When you are a recent graduate, the world is at your feet. If you would like to hold on to this feeling a little longer, then you would do well to start your career as a Customer Service Representative. After all, a range of possible career paths stretches out before you from this position.  

Ian Schoonjans, Recruitment Consultant at staffing specialist Walters People, explains exactly what this role entails, what the growth opportunities are, and what salary you can expect.

What are the main responsibilities of a Customer Service Representative?

As a Customer Service Representative, you act as the first point of contact for customers who reach out to the organisation. Ian: "You deal with many diverse questions on a daily basis, which makes every working day different. For example, customers may request additional information about a certain product or want to know when their order will be delivered. As a Customer Service Representative, you also have an overview of the incoming orders. Therefore, you are in very close contact with the sales team to clearly map out and align supply and demand together. Stock management and logistics coordination are also part of the job description of a Customer Service Representative."

Which education and skills do you need to become a good Customer Service Representative?

A bachelor's degree is an excellent starting point, but the key to success within customer service is good language skills. As you are not only in daily contact with customers, but also work closely with different divisions within the organisation, fluent communication skills are essential.  

Obviously, as a Customer Service Representative, you need to be very customer-oriented, be a good listener and have a strong sense of diplomacy. "You will also be dealing with dissatisfied customers, who preferably want a solution to their problem as soon as possible," says Ian. "With a solution-oriented and helpful attitude, you ensure that the customer is satisfied with their order - even after a complaint. That is precisely what makes Customer Service Representative a role from which you can get a lot of fulfilment." 

Of course, it can get very busy within Customer Service during certain peak periods. Think of the end-of-year period, Black Friday, ... At such times, it is important to be stress-resistant and to work closely with the team so that everything runs smoothly, both internally and towards customers. Finally, a good knowledge of MS Office is important, as the sales team will regularly request reports.

What is the current demand for Customer Service Representatives?

The demand for Customer Service Representatives is on an upward trend. In the first quarter of 2024, 10% more vacancies were published than in the same period last year (source: Jobfeed). "2023 was a difficult year for many companies due to global economic uncertainty," Ian knows. "This year, organisations in sectors such as logistics, automotive and FMCG are fully opting to progress and optimise operations. This increased activity brings with it a growth in consumer confidence and an increase in the number of transactions. This means more jobs within customer service."

What are the career opportunities as a Customer Service Representative?

As a Customer Service Representative, you will work with various departments in the organisation, allowing you to gain extensive knowledge. You learn to interact with different people, how to deal with problems, how to coordinate business processes... In short: a very good training ground that lays the foundation for the rest of your career. If you have further ambitions within customer service, you can progress to a role as Teamleader or Customer Service Manager. Ian: "However, there are plenty of other career paths possible. For example, you can perfectly evolve into a job within sales or even communication, marketing and HR."

Finally, what salary can you expect as a Customer Service Representative?

The annual Walters People Salary Survey shows that an entry-level Customer Service Representative can expect a gross monthly salary of EUR 2300-2900. Professionals with 3 to 6 years' experience within customer service can count on a salary of EUR 3000-3800. Those with more than 6 years' experience in the job can see their gross monthly salary rise to around EUR 4500. If you progress to a Team Leader position within customer service, you can expect a gross monthly salary of up to 5500 EUR. That salary very often also includes an insurance package and meal vouchers, and in some cases a mobile phone or laptop.

"Employers are increasingly concerned about the well-being of their customer service employees. This manifests itself in offering training and interesting career opportunities within the organisation, but also in sports activities, flexible working hours and the possibility of remote working," Ian concludes.


Interested in becoming a Customer Service Representative?

View our most recent customer service jobs or send your CV today.

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