Benefits of a customer service assistant career

Customer service personnel are usually the glue that binds the consulting business together. These valuable assistants are usually good at performing countless tasks that require most brokers and consultants who hire them at least twice as long to complete.

What is needed for this position? The path to becoming a registered customer service assistant is fairly simple in many ways, but the most effective people in the position usually get training and certification, which makes them a valuable addition to any team or office.

Key points

  • Customer service personnel are usually the glue that binds the consulting business together.
  • Customer service assistants perform many tasks, including assisting clients with stock quotes, account balances, and account-related details.
  • Some brokerage companies require customer service assistants to register various securities licenses.
  • Most customer service personnel are paid, but those with securities or insurance licenses may be eligible for commissions and bonuses.

History and evolution

The position of customer service assistant has grown to a certain extent, and many people in this position perform functions far beyond their predecessors. In the past, secretaries hired by successful brokers sometimes chose to obtain a securities license so that they could accept simple orders when the boss was away. They also perform daily management tasks such as typing, filing, and mailing tasks. This position has gradually evolved into a registered sales assistant position. In this position, a licensed executive may play a more active role in the broker’s business and can help with tasks such as marketing activities and compliance management.

Today’s customer service assistants can do almost everything that brokers and planners can do, including introducing new businesses, maintaining the presence of company websites and social media, managing compliance, and engaging in deeper interactions with customers. And, of course, most of them still perform the normal day-to-day duties of setting up new client accounts, handling paperwork, cashier and handling securities, filing and planning office activities. The most recent job posting for this position listed the following responsibilities for the final hire:

  • Provide professional services to customers and respond to regular inquiries
  • Provide customers with calling information, such as stock quotes, account balances, and various account-related details
  • Ensure that relevant financial advisors understand the details and activities related to the transactions and accounts of registered customers
  • Support related financial consultants to arrange and execute direct mail activities
  • Follow and learn all company procedures and policies
  • Communicate potential problems to the corresponding branch management or financial advisors in a timely manner
  • Proactively resolve customer complaints and inquiries
  • Identify issues that require immediate promotion to a financial advisor or branch management team member
  • Provide top-level discretion in relation to client, branch, financial advisor and company details
  • Ensure that all appropriate and required account documents are obtained and updated
  • Provide professional support to their financial advisors over the phone
  • Help customers transfer funds and securities, and write checks as required
  • Communicate to clients about lack of paperwork and securities and unpaid funds
  • Ensure compliance with company and branch policies and standards
  • Use the company’s computer system to provide services to customers and designated FCs.

The way to get there

In terms of specific standards, the requirements for becoming a customer service assistant are simple. The term “registered” generally refers to securities that are licensed and registered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and/or the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). FINRA and SEC supervise and manage the brokerage industry and financial markets to ensure that investors are protected and the market operates efficiently.

Therefore, series 6 or 7 and 66 licenses are usually required. Series 6 is a license to sell insurance, mutual funds, and variable annuities. The Series 7 license covers everything except commodities and futures, including taxes, stocks, options, and debt instruments. The Series 66 license covers investment advice and securities transactions for customers.

Those dealing with futures transactions, buying and selling commodities, or insurance accounts will need appropriate permits. Basic management and typing skills will be required, as well as attention to detail and the ability to deal with customers. For these reasons, candidates with customer service experience are usually favored by these positions.

Those who want to get this position are best to first serve as a customer service representative for a mutual fund company or bank, where they can learn basic skills such as handling unhappy customers, managing paperwork, and multitasking. Obtaining some certifications, such as the certification of a financial assistant planner who handles the administrative duties of a financial planner, would be helpful. Financial Paraplanner certification is provided by the CFP committee. In addition, being a paralegal can increase your chances of being hired.

This type of experience looks good on the resume and will help the applicant prepare for the daily rigors of the job. Nowadays, customer service personnel usually need to go beyond the normal scope of responsibilities in their daily work to help promote business and meet customer needs. Sometimes, they may need to attend company events or complete necessary tasks beyond the initial job description on weekends or holidays.

Salary and benefits

Most customer service staff are paid either by salary or the less common hourly wage. People with securities or insurance licenses can also earn commissions from any transactions they have completed, as well as bonuses or other additional rewards to reward their achievements. According to Glassdoor.com, the average salary for registered employees is approximately $45,000. Salaries for this job may range from the low-end $30,000 to the $80,000 for a superstar assistant who can perform unique advanced functions.

Those who work as brokers in large companies usually also receive benefit packages, such as life and health insurance, and retirement plans. The benefits that small retail companies provide to employees vary from company to company, but those who work for high-margin companies may enjoy a lot of benefits that administrative assistants don’t usually provide.

Those who aspire to become a financial consultant or planner at some point should also consider starting with a customer service assistant. This can help them gain valuable experience while studying financial planning courses or using their license to accumulate business.

Bottom line

Customer service assistants play a vital role in the financial industry, both for customers and the companies and consultants that hire them. Many of these employees are indispensable members of tightly integrated teams, and they perform high-level functions every day. For more information about what you need to do to be hired as a customer service assistant, please visit the Financial Planning Association website at www.fpanet.org.

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