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What Is a Customer Service Associate and How to Become One

What Do Customer Service Associates Do?

Customer service associates work with customers to help them find what they need and resolve any issues they may have. As a customer service associate, you may work in a call center or a retail store, so your job duties vary depending on your work environment. In an office setting, you handle administrative tasks, such as filing paperwork and entering data, in addition to assisting customers over the phone or via online chat. The qualifications to become a customer service representative include excellent communication skills, a desire to help people, and problem-solving abilities. Most employers require you to have at least a high school diploma or GED certificate, though you may need a college degree to move into management positions.

How to Become a Customer Service Associate

Obtaining a position as a customer service associate requires no specific educational background or skill set. In fact, a customer service associate position is ideal for individuals with few qualifications looking to build their resume. At a minimum, you must have excellent communication skills. The job duties of a customer service associate typically involve helping customers with questions, either in person or over the phone. Thus, your responsibilities involve being able to put forth a professional demeanor. The ability to troubleshoot problems is also an asset, and prior experience in a customer-facing role can help you land a job as a customer service associate.

Customer Service Associate Job Description Sample

With this Customer Service Associate job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Customer Service Associate role.

Job Summary

We are looking for a friendly and hard-working customer service associate to join our growing team. You will be responsible for answering all incoming calls and emails, fielding customer questions and complaints, and transferring potential leads to our sales team. As a customer service associate, you should have an outgoing and positive demeanor, a motivated, energetic work ethic, and have a track record of working well with others in a team environment.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Answer incoming calls and emails in an efficient manner
  • Identify customer questions, concerns, and overall needs
  • Provide accurate answers and solutions to customer queries
  • Address customer complaints in a compassionate and patient manner
  • Redirect customers to appropriate teams and/or departments as needed
  • Help sales team generate leads, identify potential leads and forward to sales reps
  • Check voicemail inboxes and return calls in a timely manner
  • Develop professional relationships with ongoing customers through excellent customer service
  • Follow-up with callers on complaint and/or question resolution status
  • Collaborate with immediate team, other customer service teams, sales team, and other company departments to ensure overall customer and product satisfaction
  • Meet or exceed call quotas and sales assist quotas, both personally and as a team unit
  • Follow company communication procedures, policies, and guidelines at all times
  • Perform each duty above with our customers' satisfaction as the number one priority

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent required
  • Customer service experience is a plus
  • Familiarity with CRM systems is preferred
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Fantastic phone skills, i.e. well-spoken, excellent active listening skills
  • Ability to communicate and interact with all kinds of people (both externally with customers, and internally with company team members and other departments)
  • Motivated, energetic, driven work ethic
  • Time management skills
  • Ability to multitask
  • Organized
  • Outgoing, friendly, compassionate personality
  • Ability to meet and/or exceed both call and sales assist quotas