Client Service Associate

What Is a Client Service Associate?

A client service associate is a person who provides customer or client interactions and support.

This person might be assigned to one special account, such as a major corporate account, or serve multiple accounts for any number of different company departments.

This position offers an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with company clients.

Responsibilities of a Client Service Associate

The responsibilities of this position can vary based on the nature of the business and their industry sector. Some examples that a client service associate might perform include:

  • Answer phones and greet customers politely during business hours
  • Monitoring new accounts that have been set up
  • Maintain files relating to clients’ accounts
  • Managing requests from existing clients
  • Creating profiles on new clients to keep track of their personal information
  • Interview new clients about their income sources, goals, age requirements for investment returns, savings habits, etc.
  • Handling billing inquiries from clients through phone calls, e-mails, faxes, or mail
  • Entering client information into a database
  • Scheduling meetings with clients when necessary

Qualifications to Be a Client Service Associate

Although previous experience in an office setting is beneficial, there are no set educational criteria or certification requirements for this position.

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the only educational requirement. However, many employers prefer candidates who have earned at least some college credit.

Previous experience working in a business setting such as retail sales, restaurant work, or financial advising can be helpful for establishing relevant professional relationships and skills that will be leveraged on the job.

Experience requirements vary from the employer to the specific business you are applying for which may include an internship, volunteer work, part time employment during college years, previous job experience with a large client base at another company.

Personal characteristics that demonstrate success in this position include:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Self-motivated with a proactive approach to problem solving
  • Knowledge of computer software such as word processing, spreadsheet or database programs
  • Friendly, outgoing personality for establishing positive relationships with clients, coworkers, team leaders, and managers
  • Ability to work independently by setting priorities and meeting tight deadlines when working from home or on the road.

How Client Service Associates Help Financial Advisors

Client service associates act as the first line of support for financial advisors and their clients. They are the host to the new accounts created by financial advisors on behalf of their clients.

The CSA is responsible for understanding account setup, data entry, technology interaction with software, data analysis on investment holdings and transactions, training new representatives or team members on client files when necessary, and communicating with existing clients through back office correspondence using email, phone calls or meetings.

Client service associates take care of the clerical work on behalf of financial advisors so they can focus on their clients’ long-term goals.

Final Thoughts

CSAs have an important role in the financial world because they serve as liaisons between clients and company representatives.

They are sometimes referred to as client administrators, customer service representatives, or client specialists. There are many variations on this role based on the industry sector in which they operate and their specific company policies.

CSAs typically work directly with company employees and can acquire best practices information from experts through communication and training opportunities throughout their employment. The CSA role is an excellent opportunity for anyone who is looking to get their foot in the door of a business-related career path.

CSA positions are available in a wide range of financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, brokerage firms and insurance companies. This position is also often found within the food service industry as well as the hospitality industry.
CSA positions are known for being stable. The role of a CSA can be described as 'reactive' because companies typically react to client requests and do not have established monthly quotas. In addition, the majority of CSAs work in financial institutions which have little turnover.
The median pay rate for customer service associates especially for those who work in banks as financial clerks is at $19.96 per hour in 2020 on the basis of median pay per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/financial-clerks.htm
CSAs begin their work days by checking and processing email, phone messages and faxes. They may also meet with executives or managers in person or over the phone to get approval or input on projects. CSAs research information needed for reports such as market updates, sales data, availability/pricing of business products and services. The main role of CSAs is administrative tasks such as filing paperwork, organizing mailroom operations including deliveries and pick-ups, providing customer service via telephone or email to clients and internal employees who need assistance with specific transactions.
CSAs are in a unique position to understand how business works from the ground-level. This may be an opportunity for you to learn more about your own career path if you have not already decided on a specific job type or industry. Job security is good in this field because there will always be a need for administrative assistants, especially when it comes to large corporations who employ hundreds of employees at different locations.
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, his interview on CBS, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.