In order to successfully build your customer service career, you’ve got to go beyond the absolute basics by following a simple strategy.
You don’t want to be a customer service rep as a job – you want it to be your profession. It’s your calling to be a customer service rockstar, so we’re going to teach you how.
You’ve likely chosen this profession because you enjoy working with people and you have a strong sense of empathy. You know it’s all about being able to listen, you have great communication skills and of course are very friendly.
1. Carefully Select the Companies You Apply to Work For
There are many companies now who are investing a lot of time and money into their customer service. Take Zappos, the shoe company, for example, who take their customer experience to the next level.
They’ve been known to fly a free pair of shoes overnight to a shoeless customer who was a best man at a wedding. They train their customer support recruits for seven weeks before they’re allowed to start helping customers.
Now, while most companies won’t be going to quite such an extreme, there still are many companies out there who are equally as passionate about keeping their customers happy. You want to build your customer service career with those folks, and no one else!
You’ll be truly valued as a member of their customer support team and have a real chance to build your career in the profession, rather than simply treading water in a job.
2. Think About Remote Working
Many customer support teams are now remote – especially at SaaS startups. This presents an incredible opportunity to work for companies that are not based in your city.
Decide whether you are pursuing a career in remote working or not. If you want to work remotely, make sure you can demonstrate an ability to work as a team with people in different locations and even time zones.
This means showing you can use online collaboration tools like Trello or Madcap to share documentation and planning. You’ll also need standout communication skills, so make sure this comes across in your application, resume and interview.
3. Take on Extra Responsibility
A big part of building a customer service career is knowing when to be a bit more hands off by contributing to your company’s self-service strategy.
Develop a habit of adding articles to your company knowledge base to enable your customers to serve their own queries.
Show visionary capacities by suggesting extra content for the knowledge base and demonstrating your insight into what your customers want. And if your company hasn’t yet invested in a knowledge base, lobby for one.
You can also demonstrate leadership qualities by helping your coworkers to become better at their jobs. This means sharing resources with them, making the effort to streamline processes and trying to gain management experience.
4. Go the Extra Mile for Customers
Your role is about providing stellar customer service on behalf of the company but also ROI by creating loyal customers. If you can show that you understand this strategic component of your role through incorporating it in your CV or interviews, you’ll give yourself a huge advantage.
Make note of the most impressive situations where you turned a difficult customer into a happy one, or when you’ve implemented a strategy to help turn new customers into loyal ones.
5. Build Your Knowledge of Different Help Desk Platforms
It’s becoming more and more crucial to work with help desk platforms, which are essentially online ticketing systems for customer support. If a company you’re applying to work for doesn’t have software some kind, question why they haven’t invested in the appropriate technology.
Any company worth their salt is going to be using a help desk platform such as Zendesk, Kayako, Desk or Happy Fox. If you at least know some of these names to show you’ve got an interest, this will impress hiring managers.
If your company happens to be migrating to a new software solution, volunteer to be involved in the process to gain valuable experience.
Make sure you tailor your CV for a customer service career. This means writing a catchy introductory paragraph that sells you a as a specialist customer support rep.
Keep a list of all the amazing customer service career scenarios where you went above and beyond to make customers happy. Start participating in the long term customer service strategy of your employer and learning about the different types of help desk software.
By carefully selecting the companies you apply to work for, taking on extra responsibility and preparing yourself for the possibility of remote work, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a customer service rockstar.
Catherine Heath has a thing for psychology, diversity, tech and startups , and is l earning to code. She gives valuable insight into the women in tech scene on her website, Away With Words, and shares tips for success and self-development. Connect with Catherine on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Catherine regularly blogs about knowledge base best practice forKnowledgeOwl.