Job Description for a Customer Service Desk Associate
Retail service desk jobs focus on educating clients and making customers happy.
If nothing else, the job of a customer service desk associate is never dull. Someone working as an associate can be calming down an angry customer over the phone one minute while troubleshooting a sales inquiry the next. While most customer service associate jobs either used to be primarily based either in person or over the phone, the growth of the internet has lead to an expansion of the service desk associate position into cyberspace. Empathy for the plight of a customer and the ability to work well under pressure are needed, among other skills, to become a successful customer service desk associate regardless of where the position is based.
Above all else, a customer service desk associate should be personable and enjoy working with people. In some cases, when a customer contacts the service desk, they are already in a bad mood or upset about a problem. Customer service associates should have the ability to defuse potential problem situations and smooth out any ruffled feathers. The majority of customer records are kept in computerized databases, so customer service desk associates should have a working knowledge of computers and comfortable with maintaining electronic data.
The primary task of a service desk associate is to answer customer requests for assistance either in person, by email/chat or over the phone. The exact duties of a service desk associate will vary according to the company. For example, service desk associates who works at a cable company help customers set up new accounts, close accounts, move services and submit trouble tickets for service, while service desk associates working at a grocery store can issue money orders, help customers pay bills and sell postage stamps.
The secondary tasks involved with a customer service job typically involve the record keeping aspect of dealing with customers. Customer data is usually held in a customer database, which may be propriety software developed by the company for the task or one of the more well known Customer Relationship Manager programs. Accuracy is very important when maintaining customer records so that other service clerks can see what issues the customer has had and how other associates have dealt with their request. Sales associates may also be responsible for compiling and submitting reports based on their calls, These reports generally include the number of calls/questions answered, the number that couldn’t be immediately addressed and any customer issues to deal with in the future. Depending on the size of the office and the company, general filing and typing duties may be another part of the service desk associates job description.
The minimum level of education for jobseekers looking to become a service desk associate is a high school diploma or GED. However, this also depends on the company and the nature of the service desk position. Grocery stores, for example, employ students who are still pursuing their high school education. There is no certification required at the state or federal level for service desk associates, but companies will usually have new applicants undergo a number of weeks of training with another associate in order to familiarize them with the system. Continuing education classes, such as training in how to deal with difficult customers, may be a on ongoing requirement for some service desk associate positions.
About the Author
Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.
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