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How Can I Assist You? CSRs and the Calls They Take

by soniaroody

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Have you ever noticed an extra fifty dollars on your phone bill for the month and felt the need to dispute it? Or maybe you bought a bad batch of car freshener and wanted to give the manufacturer a piece of your mind. If anything like these has ever happened to you, chances are you dialed your product or service manufacturer's designated hotline. And chances are your call was routed to a call center, where a customer service representative handled your concern. defines a customer service representative (CSR) as an "employee responsible for keeping goodwill between a business entity and customers by answering questions, solving problems, and providing assistance in utilizing the goods or services of the organization." While phone-based CSRs have been around since at least the 1950s, it was notably in the late 90s that their numbers truly began to swell. This was due to many Western businesses outsourcing their customer service operations overseas.

Today, India and the Philippines (the world's two biggest hubs for call center operations) have a combined total of roughly 750,000 CSRs servicing around 2000 businesses in America alone. The industry continues to thrive despite cultural barriers and language issues. Let's have a look at some of the types of calls a CSR is likely to take.

The most basic is general inquiries. This is a broad category covering all manner of concerns that may or may not be directly connected to the client company's actual business. Maybe a reporter is looking for the company's official statement on a current issue. Or maybe an athlete is seeking the company's sponsorship for an upcoming event. These two and many more fall into the scope of general inquiries.

Another call type call centers take is site information. This is typically received by CSRs working for a major franchise with multiple branches across the nation. Callers may want to know, for example, the location of a particular fast food chain and what food they offer. Phone numbers and service hours can also be provided.

But among the services provided by many call centers, few are more important than feedback and complaints. Here, customers are encouraged to report their dissatisfaction with a product or service so a CSR can take steps to correct it. This is vital to a company's survival because happy customers mean repeat customers.

For more on call centers and other calls a CSR might handle, please visit Consider a job in the industry if your current chosen career path looks bleak. After all, as Lewis Carroll said, "One of the deep secrets of life is all that is really worth doing is what we do for others."

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