How Customer Service Enhances the Future of Your Career
This post was originally sourced from a Parker Staffing Services blog from August 2015, but in honor of National Customer Service Week, we decided to bring it back and update it with 2017 data!
Nothing stinks more than bad customer service. You hang up the phone or log out of a chat with a less than stellar Customer Service representative feeling frazzled, angry and solution-less… and you’re not alone. Due to bad customer service, more than half of US consumers will flat-out stop doing business with a retail company.
The good news is, more companies see the value in the customer service experience. Now that this higher priority has been established, companies are willing to better fund their contact centers. More than ever before, especially here at Nintendo, we’re seeing more focus and man-power going into customer support – via telephone, email, and customer chat. The multitude of ways a customer can contact a company has opened the door to new roles in customer service that builds skills that can be utilized on different career tracks in fields like marketing, human resources, sales and healthcare.
Soft Skills: What Most Employers Want, but Many Job Candidates Lack
Career Builder found that 77% of employers believe that soft skills (personality-based skills) are just as important as hard skills (technical/performance-based skills). Because a customer service representative’s goal is to make a customer happy, a contact center is one of the best places to develop the soft skills that employers are looking for. For example…
- Patience: No matter where you go in life, there is always going to be someone that challenges you. Strong patience and empathy skills will develop as you work with hundreds of customers – and their issues and questions – each week. These skills are easily transferable, especially in heavy people-facing fields like healthcare and human resources.
- Clear, Effective Communication: There isn’t a single job out there that doesn’t require at least some level of communication skills. You will at some point be conversing with someone, like a customer or your supervisor, in some manner (email, phone call etc…). Learning how to get a clear message across the first time will save time, save money and reduce the potential for frustration due to misinformation.
Hard Skills: Elevating You from “Entry-Level” to “Experienced”
During this time of year especially, entry-level customer service roles are everywhere – including here at Nintendo, but going up from there does require experience and the building of these hard, technical skills that are imperative for any good customer service representative to possess. These skills include…
- Typing Proficiency: After months or years of data entry or problem solving customer issues via a contact center’s chat feature or forum, you may find yourself growing even more familiar with your way around the keyboard. For administrative and executive assistant roles, the higher your words per minute (WPM), the more efficient you are in your role. Executive Assistants and Admins are often the official meeting note-takers and appointment setters. Moreover, large portions of the day could be spent typing up emails and memos for company-wide send outs.
- Conflict Resolution: The ability to problem solve and defuse issues or tense situations is an amazing hard skill to possess – especially for those who have an aspiration to work in the Human Resources department. If working for a contact center, you may be fielding multiple calls, emails and IMs each day that may not be the most pleasant, but view these as the ones with the largest opportunity for growth and fine tuning your conflict resolution skills.
So, if you don’t think customer service will be your forever career, that’s okay – it’s still a great place to start! The skills you pick up in customer service roles now will be welcomed skills in other jobs and departments in the future.