How to Become a Customer Service Officer (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Customer service officers interact with customers, help them overcome challenges and provide advice. They use their excellent active listening and critical-thinking skills to resolve issues and improve the experience their customers have with the products and services the company offers. If you enjoy helping others and have strong interpersonal skills, then you might consider pursuing a career as a customer service officer. In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to become a customer service officer, explain the primary job duties for this role and share tips to help you succeed in your job search.

How to become a customer service officer

While every professional's career path is different, there are some basic steps you can take when learning how to become a customer service officer. Here's a guide to help you:

1. Earn your school certificate

Customer service officers typically have a higher school certificate, although there may be opportunities to work in customer service positions for high school students who are on track to graduate. To prepare for a role as a customer service officer while you're in high school, look for opportunities to develop your interpersonal and technology skills. Some courses you can take while you're in school to help you prepare for a role as a customer service officer include:

  • speech and oral communication

  • composition

  • typing

  • computer applications

You can also join clubs and after-school activities to improve your ability to communicate with others effectively. For example, if your school has a debate team, joining could help you strengthen your negotiation skills, which may be useful for persuading customers.

Related: Tertiary Qualification: Options for Study after High School

2. Gain relevant work experience

While most companies provide on-the-job training for new customer service officers, gaining relevant experience in other positions can improve your chances of securing employment and help you adapt to your new customer service role quickly. Jobs you could apply for include roles in the retail or food service industries where you can develop your ability to interact with customers professionally. Some of the skills and qualities you can focus on improving to succeed as a customer service officer include:

  • verbal communication

  • patience

  • professionalism

  • attention to detail

  • problem solving

  • interpersonal skills

  • multi-tasking

  • time management

Related: 17 Customer Service Skills: Definitions and Examples

3. Obtain optional certifications

Becoming a customer service officer generally doesn't require formal qualifications or certifications, but obtaining them can help you craft an impressive resume that distinguishes you from other candidates. After hiring you, your employer may enrol you in some basic training and certification courses to ensure you have the skills and knowledge to help you succeed. Familiarising yourself with some of the most popular customer service certifications can help you prepare. Here are a few certifications that involve learning how to operate specific computer software and customer relationship management applications, interact with customers and resolve issues:

  • Certified Customer Service Excellence (CCSE)

  • Certified Complaints Handling Excellence (CCHE)

  • Certified Customer Engagement Excellence (CCEE)

  • Certified Customer Service Leader (CCSL)

  • Certified Service Sales Excellence (CSSE)

  • Certified Business Relationship Manager (CBRM)

4. Apply for jobs

Once you feel prepared to start applying for jobs as a customer service officer, take the time to create a professional resume and cover letter. Throughout both documents, make sure to highlight your relevant customer service skills and qualifications. You can review job descriptions for customer service roles to determine the qualities that hiring managers typically look for in candidates. Incorporate these skills into your application materials to demonstrate that you have the necessary abilities to excel as a customer service officer. You can also search for resume and cover letter samples and templates online to save time.

Related: Customer Service Resume Summary Guide (With Examples)

What does a customer service officer do?

Understanding what job duties a customer service officer is typically responsible for can help you determine whether this is a career you want to pursue. It can also help you develop your skills and adjust your application materials to fit this role. Here are some of the most common tasks customer service officers complete:

  • assess customer feedback

  • resolve customer issues

  • provide customers with resources, advice and information

  • document correspondence with customers, including phone calls, emails, online chat messages and support tickets

  • process new orders

  • promote new or upgraded products and services

Read more: What Does a Customer Service Representative Do? (With Skills)

Customer service officer work environment

While customer service officers can work in a variety of settings, some of their most common work environments include call centres and retail stores. In call centres, these professionals often work from a designated computer in an open-plan office with other customer service officers. They may answer phone calls or respond to emails and online messages from customers.

Customer service officers who work in retail stores typically communicate with customers in person. They may conduct most of their work behind a help desk. You can also find remote customer service officer positions, which allow you to work from home. These positions provide flexibility and allow employees to assist customers around the world by using their computers or phones to email, call and chat with them.

Tips for finding a job as a customer service officer

Customer service officers work in many industries, including consumer goods, health care, retail and food service. Here are a few tips to help you find a customer service officer job:

  • Visit businesses in your community. Many companies that provide products or services to people hire employees for customer service officer roles. Create a list of these businesses in your community, visit them and ask the manager if they have any customer service officer positions available.

  • Review customer service postings on job boards. Using job boards is a great way to narrow your search while finding plenty of opportunities that fit your skills and qualifications. Use keywords and apply filters to find customer service officer jobs in your area that match your desired pay.

  • Upload your resume to professional networking websites. Once you've created a professional resume, make it easy for recruiters to find you by uploading it to popular networking websites and professional social media platforms. You can also change your settings to let recruiters know you're open to job offers and looking for a position in customer service.

  • Conduct company research. Before you apply for a customer service officer position, take the time to research the hiring organisation to learn about the products and services it offers, its mission and its work culture. Then incorporate these details into your resume and cover letter to impress hiring managers and improve your chances of receiving an interview request.

Customer service officer job description example

Reviewing job descriptions for customer service officer roles can help you identify the skills and qualifications that employers typically look for when reviewing candidates. You can use this information to customise your resume, cover letter and application materials to ensure they contain the right keywords to impress hiring managers and make it through the applicant tracking system (ATS) that many employers use to short-list candidates. Here's an example of a customer service officer job description to help you:

Briar Technologies Company is looking for a customer service officer to join our growing team and support our extensive client base. We encourage candidates with strong listening skills, excellent negotiation tactics and the desire to resolve challenges quickly to apply. The customer service officer role requires the ability to anticipate customer needs and answer questions in a timely manner. Having basic computer skills and being able to multitask are critical skills for this role.

The ideal candidate has previous customer service experience and is a positive, self-motivated professional. If this sounds like you, please send your resume and cover letter to our hiring team at Briar Technologies Company. We look forward to reviewing your application.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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