As specified in the job description, customer service representatives/agents are responsible for answering phone calls from their company’s customers. They listen to, grasp and address the caller’s problems in a timely manner. They perform their tasks following the company’s line of conduct and are polite and courteous with callers. They regularly follow up customer files and call them back in the event of emergencies. They are overseen by supervisors who monitor their calls on a regular basis.
- High school or college diploma advisable
- Experience in the same field or a related job (pollster, in-store customer service) desirable
- Knowledge of basic computer tools often requested
- Knowledge of the company’s products and services is required; training is regularly provided
- Interpersonal skills
- Patience and positive outlook
- Ability to persuade
- Ability to inspire trust
- Organizational skills
- Stress management skills
WHAT THE PROS SAY
Customer service representative/agent: competent call-takers for a varied clientele
EVELYNE DE GREGORIO, BROKER FOR ESSOR INSURANCE
“Customer service is not carved in stone,” explains Evelyne De Gregorio, agent/representative for Essor Insurance. “We take calls from doctors, professors, and regular people. We get all kinds.” As well, she has the opportunity to talk in both French and English, but this makes the job more challenging.
Evelyne is responsible for answering the various questions asked by policy holders about property, home, car and recreational vehicle (e.g. boats, trailers, snowmobiles) insurance. She explains to customers what is covered and what is not. She provides information that callers need, and updates and follows up files. Evelyne may also cross-sell related products to customers.
Evelyne has only been in this job for two years, after taking distance courses in CEGEP and then specializing with an attestation of college (AEC) studies in property and personal insurance. Prior to that, before prices went down, she ran a business providing residential and business customers with gas. This first job helped her launch her new career: “I already knew how the customer/provider relationship worked; all I had to do was adapt face-to-face sales techniques to telephone techniques.”
Today, her skills and energy do the rest. “You need to have many skills to take on such responsibility,” Evelyne confides. “You need to know the brand’s products, be attentive and receptive to the caller’s needs, be specific in your answers, and do all this in a timely manner.” With these assets, she has found her voice.