Customer Service Representative
Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service
Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses
- High school diploma or GED
Preferred Education and Credentials
- Undergraduate college coursework
- Knowledge of HVAC/R products
- Customer service
- Telephone and computer usage
- Processing transactions
DescriptionCustomer service representatives support business operations by providing useful information about products and services the company offers, answering consumers’ questions, and addressing customer complaints. Service-oriented workers with strong interpersonal skills, the ability to be patient, and a pleasant demeanor help maintain customer loyalty. Customer service representatives spend their time interacting with customers through telephones and computers, so they must be able to communicate well verbally and in writing. They need to be active listeners to understand customer needs and have knowledge of the products and services being sold as well as an aptitude for problem-solving to respond to customers’ inquiries and satisfactorily resolve complaints. They also serve customers by scheduling appointments; completing a sale; processing orders, returns, or exchanges; and reviewing and managing customer accounts. Within the HVAC/R field, customer service representatives may help dispatch service technicians to customers. Customer service representatives must master basic computer skills (such as Microsoft Office® applications) to complete data entry and keep records of their interactions with customers. The variety of job duties requires customer service representatives to have the ability to multi-task and have strong organizational skills. Customer service representatives typically work full-time in offices. Shifts may include evenings, weekends, holidays, and even overnight shifts for those who work in call centers that operate 24 hours a day.
Job OutlookAccording to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 148,100 customer service representatives working across all types of businesses in New York State. Opportunities for employment are expected to be unfavorable through 2028; the Department projects a decrease of 1,500 jobs between 2018 and 2028.
Entering the FieldCustomer service representatives typically need to have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for an entry-level position, and prior experience is often not required – most employers provide on-the-job training within the first month. However, additional schooling may be an advantage when applying to customer service jobs: more than 60% of customer service representatives in New York State (across all industries) have taken some college courses (but do not have a degree) or have an associate or bachelor’s degree according to American Community Survey data. Within the HVAC/R field, employers may prefer to hire workers who already have knowledge of industry products and related services. Entry-level HVAC/R installers, service technicians (who find that the physical nature of that work is not a good fit), or retail sales associates with familiarity of HVAC/R products can use the insights they have gained from these roles to provide superior customer service.
WagesIn New York State, the median wage for customer service representatives is approximately $41,400. Entry-level workers earn about $30,500, and experienced workers earn about $52,700.
Annual Wage (Q1 2021 dollars, rounded to 100s) – Statewide and by Labor Market Region
|New York State||$30,500||$41,400||$52,700|
|Central New York||$27,900||$37,400||$48,100|
|New York City||$32,800||$46,000||$57,500|
|Western New York||$30,100||$38,900||$47,000|
EmployersCustomer service representatives may be employed by any company that sells products or services. Within the HVAC/R field, employers could include retail or wholesale distributors of HVAC/R supplies or contractors who install and service systems. These jobs may be advertised with similar titles such as customer relations specialist, customer service advisor, or customer service specialist. The top three employers with the most online job advertisements in each region in 2020 are listed below.
- Earl Feiden Incorporated
- Appolo Heating Incorporated
- Johnson Controls Incorporated
Central New York
- Holbrook Heating, Inc.
- Carrier Corporation
- EMCOR Group
- Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning
- Bruni & Campisi Incorporated
- Aqueduct Services Plumbing
- T. Webber Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric
- Gold Star Plumbing (Gold Star Service)
- Tragar Home Services
- Duro Dyne Incorporated
Mohawk Valley (Employers did not post any job ads online in 2020.)
New York City
- Vigilante Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning
- Liberty Home Guard
- Johnson Controls Incorporated
North Country (Employers did not post any job ads online in 2020.)
Southern Tier (All ads posted in 2020 were from a single employer.)
Western New York
- Cellino Plumbing & HVAC
- NOCO Energy Corporation