In almost every industry, customer service agentsact as intermediaries between companies and customers. They answer questions and resolve issues with a company's products or services, and they are often the only communication a customer has with a company.
To become a customer service representative, you need to be an excellent communicator. You should have the ability to converse with anyone since customer service representatives talk to multiple people throughout the day. There is no educational requirement needed to become a customer service representative, but a high school diploma and previous work experience are often preferred. Becoming a customer service representative is also a great entry-level job.
Customer service representatives typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and receive on-the-job training to learn the specific skills needed for the job. They should be good at communicating and interacting with people and have some experience using computers.
Customer service representatives usually receive short-term on-the-job training, typically lasting 2 to 3 weeks. Those who work in finance and insurance may need several months of training to learn complicated financial regulations.
General customer-service training may focus on procedures for answering questions, information about a company's products and services, and computer and telephone use. Trainees often work under the guidance of an experienced worker for the first few weeks of employment.
In certain industries, such as finance and insurance, customer service representatives must remain current with changing regulations.
Important Qualities for Customer Service Representatives
- Communication skills. Customer service representatives must be able to provide clear information in writing, by phone, or in person so that customers can understand them.
- Customer-service skills. Representatives help companies retain customers by answering their questions and responding to complaints in a helpful and professional manner.
- Interpersonal skills. Representatives should be able to create positive interactions with customers.
- Listening skills. Representatives must listen carefully and understand a customer's situation in order to assist them.
- Patience. Representatives should be patient and polite, especially when interacting with dissatisfied customers.
- Problem-solving skills. Representatives must determine solutions to a customer's problem. By resolving issues effectively, representatives contribute to customer loyalty and retention.
Need professional help with your Tax return? If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by preparing and filing your own tax returns, you may want to consider hiring a tax preparer. Here's how to find the correct person for the job. Hiring a tax preparer for your business is the safe way to go. If you are confused by your taxes or have a lot of questions it's probably a decent plan to go ahead and find a professional on your side.
A tax preparer is a professional that is qualified to calculate, file and sign income tax returns on behalf of you and your businesses. They will also represent the taxpayer during IRS examinations of tax returns. There are various kinds of job titles these professionals could have, as well as various certifications and educational levels. Over half of taxpayers hire a professional tax preparer when it’s time to file income tax return. Taxpayers trust these professionals with the most personal and sensitive details of their financial life, their wedding, their income, their kids and their social security number.
Why should you hire a Tax preparer?
- Save your money and time: If your tax preparer finds even one deduction or tax credit you may have missed, it will simply exceed the fee it costs to have a professional prepare your return. The Internal Revenue Service reports that it takes nearly twenty hours to complete the common tax return with deductions. Your time is worth money. How much is it worth to you to get that time back?
- Tax professionals can answer your questions and resolve issues: It’s very probably you may have questions about your taxes. Calling the IRS means you may be on hold for hours. Tax professionals will answer most of these instantly.
- You gain a peace of mind: Professional tax preparers keep up with tax code and all those changes each and every year so you don’t have to. Just knowing that a professional is handling your taxes and reduces your stress.
- No mistakes: In terms of missed deductions or triggering an IRS letter or audit; a tax professional will help you to eliminate errors and guarantee your returns are prepared correctly.
- You benefit with money saving tax planning: Tax professionals will advise you now and all year round on the best ways to make good tax-saving decisions. A tax professional will investigate your past returns to visualize if any deductions were missed and, if so, amend them for you.
- Reduces your risk of an audit: if you are audited or the IRS starts asking questions you can’t easily answer, knowledgeable tax preparer is aware of how to deal with the IRS. You may get in trouble if doing it yourself.
How to hire Tax preparer?
Don't wait until the end of the year to hire a tax preparer. You can find and begin working with someone on your business taxes at any time. If you plan to hire a tax professional to prepare your taxes, you do need to gather and organize your records, mortgage and bank statements, charitable contributions, and so forth. Being organized saves your tax preparer time and keeps the fees down.
Here are few steps to evaluate a tax preparer:
- Check the Tax Preparer's Education and Credentials: Anyone with a preparer tax identification number will handle and file your taxes, but it’s best to find someone who also can handle audits, IRS collections, and appeals. Typically, the additional qualified a preparer is, the higher the fees. The following are differing kinds of tax preparers in order of expense and certain expertise.
- Tax Attorney
- Certified Public Accountant
- Enrolled agents
- A Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteer is trained by the IRS to prepare basic return.
- Only a certified public accountant or an enrolled agent can represent you in each steps but another type of tax professional can represent you before the IRS in those situations.
- Look for a Well-Established Pro: New preparers will be able to handle only the most basic returns. It’s a decent plan to find a preparer who has had a minimum of seven to ten years of experience. The reason is that the more time a preparer has been working on tax returns, the more likely he is to have dealt with a tax situation almost like yours.
- Find out about their service fees: If you’ve found someone you feel comfortable sharing the details of your finances with you’ll need to find out how much they charge before you commit. An easy return may cost about $150 to prepare, but if your tax scenario is more complex, you may end up spending several hundred dollars. Knowing how much you’ll have to pay up front can assist you avoid sticker shock later on. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund or those that claim they can get larger refunds than other preparers. Also, always make sure any refund due is sent to you or deposited into an account in your name. Under no circumstances should all or a part of your refund be directly deposited into a preparer’s bank account.
- Find out whether you will get audit support: You can be as honest with the IRS as possible and have the most meticulous tax preparer within the world, and sometimes, your return might get flagged for an audit even so. Since that possibility always exists, one thing you should make certain to inquire regarding is whether the tax preparer you hire can offer audit support within the event you need it. As mentioned earlier, not all tax preparers are authorized to represent clients in IRS matters.
- Provide all records and receipts required to prepare your return: Good preparers can request to visualize your records and receipts and will ask you multiple questions to verify your total income and your qualifications for expenses, deductions and other items. Do not use a preparer who is willing to electronically file your return before you receive your form W-2 using your last paystub, this is against government agency e-file rules.
- Make sure the preparer signs the form and includes his or her preparer tax number (PTIN): A paid preparer should sign the return and include his or her PTIN as required by law. Although the preparer signs the return, you're responsible for the accuracy of every item on your return. The preparer should also provide you a copy of the return.
Ask these Questions while interview
Here's a list of questions that I recommend you ask a potential tax preparer:
- Do you have a PTIN (preparer tax identification number)?
- What is your tax background?
- Have you prepared a tax return before..?
- Do you know the requirements of the states and localities where I am required to file?
- What records and other documentation will you need from me?
- How do you determine your fees?
- Can I file electronically?
- Who will sign my return?
- When will I receive a copy of my return?
- How do I find you if I have a question or a problem after tax season is over?
- What happens if I get audited?
A large number of people think that “freelancing” is something you do when you cannot get a real job. On the other hand, “freelancers” know that there is nothing more real than that to be the owner, director, and the financial manager at the same time.
Freelancing is basically being self-employed and not committed to any one company or firm. You’ve heard those seemingly perfect freelance stories. Some designer quits his jobs and starts freelancing and now he’s making more money than he was while at a firm. All the while travelling the world and working for himself. Not to mention he gets to choose what kind of work he does.
When I say “full-time job” I mean one that’s 30-hours per week or more. Basically, you’ve hit the threshold for wherever you’ve started to receive benefits for the time you work each week. Generally, over 30-hours is considered regular, and 40-hours is that the “traditional” hours for full time, however many jobs will go over that mark.
When you work as a freelancer, you’re not permanently employed by any one company. You may have a long-term contract, however freelancers are usually working with totally different employers at any given time and should have a spread of tasks that they'll be employed for.
“I choose to be in freelance because I’m able to work my own hours, determine my own salary, and be creative in my work.”
Freelance work offers tremendous advantages and can represent an attractive alternative to a traditional job. If you are considering a freelance career, you should explore the benefits of freelancing.
- Working from home: Working from home is a perfect resolution for balancing work and family or personal life, during which you can with success make for a living and support yourself and your family. Engaging from home and thereby carve out a comfortable life, it's fully possible. But, as long as you're willing to work hard.
- Flexibility of hours: Working from home or from a remote workplace as a freelancer allows you to dictate your own hours and work on times most convenient to you. Freelancers with young kids, for instance, will work when the children are sleeping; freelancers with traditional employment or part-time jobs will perform their freelance work around their regular work hours.
- Perform multiple task as same time: Large Scale Company engaged in one activity or an entrepreneur who knows how to do five things at once? Freelancers are themselves in their work. That speaks to that they constantly further educate, constantly wide network of contacts and work hard at acquiring new skills that can make them more competitive in the work they are dealing with.
- Lower Cost: Utility costs, equipment, insurance, and running the business from the office building has become too costly. If the profit is insufficient, jobs will fail because of the buildup of these costs. Freelancers, on the other hand, almost don't have any additional cost, then will get started by simply registering at premium freelancing sites like Toogit.
- Freedom: As a freelancer, you can choose the clients you wish to work with and the projects on which you work, particularly if you have an excess of work. You can drop high maintenance or slow-paying clients or turn down undesirable projects if you desire.
- Income Control: Your income is the direct results of your own efforts instead of being set by the law firm or company. In most cases, the harder you work, the greater the reward. Your paycheck or bonus will not be capped, reduced or eliminated by your leader, though it will vary month to month, depending on your efforts and business.
- Learning through Work: Do not think about work like at a company wherever you work twenty years the same thing, you'll change jobs and employers on a weekly basis, and lots of additional can learn what is going to be helpful for future jobs.
- Full credit: When you work as a freelancer, you receive full credit for your work. You don't have to worry about the blunders of other employees, compromising your work product for the sake of the team or others taking credit for your work.
- Opportunity for all: Increasing employment of vulnerable teams like mothers and fathers with young kids, people with mobility problems and people living in remote areas.
“I prefer the freedom to choose what sort of work I do without my schedule being controlled and my choices being commanded by someone else. I can express myself and be appreciated for it as well as bring beauty to the world by way of my work. It also is less stressful than an office environment and allows me the time necessary to take care of my farm.”