What comes to mind when you think of excellent customer service? For me, it was when the customer service representative (CSR) of my insurance company patiently walked me through an incorrect billing issue with my medical provider. He helped me understand the details and what could and couldn’t be done to solve the problem. He even went so far as to get the doctor’s office on the same call to set them straight, which saved me money in the long run.
A good CSR resolves their client’s problems while providing them with a sense of confidence in the work that’s being done for them. This ability is essential in the circuit board manufacturing business, where there are many moving parts in building high-quality electronics in the shortest amount of time possible. Does this sound interesting to you? Then read on, and we’ll detail the need and importance of printed circuit boards customer service representatives in PCB manufacturing.
What is Customer Service in Circuit Board Manufacturing?
It has been estimated that the total value of the global electronics assembly market, including original equipment manufacturers and electronics manufacturing services, was 1.4 trillion dollars in 2020. This number is expected to grow to 1.6 trillion dollars by 2025. Even with contract manufacturing accounting for just 595 billion of those dollars, there is still a lot of money spent building circuit boards. The businesses paying for these electronics often need help placing their orders and resolving unexpected problems to meet their schedule requirements. To take care of these needs, printed circuit board contract manufacturers need the skills of experienced CSRs.
PCB CMs build circuit boards and other electronic components for a wide range of customers across multiple industries. Medical, transportation, industrial, and consumer products are just a few of the industries they serve, all of which require different PCB technologies for their various electronic products. Serving such a diverse group requires tailoring the customer service for each client. Here are some differences to be aware of:
Small business needs
- These customers typically require a rapid response from the PCB CM.
- They will often submit multiple design changes before the product is finalized.
- Small businesses typically need more help with new product introductions (NPI).
- These clients need assurances that their needs are just as important as larger clients, and they expect the same level of communication.
Large business requirements
- Larger clients may have multiple points of contact that have to be maintained.
- Their business models and needs may change regularly or even between departments.
- These customers may have legacy designs requiring “copy exact” protocols to reproduce the board exactly as originally built.
- Larger businesses will expect high levels of service and support.
A customer service representative needs to equally serve all of their clients and balance needs between them. Let’s look now at some of the specific job requirements of a printed circuit board CSR.
The Responsibilities of Printed Circuit Board’s Customer Service Representative
A customer service representative for a circuit board contract manufacturer is the liaison between the customer and the manufacturer’s sales department. If a problem arises for the customer when placing an order or scheduling the work they need, the CSR will be their primary point of contact. Here are some of the more specific duties that a customer service representative will be responsible for:
- The CSR serves as the initial point of contact for customer service request calls.
- Customer service representatives review their client’s material requirements planning (MRP) for availability and place their purchase and work orders accordingly.
- Service representatives respond to their customer’s requests to expedite orders and update them on the status of those orders.
- CSRs will monitor production availability for scheduling their clients’ backorders and expedite production and purchasing to meet delivery requirements.
- Customer service representatives will collect client order performance metrics and prepare documentation for reporting to management.
First impressions are significant for a customer’s first contact with a support representative. CSRs are responsible for being the face of their company to their clients, and a successful partnership between the manufacturer and their customers often starts with the support representatives. Are you the kind of person who has a passion for building successful work relationships? If so, then your skills and abilities are needed.
Your Customer Service Skills are Needed
As a PCB manufacturing customer service representative, you will be in a position where you can help both your clients and your company reach their respective business goals. Printed circuit board manufacturing is a growing industry, and your abilities are essential to fostering healthy business relationships between OEMs and electronics contract manufacturers. Your ability to manage the delicate balance between manufacturer and customers is a skill that is in high demand.
At VSE, we have a better understanding than most of the essential work performed by our customer service representatives. We know that the efforts of our employees are one of the main reasons VSE has enjoyed the reputation of being a premier Silicon Valley electronics manufacturer. That is why you will find that VSE offers competitive pay and benefits packages to promote a healthy work-life balance for our employees. You can find a home for your customer service skills at VSE, located in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.