customer service article

So You Want To Work in Virtual Sales or Customer Service . . .

Sales and customer service are important aspects of business reputation, growth and success. While sales representatives are responsible for winning new customers, often by following warm leads or cold calling, the role of customer service representatives is to keep existing customers happy, as well as sell them additional products or services.

But what do the jobs involve? What qualifications do you need? And where can you find work? Find out more in our handy FAQ.

What does the job involve?

While traditional sales and customer service roles were face-to-face, increasingly they are email, live chat or phone based. We will be focusing on virtual sales and customer service roles in this post. Responsibilities are varied and you may be expected to focus on one, some or all of these:

Sales roles

  • Contacting warm leads and/or qualifying cold leads
  • Creating an interest in products or services
  • Representing the business in a positive light
  • Setting appointments or achieving direct sales
  • Recording information and updating marketing databases

Customer service roles

  • Communicating with customers about products or services they use
  • Representing the business in a positive light
  • Identifying customer needs
  • Making suggestions and providing advice about products or services
  • Answering customer questions about products or services
  • Taking and processing orders for products or services
  • Dealing with customer complaints or issues and finding solutions
  • Maintaining accurate records

What type of industry can I work in?

There is a range of industry sectors where virtual sales and/or customer service are essential, such as online retail, financial services, energy, telecommunications, on-demand services (e.g. food delivery, rideshare), travel and IT.

What sort of hours can I expect?

Shift work is standard as many sales and customer service roles are based in call centres that may operate 24/7. Full-time and part-time jobs are often available.

What qualifications do I need?

There is no specific route into a virtual sales or customer service role, and many businesses will offer on-the-job training to successful candidates. The following skills and abilities are likely to be highly regarded, however:

  • Confident written and spoken English
  • Good typing speed and data entry skills
  • Willingness to learn new technology
  • Ability to listen, understand customer needs, explain and persuade
  • Previous experience in a similar role
  • Drive to succeed

There are various courses on offer if you prefer to go down the study route, such as a Certificate III in Customer Engagement. The Australian Government’s My Skills website has more information about this year-long course. Funding may be available to cover part or all of the cost of the course.

What is the pay like?

According to PayScale, the average sales representative salary is just over $59,000 per year, while a customer service representative can expect to earn around $51,000 per year. Both these totals include bonuses, commission and profit sharing, but may vary according to experience, industry sector and location.

Where can I find work?

  • Approach companies directly
  • Check out online job ads
  • Register with recruitment agencies.

Experienced and entry-level sales and customer service reps, we have some fabulous opportunities for you!

Check out our current Customer Service roles now 

Please call the Optimal Recruitment team on 02 8416 4181.