Customer Service Representative
I. JOB SUMMARY
Main Topic: Human Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society
Overview: Customer service representatives work with customers to resolve complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services. They typically provide services by phone, but some also interact with customers face to face, by email or text, via live chat, and through social media.
The specific duties of customer service representatives vary by industry. For example, representatives who work in banks may answer customers’ questions about their accounts. Representatives who work for utility and telecommunications companies may help customers with service problems, such as outages. Those who work in retail stores often handle returns, process refunds, and help customers locate items. Although selling a product or service is not their main job, representatives may help generate sales while providing information.
Customer service representative need geography skills to perform their jobs well. They interact with people from different locations and backgrounds, and who may speak other languages. They often represent businesses that sell products or services that are global in nature, and customer service representatives need an awareness of how that influences those items. When taking and processing orders, things like shipping charges, taxes, and delivery times will all be different based on the customer’s location. When handling customer complaints, an effective customer service representative will be sensitive to the customer’s culture and ways of handling conflict resolution.
Geographers at work: Urban geographers, business geographer, cultural geographer, economic geographer, human geographers
Recommended College Courses: Human geography, physical geography, business geography, urban geography, economic geography, cultural geography
Skills: Understanding of cultural, language, and economic difference influenced by geography; map reading and interpretation; computer and database systems; critical thinking; teamwork
Occupation Group: Office and Administrative Support
Learn more about Customer Service Representative from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/customer-service-representatives.htm#tab-2
Written by Christopher Anderson
II. POWERFUL GEOGRAPHIC KNOWLEDGE