what is a customer service officer?

As a customer service officer, you provide frontline support via telephone, email or online. You interact with customers regularly to ensure they are happy with your company's performance. Aside from answering questions and responding to inquiries, you provide helpful information about the company's products and services. When a customer raises an issue, you open their file to access their purchased products. Having customer information helps you resolve problems faster and build lasting relationships with customers.

Customer service officers work in every industry, depending on their employer. For instance, when you work in a bank, you answer questions concerning clients' accounts and available financial services. In utility services or maintenance companies, you answer questions concerning maintenance schedules and problems with utility bills. In retail stores, you handle customer complaints concerning delivery delays or returns. Sometimes, you generate sales leads from phone conversations. Customer service officers also work in mining, manufacturing and wholesale companies that handle customer requests directly.

Working in customer service requires strong listening and communication skills. You should also be approachable and friendly to build rapport and good customer relationships. Since you interact with many people daily, having emotional intelligence helps you provide a personalised response to every customer. Patience and politeness are also crucial when dealing with angry or demanding customers.

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average salary of a customer service officer

A customer service officer in New Zealand takes home an average annual salary of $60,000. The remuneration package is based on skills, experience and qualifications. Entry-level customer service officers joining the role earn at least $45,000 per year. Their limited skills and expertise reduce their salary prospects, but the amount increases gradually with experience and additional qualifications. Experienced customer service officers take home an average salary of $65,000 per year. 

ways to boost the salary of a customer service officer

The remuneration package for customer service support officers depends on their industry and the hours worked. Generally, working as a customer service officer in the telecommunications, mining or finance sectors attracts higher remuneration. That is because you handle technical questions related to finance or technology products. Sometimes, your job involves explaining troubleshooting procedures for technology products. As a customer service officer, you can work full-time or part-time. Working full-time attracts higher hourly rates compared to part-time jobs. You are also likely to earn more if you work overtime hours.

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types of customer service officers

The types of customer service officers depend on the mode of communication or the industry they work in. Some include:

  • live chat customer service officers: as a live chat customer service officer, you communicate with clients through the instant message service on your organisation's website. Your job is to answer queries and assist customers promptly.
  • email customer service officers: some companies offer support by responding to emails directed at them. While email support is slower than live chat, it allows customer service officers to resolve clients' problems.
  • social media customer service officers: your job is to monitor social media pages and respond to customers. You also create informative posts that explain the importance of various products. Most social media customer service officers respond to customers publicly, through a private message or refer them to the company's website for additional assistance.
  • call agents: you receive phone calls from various customers and help resolve their problems. You should record the telephone messages and escalate them to the right departments.
Female with blue headphones around her neck looking at a screen
Female with blue headphones around her neck looking at a screen

working as a customer service officer

As a customer service officer, you are the first call for the company, and you work directly with customers to assist them with the purchase process. Read on for details on the tasks, work schedules and work environments in the role.


Customer service officer education and skills

Customer service officers don't need formal qualifications because companies provide on-the-job training.

  • computer skills: it is important to learn computer skills like using Microsoft Office suite programmes and other applications.

customer service officer skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a customer service officer include:

  • communication skills: as a customer service officer, you spend the day speaking with customers. You require communication skills to relate with customers from diverse backgrounds. You should address each customer based on their situations and experiences.
  • customer service skills: you require exceptional customer service skills to provide outstanding service. When you are approachable and friendly, customers feel at ease when making inquiries, and you build a good rapport with them.
  • conflict management: you are the first point of contact in handling complaints and customers' dissatisfaction. Sometimes, you deal with angry and frustrated clients. You should develop good conflict management skills to de-escalate issues.

FAQs about working as a customer service officer

Here are the most asked questions about working as a customer service officer:

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