Customer Service Representative Job Titles

Leadership development

Jan 01, 2002

I would like to see samples of different titles that are used in the area of customer service. Ideally, the title would more accurately describe the importance of the position. Any ideas out there? -- Diane Redler

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Answers

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Feb 1, 2002

    There are probably as many different titles as there are call centers these days and I will share some I have heard. However, might I suggest that you ask your representatives what they would like to be called. In my experience this method has been the most effective in building morale and allowing the representatives to take ownership and pride in their work and titles.

    Having said that, some of the titles I have heard range from CSR (customer service representative) to CRM (customer relationship managers). Other titles include:

    • Asset managers (One financial service company I worked with used this -- their call representatives came up with it -- they said they protected the company's greatest assets, the customers!)
    • Contact center representatives
    • TSR (technical support representatives)
    • AM (account managers)
    • Client Service representatives
    • RSR (response services representatives)

    But, again, I think the best ideas come directly from the representatives themselves. Best of luck. I would love to hear what you decide on.

    -- Rose Polchin, President, RPolchin Consulting and Training, Certified Associate, Incoming Calls Management Institute, Tel. 201-652-0443, Fax 603-806-8162, rpolchin@att.net

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Feb 1, 2002

    Currently we use "Customer Care Agent" or "Call Centre Agent" but we have toyed with the idea of using "Customer Care Executives" in the past. -- Kerri-Ann Mitchell, Digicel

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Feb 1, 2002

    Here are a few I've heard:

    • Account Specialist
    • Account Service or Management Specialist
    • Customer Relationship Specialist
    • Account Management Coordinator
    • (Name of function) Services Associate (e.g., Claims Services Associate)
    • Sales Specialist
    • Customer Interaction Management Specialist

    The key seems to be keeping the "representative" out of the title, although I'm not quite certain why that should be so. Hope these help.

    -- Jean A Bave-Kerwin, JBK Consulting, Certified Associate, Incoming Calls Management Institute, Tel. 518-478-9155, Fax: 518-478-9155, jbaveker@nycap.rr.com

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Feb 1, 2002

    I am not sure that the following will address your question. Nonetheless, here are at least a few titles I have seen used in this area.

    • Associates
    • Representative (Customer Rep, Company Rep, etc)
    • Agents
    • Customer Advocates
    • Customer Solution provider
    • Specialist (subject matter experts)

    Titles beyond the above samples are usually specific to the work and company involved. At Intelesource we have worked with companies that have lawyers, doctors, nurses, engineers and more in the call center. Naturally, their titles may reflect a given certification or distinction such as MD or RN.

    -- Darryl Elliot, President, InteleSource, Certified Associate, Incoming Calls Management Institute, Tel. 202-726-2120, Fax 530-579-5789, elliotent@aol.com

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Feb 1, 2002

    We call our agents "Service Center Consultants." -- T. Larson

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Feb 1, 2002

    We use several levels and they are commensurate with pay and responsibility. From the bottom up they are: Order Entry Coordinators, Customer Service Coordinators, Service Specialists, Supervisors and Order Services Management. We also have three Directors and a Vice President. As a rule, these last two do not become involved unless there is a very large dollar issue. We have about 120 service people for our global service organization. -- Rob Andersen, Haworth Inc.

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Feb 1, 2002

    This is an interesting topic and there are literally hundreds of job titles out there. I am assuming that you are looking for ideas on titles for customer service agents, so here are some of the more creative titles I have seen in use, which may give you some ideas:

    • Customer Care Executive
    • Customer Care Co-ordinator
    • Customer Consultant
    • Customer Liaison Officer
    • Customer Service Executive
    • Customer Service Professional
    • Customer Account Manager
    • Customer Account Director
    • Telebusiness Executive
    • Telebusiness Professional
    • Telecare Executive
    • Telecare Professional

    I think it’s a really great idea to elevate the role of the agent by choosing a title which recognises the truly valuable nature of their work. Of course, the recognition of the importance of their position must also be inherent in the way that staff are supported, involved, managed and motivated within the organisation.

    -- Becky Simpson, Managing Consultant, Improvement Solutions Ltd, UK, and Certified Associate, Incoming Calls Management Institute, Tel. +44 (0) 1926 640787, Fax: +44 (0) 1926 642281, becky@improvementsolutions.co.uk

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Feb 1, 2002

    We are using "agents" and "customer service representatives." -- Natalya Ogorodnikova

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Feb 1, 2002

    As there is a movement beyond customer services towards complete customer relationship management (CRM), an appropriate title for the modern CSR would be "Relationship Manager." My organization, an outsourced contact center in India, specialises in web-enabled e-services, thus we have teams of eRMs (e-Relationship Managers).
    -- Rakesh Bhambani, Supportscape

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Mar 1, 2002

    We have an interesting structure that dictated the titles. Generally in a contact center there are agents and there are supervisors. The agent has to wait for someone to die to progress to the next level. In an effort to set some goals, we have developed a program that begins with the "Service Trainee." This is what an agent is called during the training phase of their career with us. Then they progress to "Service Apprentice." This title denotes some completion of training, and they are beginning to get their feet wet actually servicing our members on their own. At each level there is a minimum amount of time before you can be advanced to the next level and criteria for advancement that hinge directly on their quality and production. From Service Apprentice we advance through the ranks:

    • Service Trainee
    • Service Apprentice
    • Service Representative
    • Service Specialist
    • Senior Service Specialist
    • Elite Service Specialist

    And then, on to the supervisor and management ranks. We have experienced some raging success with this program, as it gives the agent a clearly defined career path and establishes minimum criteria that must be met to advance to the next level. As they advance they begin to accept more responsibility and learn different aspects of the business. The time frame that we have in place to make it from Trainee to Elite is 30 months. This is a much longer life span than normally occurs with the agent-to-supervisor scenario. We believe it works due to the fact that our productivity is high, our quality is high, and our turnover for the year 2001 was only 12.6%.

    I guess what I am saying is that unless you have a program to back the titles, it really doesn't matter what they are. After all, "a rose by any other name..." -- Doug Ballinger, Fairfield Service Operations

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Mar 1, 2002

    Well, how about Service Specialist. There is great value in adding some prestige to a job. I also refer back to the title by saying, "is this what a specialist should be doing?" or, "come on, guys, you're specialists!"
    -- Sebastian Klassen, Transtel Contact Centre (JHB)

  • Posted at 12:00AM on Apr 1, 2002

    I agree that finding a suitable and respectful title can be a challenge. First you have to consider customer as well as internal perceptions. Some companies use first names only with no title. I have even seen a number of business cards that simply print a person's name, company name/logo and contact information. You may consider calling everyone a consultant, associate, analyst or specialist to eliminate rank. Good luck! -- Rebecca Oettinger, The Segal Company

  • Posted at 12:00AM on May 1, 2002

    The best one I have heard is "Customer Experience Manager." After all, the reps do manage the customer's overall expreience with the company. I think that says it all.-- C. Drake

  • Posted at 12:00AM on May 1, 2002

    My task 18 months ago was to create a new contact center. One of my biggest challenges seemed to be the title of our agents. With much research and elbow grease, their title sits as Advocates. With the help of the old Webster dictionary, we thought that the definition of "advocate" best fits the purpose of our agents. An advocate is one who pleads in favor of; defends in argument; supports. They are ones who plead a cause. With our mission statement, "To deliver quality, personalized solutions that enhance customer relationships, loyalty and satisfaction with every interaction," the title Advocate only seemed right.

    Good luck and happy title hunting. -- Angie Kuchcik

  • Edward Obando Posted at 12:00AM on Jul 14, 2006

    Having worked in the graphics field for over 16 years and interacting with clients on their graphic needs, many of the companies I worked with preferred our title to be Client Care Consultants instead of Graphic Designers. This title can be applied very well to call center agents: customer service representatives. -- Edward Obando, UnitedHealth Group

  • Harry Sheff Posted at 12:00AM on Dec 15, 2006

    I'm surprised how much energy we devote to creative variations on the job title we at Call Center Magazine call simply "agent." But descriptions are not opportunities for creativity -- they are opportunities for clarity. Focus your energy on making certain everyone knows what the job responsibilities are. Ask your agents what they do all day. Does it match what managers think they do? Do applicants understand what an average day will be like? More euphemisms for "agent" will not improve customer service or agent turnover. Clearly defined job responsibilities will.

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