Have you ever considered a career in customer service? Now is the time! The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10 percent growth in jobs in this segment between 2014 and 2024. Almost every industry has customer service positions. Financial institutions, insurance companies, credit card companies, brick-and-mortar/online retailers, and call centers are just a few examples of the types of businesses that have a need for strong customer service.
Skills and Strengths to Succeed In Customer Service
There are skills that employers look for when hiring customer service employees. Apart from professional training, you need to have certain soft skills to succeed in this line of work. They include the following:
Communication skills are vital, whether you are making a phone call or writing an email. To resolve customers’ issues, you need to have the ability to articulate yourself clearly. When speaking face to face or over the phone, make sure you speak loud enough, enunciating every word, and have an upbeat tone.
Focus on tone is more difficult when communicating in writing, so you have to be mindful that you are being personable but professional. Try to keep the message on point by providing helpful and useful information rather than putting a focus on the negative. Provide solutions rather than place blame.
What is the issue the customer needs help with? Active listening is important in customer service. You have to be able to not only hear what the customer is saying, but understand the meaning behind what they are saying as well in order to help them resolve their issue.
Patience and self-control
Staying calm is key. Don’t get upset or say something inappropriate. The customer might be angry, but if you are as well it only serves to escalate the problem.
As a customer service professional, you need to have a positive attitude because you are the face of the business to the customers. Your attitude will determine how they feel about the company, and will influence whether or not they will do business with you again.
The ability to solve problems is essential in customer service. There are times that you may need to be creative in order to provide the best solution to the customer, so having the ability to “think outside the box” is important.
Tips for Getting Into Customer Service
So you feel you have what it takes to be in customer service and you’re ready to begin. Great! Here’s how to get started:
- Decide what industry you are most interested in. You will need to have a deep understanding of products and services that your company offers in order to assist customers, so having an interest in the industry you work in will help you to succeed.
- Polish that resume. The resume should clearly outline your work experience and history and should highlight any special skills you have. Even if you haven’t worked in the specific industry you are interested in, most often you have important skills that can be applied to any field.
- Prepare for the interview in advance. Look up the company online to learn more about the products or services they offer. Be prepared to discuss the strengths you have that you will bring to the company, and how those attributes will make you successful in the position. Check out possible interview questions on Glassdoor and prepare your answers.
- Acquire the necessary skills for the job. Customer service platforms vary, so acquaint yourself with how one or two works. You don’t have to necessarily be an expert in the platform they use – once you get a basic feel for how one works it makes it easier to learn others.
A career in customer service can be very rewarding. Apart from the financial gain of salary and benefits, you will be able to learn how to work under pressure. Since it takes a lot of responsibility to be effective in customer service, you will gain valuable skills that can be applied at any level of the organization.
See what customer service jobs we currently have available or to submit your resume for future opportunities!