Every month, Walters People put a position in the spotlight.

This month we asked Laura Sanchez, recruitment consultant in the business support division, what exactly a Customer Service Representative does, what influence the Corona pandemic had on their job, and what to expect in the future.

Laura Sanchez, Walters People

A day in the life of a Customer Service Representative: what does it look like?

Laura: "As Customer Service Representative you act as the organisation's first point of contact when customers contact the customer service desk. You are confronted with a wide range of questions, so every day is different. For example, customers may request additional information about a product or want to know when their order will be delivered or why there is a delay.

As a Customer Service Representative, you also have a clear view on incoming orders and are therefore in very close contact with the sales team to clearly map out and align supply and demand. Accurate stock management and well-organised shipment of goods are also part of the tasks of a Customer Service Representative.”

What education and skills are required to be a successful Customer Service Representative?

"A Bachelor’s degree is an excellent starting point, but the most important thing to be successful within customer service is a good knowledge of languages. In addition to contact with customers, you are also in close contact with various divisions within the organisation. Obviously, a Customer Service Representative must be very customer-oriented and have fluent communication skills.

The ability to listen well, a strong sense of diplomacy and empathy are essential in this job. Being a customer service employee, you also have to deal with dissatisfied customers who want a solution to their problem as quickly as possible. In peak periods, customer service departments can be very busy. Think, for example, of the end-of-year period, black Friday... In such periods it is important to work closely with the team and to be able to demonstrate stress-resistance, so everything runs smoothly, both internally and towards customers. Finally, it is important to have a good knowledge of MS Office, as the sales team will request reports on a regular basis."

How did the Corona pandemic affect the job of a Customer Service Representative?

"If we compare the demand for customer service employees over the past 6 months with the same period last year, we see a slight decrease of about 11%. And there are sectors where we don't even notice this decline, like in pharma, FMCG, automation and industry: here, the demand for customer service employees remains stable and we are now even seeing many new vacancies coming in."

Remarkable was the change in customer behaviour during the lockdown: 6 out of 10 customers increased their time for a conversation with the customer service department, and customer satisfaction also increased visibly. Teleworking was also on the rise: no less than 84% of customer service employees worked entirely or partly from home.

What does the future of the Customer Service Representative look like?

"Due to labour costs in Belgium, some organisations chose to move their customer service department abroad. We notice in the most recent vacancies that the job description is either very specific or requires a broad knowledge of languages. Especially customer service employees with a good knowledge of German are hard to find.

Of course, the digital evolution will also be continued within customer service.  Chatbots (the application to have an online chat conversation with the customer service department) for example, can easily be used for simple customer service questions, but we must not forget the role of EQ: the human aspect within customer service will always play an essential role.”

Finally: what salary can a Customer Service Representative count on?

"According to our Salary Survey, a junior Customer Service Representative can count on a gross monthly salary of 2000-2500 EUR. Professionals with 3 to 6 years of experience in customer service can expect a salary of 2300-3000 EUR. If you have more than 6 years experience in the job, you can see your gross monthly salary increase to about 3800 EUR. Once you evolve to a Team Leader position within customer service, you can count on a gross monthly salary of up to 5000 EUR. This salary often includes an insurance package and lunch vouchers, and in some organisations a mobile phone or laptop."

Interested in becoming a Customer Service Representative?

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

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