Almost all companies have people who deal with issues their customers may have. In smaller businesses, customer service can often be provided by members of the core team, or by people who also do other roles such as sales. However in bigger businesses, for example large retail chains, they usually have a dedicated in house customer care team, or use a third party managed contact center service such as Ameridial, who can offer a fully staffed retail call center that is managed separately from the main business.
Customer service center jobs are usually not too hard to find, as it often takes quite a lot of people to deal with the various queries, problems and needs of a large customer base. However, for you to be able to get one of these jobs and for you to excel at it (and enjoy it!), you’ll need a certain set of personal skills.
Great Communication Skills
Customer service representatives who work in call centers have to deal with all kinds of different calls every day. Some are simple, for example where someone wants to make a change to a service they receive or has a question about a product, but others can be more difficult. You may, for example, have customers you need to help who are angry with the company you work for because their bill is incorrect, or because a product they bought is faulty. A customer care representative therefore needs to have good communication skills, so they can listen carefully to the problem and explain clearly and competently what will be done. Beyond simply being friendly and interested in what the customer has to say, they may also need to be able to calm down stressed or aggressive customers, or explain things carefully to people who are confused.
Great Time Management Skills
Most customer service people are expected to deal with a certain number of calls per hour, so that the call center can adequately plan and manage its staffing levels. This means representatives have to be great at managing the time they spend on calls, resolving issues as quickly as possible and not staying on the line chatting (no matter how friendly a customer is!). There will also be things to do off of the phone such as updating customer records related to a call, so being able to manage all of this while still meeting call handling quotas is important.
Great Sales Skills
In most (but not all) customer service roles, there is a secondary objective to the job, and that is to promote or sell additional products and services to customers who call in for other reasons. You should therefore have some knowledge of sales techniques, and be comfortable with promoting and selling things, if you really want to do well in a customer service call center role.
Working in customer service can be interesting and rewarding, so if you think you have the right skills, why not pursue this kind of career?