There are many job options for those considering a career in customer service. These positions are available in almost every industry. Top employers include call centers, brick-and-mortar and online retailers, credit card companies and agencies, insurance companies, and financial institutions.
In 2020, almost 3 million people were employed in customer service jobs, interacting with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and answer questions.
In a customer service position, you will interact with customers to provide information, handle complaints, and process orders.
Customer Service Skills & Qualifications
A suitable candidate for a career in customer service should have strong listening, communication and phone skills, and should excel at problem-solving, documenting information, resolving conflict, analyzing information, building relationships, and multitasking.
Most customer service positions require a high school diploma and familiarity with computers. Many companies will provide on-the-job training. In many cases, there are opportunities for job growth and advancement that do not require additional education and training.
For management positions, a college degree or experience is typically required, and excellent communication skills and customer orientation are necessary.
Customer Service Careers
If you have the proper skill set and the desire to help people, you’ll find a variety of job options.
Many customer service jobs are entry-level, with the potential for growth in supervisory and management positions.
For some customer service jobs, depending on the position and the company, you may be able to work remotely. In most positions, being able to work flexible day, evening, and weekend jobs is a plus.
Top 10 Customer Service Jobs
Here are some common customer service jobs and what they pay:
1. Call Center Agent
As a call center agent, you can work at a virtual call center from home or work inside a call center. Regardless of the location, you’ll answer phone or email inquiries from customers. Depending on the job, you’ll place orders, respond to and handle customer issues, or make appointments. Call center staff are expected to handle a high volume of calls and to have excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
Salary: According to PayScale, the median annual salary for a call center agent is $27,664.
2. Client Relations Associate
Client relations staff build and maintain relationships with their organization’s most important customers. This is a hands-on position working with assigned clients to make sure that they are satisfied with the company’s services and products. Your job is to ensure client satisfaction and to work with team members, other company departments, and external vendors to make sure customer needs are met.
Salary: According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for a client relations associate is $48,305.
3. Client Services Coordinator
Client services coordinators are responsible for ensuring tasks are completed. They may handle order processing, setting up and coordinating services, tracking deliveries and installations, and resolving customer issues. This job requires solid phone skills and the ability to juggle several tasks simultaneously.
Salary: The average annual salary for a client services coordinator is $44,040, according to PayScale.
If you are interested in assisting customers and are knowledgeable about hotels, restaurants, transportation, and any other information that that can facilitate and enhance the customer experience, you may do well as a concierge. Many hotels have concierges on staff who book reservations, suggest activities, and arrange transportation for guests. Virtual concierges do many of the same tasks, either on the phone or online through a messaging system or email.
Salary: Glassdoor reports that the average annual salary for a concierge is $34,023.
5. Customer Service Representative
A customer service representative (CSR) is the catch-all job title for many different roles in customer service. Customer service representatives interact with customers to process orders, provide information about an organization’s products and services, and resolve issues.
Almost every organization provides some level of customer service, so CSR is a common job role.
Note, however, that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects these jobs to decline in number over the next decade due to increased automation. The BLS forecasts that the occupation will decline 1% between 2020 and 2021.
Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a customer service representative is $35,830.
6. Front Desk Associate or Receptionist
If you have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to handle in-person and phone communications, a front desk position is a good job option. In a corporate setting, you will likely work a 40-hour week. A position at a hotel, resort, or other hospitality facility will probably require additional hours working nights, weekends, and holidays.
Salary: A receptionist earns a median annual salary of $31,110, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
7. Member Services Specialist
Member services specialists provide a high level of customer care to members. For example, you may be serving an elite credit card holder or a client of a bank or an insurance company. This job entails answering questions, providing services, and explaining benefits to members. Work hours and salary vary, depending on your employer.
Salary: Base pay for a member service specialist averages $35,185 per year, according to Glassdoor.
8. Patient Care Coordinator
Patient care coordinators work for doctors’ offices, hospitals, medical centers, rehabilitation centers, health care agencies, and insurance companies. They schedule appointments, get preapprovals from insurance companies, and arrange services and procedures. For most positions, you’ll need to be familiar with medical terminology, and the job may require prior experience in a healthcare setting.
Salary: A patient care coordinator earn an average annual salary of $43,120, per Glassdoor.
9. Social Media Customer Care Associate
A social media customer care associate handles tweets and Facebook posts from dissatisfied customers. This role involves monitoring an organization’s social media accounts, responding to inquiries, resolving issues, and escalating problems to a manager when necessary.
Salary: Glassdoor estimates that the average annual salary for a social media customer care associate is $34,482.
10. Technical Support Representative
If you have solid technical skills; product-specific software, application, or hardware skills; and the ability to troubleshoot, solve problems, and deal well with people, consider a tech support role. This in-demand job may require a college degree, certification, or training. This job may be done remotely. For example, Apple hires At-Home Advisors.
Salary: According to PayScale, the average annual salary of a technical support representative is $35,027.
How to Get the Job
Search Job Sites
Search the leading job sites such as Indeed.com, Glassdoor, FlexJobs, Monster, and LinkedIn. These sites post job listings from many different sources. Search by job title, keyword, and location to find jobs that are a match for your interests.
If you want to work from home add “remote” or “work from home” to your query.
Apply on Company Websites
Also search company websites. For example, Wells Fargo, Home Depot, Comcast, and other employers hire customer service representatives through their sites. Go to their corporate websites and click “Careers” or “Jobs” to view open positions and apply online.
Join an Association
Join an organization to network with others and stay current on new developments in the industry. The National Customer Service Association (NCSA) offers these opportunities, as well as courses for becoming a Certified Customer Service Professional (CCSP).
SOCAP International is another popular membership organization focused on improving customer care across all industries worldwide. The organization provides a place to get involved and meet other industry members, which could lead to a job.