A Career in Customer Service

by WorkFromHome on March 31, 2011

Customer service workers are the front line of a company’s relationship with the public. They deal with both phone calls and direct walk-in traffic. One of the primary purposes of the customer service representative is to direct potential customers to the correct source for information. The more a representative knows about the products and/or services provided by the company, the more effective you will be as a company representative.

This can also be an important step in setting yourself up for future promotions. A desirable candidate for advanced positions will be the person who can successfully handle a wide variety of customer problems with both tact and skill. Here are some useful tips when entering the world of customer service:

  1. Have a strategy for performing your work successfully under many different conditions. This will make your job easier in the long run, because you will be in the mode of handling your job tasks like a career — that is, with professionalism. Think about the transferable skills you will develop. If you do plan to move on in the working world, this sense of direction will become invaluable. You will always be more likely to get what you want when you know what it is that you want. For example, if you are polishing your customer service skills in order to be an effective manager in the future, it is likely that the quality of service you bring to the job will be exemplary.
  2. Learn what kinds of office skills are most valuable to employers. You can do this easily through the interviewing process. It is easier than you think to find out what an employer wants, once you figure out how to ask the right questions. Be specific. You may find that some employers have more use for a representative who knows Microsoft Excel than they do for someone who is proficient in Word, although competence is Word is considered the base minimum skill level. If you are struggling with programs, look around for tutorials. Anybody can find useful software learning products, but it takes time to learn and apply them.
  3. Narrow down the search. If you have too many interests, it is easier to get distracted than when you have a clear objective.
  4. Document your progress. For every goal you achieve, make sure that it can update your resume. This is the best way to prove your skills to an employer; have proof. A job candidate who has Microsoft Certification on their resume will always look better than someone who has used it “off and on” for X amount of years. Clarity and competency will win the position; vague experience will not be rewarded in a skill-driven workplace.
  5. Understand that it will take time to accomplish your career goals, and plan accordingly. Once you have identified and obtained the skills most relevant to the kind of customer service work you want to do, then you must sell it. In other words, interview. To interview successfully, you must first be able to find the jobs. Then, you must decide what strategy to use for either accepting or declining an offer of employment. This is where job search skills and resume building tools can come in handy.
  6. Build your home office, incrementally, and as a self-training centre for future employment. By knowing how to keep a personal computer running at your home free of virus infections and without crashing, you will gain valuable insight into computer programs. You may even be able to get connected with a call centre right from your home office!

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