A customer service assistant is a person who handles customer inquiries or complaints at a business. In addition to these duties, a customer service assistant can be a salesperson, arrange and book services for the customer, take payments and issue refunds on merchandise and services. The customer service assistant can also enter customer information into a database and conduct follow-up phone calls to the customer after the service is completed.
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A customer service assistant can be a valuable asset to a company. The duties he/she performs can mean either more or fewer sales for a company. In a retail environment a customer service assistant's job may be to greet customers entering the store. The greeting can be a simple "Hello" or an extensive conversation with the customer about the reasons for the visit and items he/she needs. This technique of probing the customer can help the sales people in the store when they assist the customer or help the customer service assistant sell goods and services to the customer.
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In some cases the customer service assistant may have to send a customer to a supervisor for advanced or difficult situations. Some companies do not allow the customer service assistant to handle difficult situations. The customer may be angry about a broken or malfunctioning product or they may not like the customer service assistant that greeted them at the door.
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Customer service assistants can have a positive effect on a business. They can be very useful in a small staff such as an insurance agency or educational office. The customer service assistant can develop a relationship with the frequent caller or shopper and become a familiar face for the customer. If a customer service assistant is well-liked a customer may refer friends and family to the place of business.
A career as a customer service assistant is not always easy. The hours may be inconsistent, with a new schedule every day--or the hours may be extremely long, spending a lot of time standing or sitting while on the phone. The salary for a customer service assistant varies by industry and duties performed. In many cases the salary can be entry-level for the geographic area of the job or as low as minimum wage.
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Customer service assistants are employed in industries around the world. The jobs vary from the airline industry, retail, insurance and sales. For example, customer assistants are used in New York for live entertainment venues and shows. In London the same jobs exist. A customer service assistant in New York can elect to relocate to the United Kingdom and perform the same job for the same company in London.