The two terms – consumer and customer are often used interchangeably. By definition, a consumer is someone who consumes a product, and a customer is the one who purchases a product. An individual can be both a consumer and a customer simultaneously.
Even though the two have similar definitions, they are not entirely the same. In simple terms, a customer can be a business entity that can resell the product to the end consumer. However, in this article, we’ll use them as a single entity.
Consumer/customer service is a large and one of the fastest growing fields. There are several different career paths you can choose from. Some of the most common jobs include tech services and receptionist.
However, there are many other well-paying customer services jobs in the hospitality, transport, entertainment, and tech sector that you should know about.
Below is the list of best-paying professions in consumer services.
11. Bank Teller
A bank teller at U.K’s Metro Bank | Image Courtesy: EG Focus/Flickr
Salary: $30,639 per year
Top Employers: JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, Umpqua Bank
Banks and other financial institutions play a critical role in our lives. We rely on banks for various financial services, from basic transactions to mortgage and loan services. This is where bank tellers come into action.
The average salary for bank tellers in the United States is about $30,600 a year. However, the highest earners in this profession can have an annual salary of more than $33,000.
Responsibilities: Bank tellers at banks and credit unions help customers with various banking-related services. They are usually the first staff to interact with customers at a bank.
The main tasks of a bank teller include – verifying customers’ bank accounts and processing their requests for money withdrawals/deposits. They are required to inform customers about any issues with their accounts and other bank services. Bank tellers may also process money orders, checks, and currency exchanges as per the customer’s request.
A bank teller needs to be meticulous about cash balance from the start to the end of their shift.
Other responsibilities include –
- Payment collection
- Resolving customer issues
- Other administrative and processing works
- Recommending bank’s other services/products to customers
Education and training: You must have a high school diploma for a bank teller job. While a high qualification – an associate or Bachelor’s degree is not necessary in most cases, it can prove to be beneficial in later career advancements.
Newly recruited tellers receive monthly training during which they are familiarized with a variety of banking products and offerings. They must also learn to use the banking software utilized by their institution.
Once you gain a certain amount of experience as a bank teller, you either take supervisory positions or move on to other specialized professions such as sales manager or loan officer.
Degrees or certifications in accounting, finance, or economics can greatly elevate your career in the banking industry.
10. Medical Receptionist
Salary: $36,804 per year ($15.81/hour)
Best Paying Companies: Kaiser Permanente, Cleveland clinic, HealthCare Partners
A medical receptionist is the first person we often interact first while visiting a medical center or a clinic. Another designation for the profession is medical front desk clerk. These professionals work at clinics, doctor’s offices, and hospitals and are tasked with a variety of medical administrative duties, such as scheduling patient appointments, payment processing, and filling.
The average salary of a medical receptionist is around $36,741 annually in the United States. More experienced professionals in this field can earn more than $40,000 a year.
Responsibilities: The main role of a medical receptionist is to act as an intermediary between patients and doctors or any other medical professional. Your duties as a medical receptionist include scheduling and managing patient appointments, guiding new patients through intake forms, and processing payment.
Some of the key responsibilities of a medical receptionist are –
- Greeting patients with a positive attitude
- Providing necessary information to patients, answering their doubts and questions
- Efficiently manage patients’ schedules, records, and treatment information with emphasis on customer satisfaction.
- Coordinating with healthcare providers
- Verifying and filing for third-party medical claims
Education and training: A Medical Receptionist generally needs a high school diploma. However, there are no federal requirements for a Medical Receptionist to hold any specific certification or license.
Medical front desk receptionists often pursue advanced certifications, focusing on medical billing and documentation while working. With these credentials, you can take a variety of specialized medical documentation jobs, including Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist.
A Certified Professional Coder is someone who is skilled in medical terminology and compliance and is tasked with documentation of treatment records of patients using specialized medical codes.
Another career prospect for an experienced medical receptionist is a patient financial counselor.
9. Flight Attendant
Austrian Airlines flight attendant | Wikimedia Commons
Salary: Between $64,446 – $99,544 per year
Standard Working Hours: 65-90 hours in air per month additional 50 hours for flight preparation
Top Employers: Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines
If you believe that a flight attendant’s job is just to serve drinks and refreshments to passengers on-board a flight, you couldn’t be more wrong. While flight attendants are responsible for the comfort of passengers, there’s certainly more to their job description that you should know.
Responsibilities: A flight attendant’s first and foremost responsibility is to ensure the safety of airline passengers and crew. They make sure that everyone follows aviation safety rules and responds to any emergencies that may take place on the flight.
The flight attendant job is demanding and detail-oriented. Before each take-off, on-duty flight attendants must complete an emergency checklist, including onboard safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, oxygen masks, and life-vests.
Flight attendants must also have excellent communication skills to defuse any panic situation that may arise during the flight or try to calm an aggressive passenger.
Education and training: For most airlines, applicants must have at least a high-school diploma to be eligible for the job. But some large passenger airlines prefer candidates with an associate’s degree or even a bachelor’s degree.
Flight attendants usually receive their training at the airline hub or headquarters city for a period of one to six months.
They must go through intense training to better prepare for crisis situations such as emergency landings, in-flight medical situations, cabin depressurization and fires, and hijackings. They must ensure easy access to emergency exit doors for all the passengers throughout the course of the flight.
This training will allow flight attendants to apply for a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
8. Technical Support Representative
Salary: $57,557 per year ($20/hour)
Top Employers: AT&T, IBM, Transcom, Siegwerk
A technical support representative, or tech support, is tasked with providing technical assistance to customers virtually. In other words, tech support tries to solve the IT-related issues you might encounter while using software or any other tech product.
The role of tech support specialists is becoming increasingly important as we rely more on new technologies to get on with our daily lives. The need for well-trained tech support is on the rise, but the work is also very demanding.
Technical support staff solves or assists customers in a wide variety of technical issues, from any product or service-related doubts and account setup to network configuration.
As with any other profession, you can have a career in tech support, gradually moving up to senior tech support engineer and other supervisory levels. After gaining adequate experience as tech support, you can take on more advanced responsibilities of a network controller or IT project manager.
Responsibilities: Some of the key responsibilities of a technical support representative include –
- Tech support must work with the customer from the point an issue is reported to its resolution.
- Provide regular feedback to clients/customers, follow-ups
- Identifying the exact issue and researching possible solutions to resolve them
- Working on multiple issues at a time
- Coordinating with other departments through proper channels to remedy unresolved issues
- Accurate documentation of customer issues
- Maintain a friendly relationship with customers
Education and training: Depending on the employer, the requirements of an entry-level tech support job may vary. While a bachelor’s degree (irrespective of discipline) is usually required for a tech support job, one can get hired without any formal degree as long as they have experience and necessary skills in this field.
Newly recruited technical support representatives must train themselves in excellent problem-solving and analytical skills along with other soft skills.
A hotel Concierge | Image Courtesy: Jason Kuffer
Salary: $42,928 a year ($15.89/hour)
Top Employers: Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Marriot International CVS Health, Expedia Group, Quintessentially, Alberta La Grup [the last two are concierge companies.]
‘Concierge’ is an umbrella term used to identify professionals who may assist in almost every aspect of your lifestyle. You may think of them as personal assistants.
Usually, a concierge is employed by a hotel, or any other hospitality establishment, who ensures you have a meaningful travel experience. However, these services have expanded to other sectors in recent years due to increasing demand.
Some of the most popular concierge services are mentioned below.
- Hotel Concierge – A hotel concierge assist hotel guests in a variety of ways to make their stay enjoyable and hassle-free. They take care of almost every traveling need of the guests, from transportation to reservations at entertainment places and restaurants. They may also suggest local attractions and other points of interest.
- Travel Concierge – A travel concierge takes care of every aspect of your travel planning and itinerary, from transport to hotel accommodations and other travel arrangements (reservations at tourist attractions and local restaurants) that you might want. They offer the services of both a travel agent and a tour guide.
- Concierge Medicine – Concierge medicine is a retainer-based medicine practice that allows paid members to gain access to exclusive and personalized health care. For a monthly fee, you can have unlimited access to the doctor’s office, and same-day appointments without worrying about copayments.
- Shopping Concierge– A shopping concierge is a personal shopping assistant who can help you with all your shopping needs. As a personal shopper, a shopping concierge can help you find specific items that are difficult to find or get great deals on things you want. You can enjoy the services of a shopping concierge remotely as well.
- Lifestyle Concierge – A lifestyle concierge allows you to maintain a work-life balance by taking care of all your day-to-day needs. You can hire a lifestyle concierge to relieve yourself of various personal tasks such as travel booking, dining reservations, or any personal errands. They work just like a personal assistant who manages your daily life.
Education and training: You can apply for most concierge jobs with a high school diploma. While it’s not a mandatory requirement, an associate’s degree in business and hospitality courses can give you an advantage in job selection and later career.
Most newly recruited concierges learn necessary skills for their job under the tutelage of an experienced concierge while temporarily working as an entry-level customer service provider.
As with other professions in customer services, the salary of a concierge usually depends on experience and the size of the company you’re working for.
6. Service Advisor
Salary: $59,500 per year ($22.15/hour)
Top Employers: Tesla, Microsoft, Jiffy Lube, Pep Boys, CarMax
Service advisors are the customer service specialists you find at car dealerships and maintenance workshops. Service advisors typically act as an intermediary between customers and car technicians. They recognize the issues customers are facing related to their vehicle and convey those issues to an assigned technician.
They also offer comprehensive advice on repair timeline, maintenance, insurance, and other important car-related issues.
A service advisor may cooperate with other employees at the dealership to ensure seamless service and that everything goes without any problem. In other words, a service advisor helps you navigate through all the steps and formalities to get your car serviced.
Responsibilities: While the exact nature of the responsibilities of a service advisor varies from dealership to dealership, some of their most basic duties include –
- Preliminary assessment of customers’ vehicles
- Identifying the exact requirements and explaining them to customers (including costs and a timeframe)
- Making recommendations based on customer’s needs
- Inform and implement policies of the dealership (or car manufacturer) regarding the warranty, maintenance, and repair.
- Consulting with the assigned mechanic regarding repairs and changes
- In case of a replacement, service advisors must also coordinate with car manufacturers or third parties for spare parts
- Administrative duties such as making appointments, taking inventory notes, and sending invoices
Requirements and training: If you’re looking for a service advisor job, an associate degree in mechanical engineering or automotive technology can be highly advantageous, though they are not absolutely necessary.
Other important requirements for a service advisor job include excellent communication and customer service skills and extensive knowledge of the auto industry. Other soft skills, such as decision-making and problem-solving, can take you a long way.
5. Account Coordinator
Salary: $31,909 per year ($18.7/hour)
Top companies to work for: Macy’s, Verizon, Insight Global, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Keenan & Associates, C.H. Robinson
The principal objective of an account coordinator is to attract and retain customers by improving customer satisfaction. An account coordinator works closely with clients listening to their specific needs and offering products/services that are best suited to them. They may also personally handle customer complaints, demonstrate a new product, and oversee the entire sales process.
Account coordinator is a demanding profession. To improve overall customer satisfaction, they must constantly be in touch with current and prospective clients. They generate sales leads and often manage the entire sales process. Moreover, account coordinators are also required to keep and maintain their client database.
Responsibilities: As an account coordinator, you must make strong relationships with your assigned clients. One of the most critical aspects of this profession is that you have to be up to date on the services and products offered by your company to be able to sell them effectively. They must keep up with new product launches (or discontinuation).
Another important responsibility of an account coordinator is to support account executives and senior directors to streamline sales experience and order fulfillment.
Requirements and training: Most employers tend to hire an account coordinator with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or any other business-related course. Sales, Marketing, or Account Management experience is generally preferred.
Salary: $45,717 per year ($15.5/hour)
Top companies to work for: H&R Block, Marriot International, Massage Envy, Hilton, Kaiser Permanente
Receptionists perform a wide variety of administrative support tasks and front desk operations within a company or organization. It includes responding to visitors’ inquiries or guiding them to their appropriate department based on their needs, answering phone calls, and receiving and distributing emails.
A receptionist is usually the first person a client or business contact meets at a company. Depending on the type and size of the company or organization, some receptionists may also work as a cashier and carry out bookkeeping duties.
They may also undertake a security access control function for an organization under which they must verify the identification of employees and other users, issue visitor passes, and alert security of any suspicious or unauthorized entries.
For an experienced receptionist, there are many career opportunities. In a company, a highly skilled front desk receptionist can become a personal assistant or even an executive assistant who personally assists senior executives at a company. They can also take over other administrative jobs, such as the office manager.
Responsibilities: As we have discussed earlier, a receptionist may assume a wide variety of tasks. However, there are several responsibilities that a receptionist must perform. These are –
- Always greet visitors and clients with a positive attitude
- Answering client calls, call routing
- Assisting them in finding their way around the facility
- Conduct and support a variety of administrative tasks (mailing, travel booking)
- Preparing rooms or venues for meetings
- Help maintain workplace security by checking and issuing necessary clearance to visitors and employees.
Requirements and training: Although a high school degree is usually acceptable by most employers for a receptionist’s job, an additional certificate or associate degree in office management can greatly enhance your profile.
As companies and organizations become increasingly reliant on networked computers, receptionists are also required to have adequate knowledge of computer applications such as Microsoft Office Suite. Another important trait you must have as a receptionist is multitasking or the ability to multitask.
In certain workplaces, such as small law firms and doctor’s offices, a receptionist may also work as an office manager who is tasked with overseeing administrative operations.
3. Call Center Representative
Salary: $34,519 per year ($16.9/hour)
Top employers: Verizon, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Blue Cross Blue Shield
As the name suggests, a call center representative makes and receives calls from customers regarding product inquiries, complaints, and other issues. Call center representatives use their training and knowledge about the company’s policies to guide customers and troubleshoot their problems.
These professionals handle a large volume of customer calls on a daily basis listening to their issues and trying to address them as soon as possible. Their main objective is to create a positive customer experience with each call.
A call center representative must be customer-focused and work closely with other departments to efficiently solve customer issues.
Responsibilities: A call center representative’s first and foremost responsibility is listening to customer feedback or complaints about products or any services offered by the company. The next step is to respond to their queries and clarify information in a professional manner.
A call center rep. must use CRM software and applications appropriately and meet the company’s standards in customer service. Another aspect of the job is to regularly take part in learning opportunities to expand your horizons.
In many companies, the call center operations also include taking sales orders. In that case, they must also make sales recommendations to customers using strategies such as cross-selling and upselling.
Requirements and training: Since call center representatives spend most of their time listening and speaking to customers, you must have exceptional communication and language skills to perform your duties.
Another critical skill that is absolutely necessary for call center representatives is the ability to work with CRM software and other related applications. Time management, adaptability, and decision-making skills are also important.
As with many customer services professions, a high school diploma is usually accepted for a call center receptionist job. However, you can always get additional certifications in office administration and language for better job prospects. Fluency in more than one language is a major advantage in this industry.
2. Front Desk Manager
A front desk manager working on scheduling software | Image Courtesy: Shortcuts software/Flickr
Salary: $67,866 per year
Best Employers: Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, YMCA, Massage envy
Front desk managers are usually employed at large and mid-sized hotels (or other well-established businesses in the hospitality industry) as supervisors. They are experienced professionals who oversee reception and front desk operations, train staff and carry out important administrative duties.
As a front desk manager, you’re not only required to manage and train staff but also receive guests or clients, listen to their complaints try to address them as soon as possible. They may also be required to fulfill additional tasks depending on the employer.
Job responsibilities: As a front desk manager, you’re responsible for almost anything that takes place at a hotel reception or the front desk of a store. Perhaps the most important duty of a front desk manager is to supervise and train customer service staff.
It also includes managing their shift schedules and employment contracts. They must also tend to guests, listen to their feedback or complaints and work proactively to address them.
Furthermore, front desk managers are required to efficiently maintain the budget for important reception desk supplies and perform other important administrative duties. Front desk managers regularly report to higher executives.
Requirements and training: To apply for a front desk manager job at any hotel, you’ll need at least a couple of years of experience as a receptionist or other front desk job. Applicants with Bachelor’s degrees in hospitality management are highly sought after.
Apart from excellent organizational skills and leadership, front desk managers must be proficient in the use of industry-specific software and applications. Another important trait includes an in-depth understanding of the hospitality industry, its most recent trends and practices to offer the best in class services to customers.
1. Patient coordinator
Salary: $92,170 per year
Top Employers: CorVel, Optum, Inc., Home Instead, Eskenazi Health (Indianapolis)
As the name suggests, a patient coordinator is a medical industry professional who manages and assists patients in their medical healthcare plan. Patient coordinators work at hospitals, specialty care centers, large clinics, and rehabilitation centers. However, in numerous medical facilities, this position is fulfilled by other medical professionals.
In simple terms, patient care coordinators work directly with patients assisting them with various medical-related issues to ensure a smooth experience.
Job responsibilities: Working as a patient care coordinator requires excellent communication skills. Many facilities do have a registered nurse to fill this position, but it is not a requirement at all. Patient coordinators work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, assisted living facilities, rehabilitation centers, clinics, and specialty care centers.
Some of the most critical responsibilities of a patient coordinator are –
- Regularly monitor patient’s progress
- Consult with specialists and doctors to manage patient’s treatment
- Be up-to-date with new developments in health care
Requirements and training: You’ll need at least a two-year associate degree in nursing or medical assistant to apply for a patient coordinator in a hospital or any medical facility. Additional certification in business administration is highly beneficial for your career.
Many employers may also require you to have experience in handling account books with a working knowledge of law and ethics as well.
Other fastest-growing Profession in the Customer Services Industry
12. Member Services Representative
A member service representative is a specialized customer service staff who handles all membership-related issues of an organization or company. They are tasked with listening to members (or prospective members) to identify their requirements and concerns.
Member services representatives must provide information on membership fees and policies and resolve any payments-related issues.
Moreover, these professionals may also make sales pitches to existing clients (cross-selling). Another important duty of member services reps., include documentation of membership records.
13. Social Media Customer Care Associate
Top Companies to work for: Discord, Amazon Web Services, Chase Bank, Telus Communications, Real Chemistry (W2O Group)
With the growing influence of social media and its impact, companies and organizations are looking for a specialized workforce who can handle their online presence. This is where a social media customer care associate comes into play.
The job description of a social media customer care associate is to manage the online presence (social media) of a business or an organization. These professionals are not just required to handle the company’s social media pages but also respond to issues and queries on various online platforms.
According to Salary.com, the median salary of a social media customer care associate in the United States is $47,321.
14. Implementation Specialist
Salary: $71,821 per year
Top Employers: AllScripts, Oracle, Fast Enterprises
Implementation specialists help customers with products and services after a sale is completed. Their job objective is to ensure that the purchased product satisfies the customer’s technical requirements.
An implementation specialist is required to work closely with customers/clients to make necessary customization in the software. They may also help customers with software installation.
Communication skills, advanced technical knowledge, and an in-depth understanding of the company’s products are a must to excel in this profession. The average base salary of an implementation specialist is $65,776 a year.
What Skills are Required in Consumer Service Jobs?
As with jobs in other sectors, you’ll need a specific skill set and area of expertise to excel in the customer services role. In customer services, you have to spend most of your time interacting with clients or customers (virtually or in-person), listening to their issues, and solving them.
To be precise, individuals with excellent organizational and communication skills can succeed in this industry. Many of these skills can be learned through on-job training.
Some of the most important skills and abilities required for consumer services jobs include –
- Active listening
- Verbal communication
- Time management
- Organizational skills
What is the Future of Consumer Services? Is it a Good Career Path?
A consumer services job is undoubtedly a good career option. Individuals with good communication and people skills can excel in these professions. While you can definitely spend your entire career in the customer services industry, you can also use it as a stepping stone in your professional journey.
One of the best aspects of these jobs is the transferable skills (abilities that are useful in a variety of different professions – emotional intelligence, problem-solving skills, cooperation, and sales experience) you gain while working. These invaluable skills can help you change career paths and move on to different fields easily.
Lastly, if you’ve already decided to pursue a career in customer services, you should keep a few things in mind.
First, consumer services is a fast-paced industry. You’ll need to think fast and should be able to defuse tense situations with excellent communication skills. Finally, along with soft skills, you’ll need to be proficient in technical skills to be able to serve customers efficiently.