Service Representatives: