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What are they called..?

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#1   Posted: 10 Jun 2007 07:14

Hi everybody,

I'm new to this forum. Need your suggestions....

What is the latest title to refer to a customer service provider..? Is it still..

Customer Service Professional
Customer Service Agent
Customer Service Representative

or is there any new designation..?

Look forward to hearing from you.


#2   Posted: 11 Jun 2007 08:23

Think it depends on your company and how you structure the job. It can also depend on your company preferences.

We use Customer Account Manager but that was a preference by the reps. We took a vote to see what everyone preferred.

Have a great day.

#3   Posted: 15 Jun 2007 21:13

Anniejohn, this topic is one of those details that piques my interest--and also ticks me off, at times, because sometimes people use different labels to spin a position.

I think what you call your staff members is up to you, and it needs to be endorsed by other people in the organization. If others in the organization don't use the same vocabulary, I take that as a sign of disrespect as well as ignorance--both of which begin with laziness.

An "agent" for me is a technical term you use when you are talking about a person that will receive a call in a contact center (a software term). And the software doesn't dictate what the person's job title should be; the software is a means to an end.

I like the word "representative" because I think of a person whose work involves responding to requests for some type of guidance as someone who "represents" what a company has to offer, and hopefully that is "excellence." Some people inject positive spirit into their job titles or department names and include the word "success" somehow.

I haven't been around long enough to be a great historian in work cultures, but my sniffer tells me that the word "manager" has become an option in the last few years as a way to empower employees who are not "managers of people" or "company managers" through a term that elevates them above connotations that are not desirable--much like how we seldom talk about "secretaries" and have moved on to terms that indicate how the secretaries of old were actually enablers of work completed for significant figures in a company, like a President or Chief this or that. Of course it all has to do with "status" and morale and respect in the workplace. Being a keeper of "secrets" (not literally secrets, but that's the word origin) sounds pretty significant to me, but "secretary" in an office (unlike Secretary of State) just doesn't cut it anymore.

Customer Service Representative and its acronym CSR can mean a range of things, as does Customer Service itself. Depends on the context and the audience. Project Manager is another term that gets used and abused (some people responsible for sales initiatives think of project managers as personal assistants; others see them as highly powerful people that bring together a number of people with different competencies toward a goal and ensure its execution).

If I could steer you toward a decision without making that decision for you (if indeed you want to name a job title), I would think of what the people in the role are going to do and which words would describe the result felt by the person/customer that got what they were looking for; and then find the best-sounding combination of words. It has to be a title that you will like to use when talking about your staff members.

I definitely think job titles can be a game in semantics, but I take them seriously as well, as they are names.

#4   Posted: 18 Jun 2007 09:18

Ayaree & Patilint,

Thankyou so much for your valuable feedback.

Ayaree, you hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head :-). We are looking to inspire and motivate our team members to go beyond being providers of routine service and that is why we are looking for new titles ( to start with) that as you rightly said "inject positive spirit ".

Great to hear your perspective on the subject. Thanks once again.
Have a great week!

#5   Posted: 19 Jun 2007 20:35

Annie, I'm really happy that you think you have something to go on with the responses you have found here, whether they are direct solutions or thoughts to work with. There is room for flexibility in role names, but we should be careful with these in the same way that we want to get a person's name right.

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