Landing a job as a customer service representative can give you a great start in a customer service career trajectory, but before you put in your first application, have you ever asked yourself if a customer service job is a good fit for you?
When it comes to customer service, you’ll need to either have or quickly develop lots of people skills and a mental toughness that can’t really be taught.
Characteristics of a Great Customer Service Agent
Have you ever called your mobile phone company and been placed on hold for a ridiculously long time, just to be finally connected to a customer service agent who had no idea how to begin to understand your frustration? This is not a great customer service agent. But you could be one, you never know.
These are a few things people who are naturals tend to do:
- Put themselves in others’ shoes. Remember that disconnected customer service agent in the example? They couldn’t empathize with you when you were frustrated because of long wait times, which really just made you more frustrated and sort of spun the whole situation out of control. Had they expressed similar frustration at how long the wait times were or sincerely apologized for your inconvenience, you might have been defused and wouldn’t have canceled your account.
- Control their emotions. There are times in any customer service representative’s life where a person will call and say things they don’t really mean because they need someone, anyone, to yell at. It’s not right and it’s not fair, but it is reality. If you can’t control your emotions and stay calm when this happens, you may not be suited for this line of work. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about something happening in that caller’s life. You were just collateral damage.
- Think on their feet. Customers call for all sorts of reasons and sometimes what they say they want and what they really want are very different things. You may find that by listening critically and thinking on your feet, you can weave a creative solution that they hadn’t even considered that completely changes their situation for the better. You’re the unsung hero of the day, but you’re still the hero. Huzzah for you!
- Work well with others. You may sit alone in your cubicle, but you’re part of a bigger effort. As much as you work well with your customers, you should also work well with your team and be able to take direction and learn from your trainers, too. We all want to see each other succeed!
If you think a customer service job will be a good fit for you, there’s no better place to start than at an answering service company! You’ll get lots of opportunities to talk to interesting people in a wide range of industries and from diverse backgrounds, as well as training in modern software and hardware necessary for your success.