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Career and Education Opportunities for Customer Care Specialists in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for customer care specialists. There are currently 64,690 jobs for customer care specialists in Michigan and this is projected to grow by 22% to 78,570 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for customer care specialists are expected to grow by about 17.7%. In general, customer care specialists interact with customers to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints.

The income of a customer care specialist is about $15 per hour or $31,520 per year on average in Michigan. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $14 hourly or $29,860 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Human Resources and Customer Service, people working as customer care specialists in Michigan earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Human Resources and Customer Service nationally.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Grand Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as a customer care specialist. Customer care specialists usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a customer care specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Customer Care Specialist

Customer Care Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, customer care specialists interact with customers to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints.

Customer care specialists talk with customers by telephone or in person to furnish data related to products and services, to take or enter orders, cancel accounts, or to obtain specifics of complaints. They also check to insure that appropriate changes were made to deal with customers' problems. Equally important, customer care specialists have to keep archives of customer interactions and transactions, recording specifics of inquiries and comments, as well as actions taken. Finally, customer care specialists refer unresolved customer grievances to designated departments for further investigation.

Every day, customer care specialists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to speak clearly. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for customer care specialists to decide on charges for services requested, collect deposits or payments, or manage billing. They are often called upon to resolve customers' service or billing complaints by performing activities such as exchanging products and adjusting bills. They also contact customers to respond to inquiries or to notify them of claim investigation results and any planned adjustments. They are sometimes expected to complete contract forms, ready change of address archives, and issue service discontinuance orders, using computers. Somewhat less frequently, customer care specialists are also expected to keep archives of customer interactions and transactions, recording specifics of inquiries and comments, as well as actions taken.

and obtain and examine all relevant data to gauge validity of complaints and to establish possible causes. And finally, they sometimes have to talk with customers by telephone or in person to furnish data related to products and services, to take or enter orders, cancel accounts, or to obtain specifics of complaints.

Like many other jobs, customer care specialists must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Grand Rapids include:

  • Eligibility and Occupancy Interviewer. Determine eligibility of persons applying to receive assistance from government programs and agency resources, such as welfare, unemployment benefits, and public housing.
  • Human Resources Administrator. Compile and keep personnel records. Record data for each employee, such as address, weekly earnings, absences, amount of sales or production, supervisory reports on ability, and date of and reason for termination. Compile and type reports from employment records. File employment records. Search employee files and furnish information to authorized persons.
  • Insurance Processing Clerk. Process applications for, changes to, and cancellation of insurance policies. Duties include reviewing insurance applications to ensure that all questions have been answered, compiling data on insurance policy changes, changing policy records to conform to insured party's specifications, compiling data on lapsed insurance policies to determine automatic reinstatement according to company policies, canceling insurance policies as requested by agents, and verifying the accuracy of insurance company records.
  • License Clerk. Issue licenses or permits to qualified applicants. Obtain necessary information; record data; advise applicants on requirements; collect fees; and issue licenses. May conduct oral, written, or performance testing.
  • Telephone Operator. Provide information by accessing alphabetical and geographical directories. Assist customers with special billing requests.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Customer Care Specialist Training

Davenport University - Grand Rapids, MI

Davenport University, 6191 Kraft Avenue S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49512-9396. Davenport University is a large university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,773 students and an admission rate of 91%. Davenport University has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Customer Service Support/Call Center/Teleservice Operation which graduated zero and seven students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Customer Service Specialist: An individual who successfully passes ETA's World Class CSS Certification exam is professionally recognized as having the ability to uphold the interpersonal and business standards necessary in today's workplace.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Customer Support Analyst: Support center analysts provide front line support and act as the primary contact for customers.

For more information, see the Help Desk Institute website.

Customer Service Representative: This one-day skills training and certification introduces the skills and techniques required to provide exceptional customer service and support.

For more information, see the Help Desk Institute website.

Desktop Support Technician: The HDI Desktop Support Technician certification is designed specifically for IT support professionals who spend much of their day visiting customers at their workstations or home office.

For more information, see the Help Desk Institute website.

Knowledge Management Foundations: KCS Principles: This certification will help you adopt a Knowledge-Centered Support (KCSSM) strategy that will shift your support center from a call-centric model to a knowledge-oriented model.

For more information, see the Help Desk Institute website.

Certified Customer Service Representative: Applicable to financial services professionals who have completed the AIB Customer Service Representative Certificate and who function as customer service representatives.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Bankers website.

National Professional Certification in Customer Service: National Professional Certification in Customer Service® is an industry credential that facilitates career mobility for employees, applicants, and students; adds value to education and training programs; and helps employers identify the qualified professionals.

For more information, see the National Retail Federation Foundation website.

National Professional Certification in Sales: The Certification was designed to capture the core Sales duties for a broad range of entry-level through first-line supervisory positions across the sales and service industries.

For more information, see the National Retail Federation Foundation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.