Sometimes it’s tough to get your foot in the door when it comes to employment, which is why we feel that it’s important to highlight the opportunities a career move into customer service provides.
Positive and successful customer service for brands is incredibly important, especially at a time when customer choices are expanding and expectations are increasing as a result of e-commerce. According to a Which? Survey, “eight out of ten people say that customer service can influence their choice of brand” – meaning that it’s crucial for brands to have a strong customer service team who can retain, attract and engage customers through a positive experience.
What skills do I need?
I personally started my career in a Customer Service role at a well-known fashion retailer to make some money to go on that first girl’s holiday to Ayia Napa! But little did I know that the skills I learnt whilst working there every Sunday would stand me in good stead for the future.
- Patience (working in the shoe department, pairing all the shoes up perfectly for half an hour only to be ruined within a second by a customer who’d just throw one on the floor)
- Communication skills
- People skills
- Dealing with difficult customers
- Product knowledge
These were all key skills I picked up along the way which now I recognise as a stable footing into the world of work and skills that I use constantly today.
So what can you expect?
A customer service team can be made up of many roles which incorporate different skills and have a range of focuses.
- Head of Customer Service - motivate and manage the team whilst striving to maintain and grow the reputation of the brand through dealing with any escalated issues
- Customer Service Advisor - work across multi channels (online chat, phone, email) to ensure they answer customer queries, handle complaints and rectify issues in a timely and positive manner to ensure the customer keeps coming back
- Technical Support Representative - guide customers through solving technical problems. Depending on the product, a tech support representative can at times remotely access the user’s computer or system and solve the problem directly. This is a more advanced type of call-centre job, and weekend hours are often required. (This is your IT support guys and gals)
- Technical Support Analyst – You will be responsible for ensuring that customers and end users receive clear instructions and guidance to resolve technical issues. You will need to have a detailed knowledge of the company’s products in order to evaluate customer feedback and fine-tune support programmes to serve the representatives.
- Sales Product Support Representative – You’ll need to know the product and company inside out, as you will be responsible for aiding customers in making that all important purchase and may well have to deal with post purchase queries as well.
According to the Genesys Global Survey, “78% of surveyed customers say that competent customer service reps are most responsible for a happy customer experience.” Ruby Newell - Legner explains in ‘Understanding Customers’ that “it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience”, which informs brands that the employees they hire need to be well trained, have the right working attitude and understanding that the job that they have can make a real difference.
Where will it lead?
We live in a time now where people want to work at a company that not only provides them with an excellent career but is also personally and socially rewarding too. We are noticing a huge demand for Customer Service candidates and often hear of those individuals being promoted within organisations. It can be a great entry level role with a strong chance of career development.
Some of the best teams I’ve worked in have been involving customers or customer facing and the team environment within a customer service department is often energetic, fast paced and surrounded by brilliant people. Some involve incentives when targets are hit (nobody is going to say no to a Selfridges voucher!) and the overall feeling of leaving customers satisfied within an encouraging environment has always put a smile on my face.
Check out Handle’s Office Support division for all our latest Customer Service roles.