Customer is king. So goes a famous business cliché that means the success of an enterprise ultimately depends on how it treats its customers. If you believe in this statement, and you have a pleasant personality, you could be destined for a career in customer service. Read on to learn more about how you can break into and thrive in the industry.
See also: How to Write a Customer Service Resume
1. Do You Possess the Right Attributes?
To pursue a successful career in customer service, you must have the right personal attributes. Although professional skills, like communication and persuasion, can be acquired through professional training, personal attributes or characteristics are typically inborn. Here is a list of the some attributes you need:
- A pleasant personality
- Sense of humor
- Calming presence
Before deciding whether a customer service career suits you, it is essential to conduct a self-evaluation and determine whether you possess such attributes. If you do, the next step is beckoning!
2. Work Environment
In some cases, you can get hired for entry-level customer service jobs with a high school diploma and a set of the right attributes. But without any professional training, you will find it difficult to advance into administrative and management positions. As such, you should go to college and pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree in customer service management or a closely related field. You will learn about business operations, workplace environments, negotiation and conflict resolution and creative problem solving. Examples of educational universities offering competent customer service programs include:
If you would like to work in a specific industry, you can pursue a degree that is tailored for that industry. For instance, if you aspire to be a hotel customer service manager, then pursuing a degree in hospitality and customer service, like the one offered by the National University in California, will give you the best preparation.
3. Get Certified
While college degrees prove that the holder has attained the minimum qualification required for a job, professional certifications are the ultimate show of competence and professionalism. A number of professional associations offer customer service certifications that you can obtain to be a standout job candidate. A good example is the National Retail Foundation, which certifies newly-qualified or entry-level customer service professionals.
Other professional associations offering customer service certifications include:
- ETA International (Customer Service Specialist).
- Customer Service Institute of America (Certified Customer Service Manager)
Apart from earning certifications, be sure to secure and maintain membership in these organizations. That way, you will be able to network and share ideas with other customer service professionals, and access additional professional development resources such as training workshops, seminars and industry publications.
4. Demonstrate Your Competence on the Job
It is one thing to have the necessary qualifications, and it’s another to get the job done. Can you actually improve the levels of customer satisfaction? At work, whether you are a customer service representative, customer service supervisor or customer service manager, focus on delivering great services to customers. Combine your education and personal attributes to not only make customers happy, but also make them feel like kings!
It won’t take long for your employer to notice your efforts and duly reward you with a much deserved promotion.
Among professions in the service industry, customer service jobs are among the fastest growing. This means a lot of people are interested in these jobs, and getting hired comes downs to your qualifications. Fortunately, you now know how to get started and get ahead.