Customer Service Jobs

Overview
Customer services employees perform vital functions to manage the reputation of an organization by offering support and service to its customers and clients. This is achieved by managing queries, requests for advice and complaints through different channels, such as email, a call centre or online via special software. In general, customer service representatives are entrusted with making sure that clients are pleased with their sales experience and are encouraged to provide repeat business.

Required Skills
Those working in this field often require a blend of skills and aptitudes, some of which include the following:

  • Strong clerical aptitude as administrative and filing work is often an auxiliary skill
  • Strong spoken and written communication skills, particularly if correspondence is strictly via email or phone
  • Computer literacy
  • Highly organized, and able to meet deadlines
  • Extremely polite, well mannered and professional demeanor
  • Excellent negotiation skills for disgruntled clients and the ability to smooth over misunderstandings or service delays.
  • Knowledge of how and when to refer problems to upper management
  • Knowledge of the product and organization
  • Calm, tacfult, dedicated personality
  • Ability to mediate and manage stress levels
  • Knowledge of marketing skills and theory a useful asset

Those who enter into a customer service position usually do so out of school if the position is entry level, in which case strong Maths and English skills are desirable. More advanced positions require more experience or more specialized training, and often in-house training is required to cover a company’s specific requirements. For example, Customer Relationship Management software may be tailored for each company and workers will need to train to use this effectively. For those positions that comprise a more advisory role, knowledge of the product and service becomes paramount.

Career Trajectories
Roles and responsibilities vary according to where the customer interfaces with the customer service. Customer consultants help clients either before, during or after a sale, but technical customer support is more focused on troubleshooting issues that may emerge for clients, for example with computer software or telecommunications solutions. Roles can include giving advice on purchases or upgrades, working at a call centre to help customers with online purchases or to repair or report faults and offer advice on the more technical aspects of a product.

Possible Job Titles

  • Customer Service Rep
  • Call Centre Agent
  • Online Technical Support
  • Customer Service Manager or Executive
  • Call Centre Manager
  • Service Technician

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