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Technology continues to change how customer engagement and customer experience jobs are done. Meanwhile, as online orders surge, those same professionals must also contend with more requests for customer support. Find out why these shifts and more are creating a need for new skills for customer-facing support personnel, why the function's retention problem isn't likely to go away anytime soon and more trends that will define the profession in 2023. And while you're at it, see salaries for dozens of today's most in-demand customer engagement and customer experience jobs.

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After another turbulent year of trends like quiet quitting and quick quitting, the year ahead will continue to be dynamic in new ways. While employers are facing further economic uncertainty, we expect significant growth for at least two industries: healthcare and manufacturing. With the potential impact of the CHIPS bill, the manufacturing industry will continue to grow, and there will likely be some near term slowing in logistics before it normalizes.

The balance between employers and workers continues to be a point of serious discord. In 2022, workers found themselves in the unique position of commanding more authority in negotiating new and existing positions leading to significant wage growth. Now a shift in the economy is placing more of that power in companies’ hands. It’s important to remember that the labor market is essentially a two-sided relationship. Workers can expect that pendulum to swing back to some degree in 2023.

Companies are also facing an ongoing talent shortage. However, the demand for workers remains high despite already low unemployment. As a result, employers must be creative in their approach to talent engagement. That means looking beyond the trends. Best practices for attracting and retaining top talent will vary based on the type of work people do and their organization’s needs.

Organizations should be mindful of how much the workplace has changed in the past few years. They must consider other ways to meet workers' needs in relation to flexibility, belonging, and autonomy. The focus should be on creating a dynamic workplace that addresses the needs of employees beyond salary and benefits.

Returning to the office is another topic that doesn’t have a one size fits all answer. There are benefits and drawbacks to working remotely, returning to the office and implementing a hybrid model. Flexibility will be essential while ensuring engagement and the synergies of working together with teams in the office when necessary.

Greg Dyer
SPE, Chief Commercial Officer

new year, same challenges

Surge in online order volume during COVID-19 placed a huge burden on customer service teams. But even as lockdowns waned and society reopened, ongoing supply chain challenges remained — and they’re here to stay for the foreseeable future. Customer satisfaction is at the lowest it’s been in nearly 15 years. Employers will need to step up talent attraction and retention efforts to adequately staff contact centers to handle increased queries.

Perhaps as a response to these challenges, customer service is experiencing, at least in part, a shift away from almost exclusively contract roles, and toward more direct hires. Likewise, traditional customer service positions were almost always onsite, but more organizations are leveraging remote or hybrid approaches to customer service. Lastly, as a direct result of customer service’s sky-high turnover rate over the last few years, there were more than 700,000 total job postings for customer service reps in the last 12 months. The sheer demand for these customer-facing professionals has caused many organizations to rethink what had typically been a junior or even entry-level position. Today, we’re seeing more and more organizations hiring more experienced professionals for the role — and many of these organizations are happy to pay top dollar to do so.

training takes center stage

Employees who interact with clients have a huge impact on the overall customer experience, yet employers are having difficulty providing adequate training to ensure that goal.

  • Forty-six percent of employees say they are not as skilled as they need to be in order to continue their careers.
  • Twenty-nine percent don’t feel optimistic about the opportunities they have for training, upskilling or learning new skills in general.

As new tech continues to be added, and the role of the customer service specialist evolves, employers are finding it hard to keep up with training. Plus, with turnover near record highs, employers are having to devote more time and resources to the task. That means not just more but better and more efficient training will be needed in 2023. The good news is that there are a plethora of online training platforms available today. Employers who feel overwhelmed with keeping up with the latest in-house training would do well to engage these external sources to keep their teams’ on track. Seventy-five percent of employee respondents to a 2022 Randstad survey said employer-provided reskilling and upskilling opportunities were very important to them. Prioritizing training will not only ensure your team can deliver the highest level of service, it can help you improve engagement and satisfaction, too — important sentiments to solidify during times of turnover and talent shortage.

tech and touch

As companies increase usage of digital and self-service channels, they must not forget about the critical human element. More than half of customers report frustration with automated systems. Leaders should focus on balancing the efficiency of automated systems with the personalized approach of live reps to succeed in 2023.

Digital assistants and A.I.-powered decision-making can undoubtedly save customer service teams valuable time and money, but over-reliance negates these gains. Leaders should look to define support channels more clearly to create the seamless, blended experience today’s customers crave. That means building out detailed (yet easy to follow) knowledge bases or using chatbots to address routine customer queries while making human representatives available to provide more tailored guidance. These so-called “super-agents” can specialize in individual subject areas to help pinpoint customer concerns more clearly, or in certain cases, provide personalized guidance for product or service selection.

engaging the whole organization

Today’s customers want unified, omnichannel customer experiences. Successful organizations will be those that can provide seamless support across channels. This unified view is being mirrored internally as well: Revenue operations, an emerging discipline that unites marketing, sales and customer success together, has removed old silos and engaged the whole organization to think about customer strategy more holistically.

With customer data rising in prominence as a major value driver for companies today, customer sentiment must be accounted for in high-level business decision-making to protect the bottom line. Organizations that have adopted revenue operations successfully have been met with up to a 20 percent increase in customer satisfaction and 71 percent higher stock performance.

However, many are still struggling to achieve organizational optimization in this department, and are yet to extract full value from their revenue operations. As leaders look to build out their customer service departments with top talent this year, sourcing for candidates with the capabilities to aid in this new strategic function will be critical to gaining an edge.

national salaries

Let's review the national averages for salaries across the country.

customer service
customer service low mid high
call center representative (general calls) $35,780 - $39,546 $42,456 - $46,926 $49,583 - $54,803
call center representative (specialized calls) $39,023 - $43,131 $46,881 - $51,815 $55,314 - $61,136
client service representitive $33,390 - $36,904 $39,231 - $43,361 $45,367 - $50,143
customer service representative $32,581 - $35,589 $36,385 - $40,215 $45,278 - $50,044
customer service representative, financial $36,523 - $40,367 $43,851 - $48,467 $51,787 - $57,239
customer service representative, insurance (commercial) $42,070 - $46,498 $50,617 - $55,945 $59,840 - $66,138
customer service representative, insurance (personal) $35,962 - $39,748 $42,670 - $47,162 $49,834 - $55,080
data entry clerk $33,109 - $36,595 $38,401 - $42,443 $43,834 - $48,448
data entry operator lead $39,622 - $43,792 $46,416 - $51,302 $53,611 - $59,255
order processing clerk $35,341 - $39,061 $40,963 - $45,275 $46,766 - $51,688
transportation import/export specialist $53,363 - $58,981 $64,697 - $71,507 $77,210 - $85,338
FA low mid high
collections associate $30,073 - $33,239 $35,753 - $39,517 $41,740 - $46,134
loan processor $38,140 - $42,154 $45,229 - $49,989 $52,827 - $58,387
underwriter $73,345 - $81,065 $88,441 - $97,751 $105,302 - $116,386
healthcare CeX
healthcare CeX low mid high
benefits specialist $51,180 - $56,568 $62,102 - $68,640 $74,141 - $81,945
certified coder/medical coding technician $40,596 - $44,870 $54,365 - $60,087 $72,306 - $79,918
claims specialist $58,118 - $64,236 $68,605 - $75,827 $79,943 - $88,359
open enrollment specialist $32,954 - $35,108 $36,931 - $40,819 $45,898 - $50,730
patient account representative $32,206 - $35,596 $42,370 - $46,830 $57,253 - $63,279
underwriter $73,345 - $81,065 $88,441 - $97,751 $105,302 - $116,386
management low mid high
call center supervisor $55,787 - $61,659 $66,630 - $73,644 $78,480 - $86,741
customer service manager $93,279 - $103,097 $113,529 - $125,479 $136,504 - $150,872
data entry supervisor $53,235 - $58,839 $62,936 - $69,560 $73,382 - $81,106
order processing supervisor $57,737 - $63,815 $69,018 - $76,284 $81,372 - $89,938
sales low mid high
account representative $39,405 - $43,553 $48,109 - $53,173 $57,585 - $63,647
call center sales representative $30,721 - $33,955 $36,131 - $39,935 $41,778 - $46,176
inside sales consultant $48,676 - $53,800 $58,161 - $64,283 $68,451 - $75,657
order entry clerk $35,341 - $39,061 $40,963 - $45,275 $46,766 - $51,688
telemarketer $30,721 - $33,955 $36,131 - $39,935 $41,778 - $46,176
technology low mid high
systems help desk level 1 $35,961 - $39,747 $45,036 - $49,776 $54,836 - $60,608
systems help desk level 2 $42,551 - $47,031 $52,716 - $58,265 $64,876 - $71,705

regional variance

The variance percentages can be applied to the national averages to calculate the salaries in your area.

city variance to national AVG
AR: Little Rock -8.0%
AZ: Phoenix 7.0%
CA: Los Angeles 57.6%
CA: San Diego 42.2%
CA: San Francisco 64.8%
CO: Denver 15.3%
CT: Hartford 25.8%
CT: Stamford 45.0%
DC: Washington, D.C. 31.3%
DE: Wilmington 17.0%
FL: Jacksonville 4.1%
FL: Miami/Fort Lauderdale 10.8%
FL: Orlando 0.9%
FL: Tampa 3.0%
GA: Atlanta -4.1%
IL: Chicago 2.5%
IN: Indianapolis -1.9%
KY: Louisville -2.9%
LA: New Orleans 0.6%
MA: Boston 34.5%
MD: Baltimore 17.4%
MN: Minneapolis 4.5%
MO: Kansas City -6.1%
MO: St. Louis -2.1%
NC: Charlotte -1.7%
NC: Raleigh -2.9%
NV: Las Vegas 9.5%
NY: New York City 37.2%
NY: Rochester 5.3%
NY: Syracuse 3.8%
OH: Cincinnati -3.2%
OH: Cleveland -3.1%
OH: Columbus -5.1%
OH: Toledo -5.8%
OR: Portland 21.1%
PA: Harrisburg 3.8%
PA: Philadelphia 17.0%
PA: Pittsburgh 3.0%
RI: Providence 27.7%
TN: Nashville -4.1%
TX: Austin -3.4%
TX: Dallas -1.2%
TX: Houston -3.1%
TX: San Antonio -2.2%
UT: Salt Lake City 4.4%
VA: Richmond 3.9%
WA: Seattle 22.6%
WI: Milwaukee 7.4%
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