According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an organization's customer relations officers or customer service representatives deal with complaints and orders and also answer questions about products and services. In order to fulfill these general responsibilities, employees sometimes interact with the public face-to-face, but they also use technology, such as email, on-line chats and telephones.
Although the work varies somewhat depending upon the organization, customer relations officers share many tasks in common. For instance, dealing with customers' problems is a typical job duty. The representatives need to remain calm, even if customers become upset. The representatives need to identify the problem needs, which requires good listening and questioning skills. Then the representative must recommend a solution to the customer who, hopefully, agrees to the fix.
In retail stores, customer service representatives handle problems; deal with returns, exchanges and refunds; and assist customers in locating and selecting items. In banks, customer relations officers spend a great deal of time answering questions about customers' accounts and helping to fix dilemmas.
Many kinds of businesses employ customer relations officers, including insurance companies, call centers, credit agencies and technical industries. In 2012, although most of these representatives worked full-time, 20 percent were part-time employees. Work hours vary, including late-night shifts, evenings, weekends and holidays.