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An account representative is someone who is responsible for customer or client accounts. Often, this person handles service requests and sees to customer or client needs when it comes to billing matters. He or she may make sure customer files are complete and make notations in those files as well. If accounts are past due, he or she may also handle collection efforts or refer the account to a person or department responsible for collections. Sometimes, this employee has sales responsibilities as well.
The exact duties of an account representative typically depend on where a person is working, but customer service is typically included in the job. When a customer calls a company with a question or a problem, he may speak with a representative. Often, he or she will handle customer service calls from all of a company’s clients, but some are assigned to help specific clients instead.
This employee may also have the responsibility of handling billing matters for a company’s clients. For example, he or she may sometimes accept payments from customers and make sure they are applied to the correct account. Sometimes, a person with this job will also handle disputes over payment amounts or over billing. He or she may even confirm amounts due and send out duplicate bills as needed.
Often, an account representative manages customer files. This person may update files with contact information and requests and also make note of any issues a person is having with an account or the account holder’s billing history; this information may be used to service the account holder at a later date. Additionally, a representative may note actions to be taken with an account in the future. For example, he or she may make a note to remind a representative to offer a customer an upgrade at a specific time.
Some account representatives handle collections on assigned accounts as well. If an account holder has a past-due bill, the representative may contact him to try to collect payment. Many make such contact over the phone, but some may also use the mail or e-mail to contact customers.
A person may be able to be hired in this job with a high school diploma, but some employers prefer applicants with college degrees. Many employers also prefer job candidates who have at least some experience working with customers. Often, however, on-the-job training is provided.
@Bhutan -I know what you mean, but you can’t always make every customer happy. Sometimes it does get really stressful. Account representative calls are monitored at random so you really want to do your best with every customer.
I think one of the hardest calls I ever had to take was from a customer that no longer was extended credit from the company. This customer had to go to the store and make purchases there because not only did the customer have bad credit but they also returned items too frequently and were flagged in the system.
I would really get yelled at when I had to explain to the customer that I was not able to take their order. I always remained composed and usually these customers wanted to speak with a supervisor which I knew was inevitable because I could not get them what they wanted.
Most of the customers are really nice but sometimes you do get irate customers and you really have to let it roll off your back. They are upset with the situation and not you.
I wanted to add that when I used to support a call center from my home, I was an account representative for an office supply company. We used to handle all incoming calls from customers and most of these calls pertained to sales inquires.
Sometimes we had to issue courtesy coupons to some of the customers because they wanted to order something that we ran out of. This was really a problem with a lot of our customers because often after an hour or so of the ad breaking we were already out of some of our sale items. While the ads read, “While supplies last” most customers calling in want a solution because they are really upset that they can’t buy the item on sale.
This is something that an account representative really has to do. Sometimes you have to be creative or think on your feet when it comes to making the customer happy.