It's a standard feeling of all graduates that a customer support job is "below them." CNBC mentions that many young graduates set themselves up for an entire career of disappointment by being too hasty in choosing a new job out of college. However, as dire as this sounds, a customer support job might be the best way to launch a professional career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the customer support field is showing significant growth over the past few years. Getting into a customer support role not only offers a job that shows growth potential but also allows a future professional to learn a lot of skills that his or her degree probably didn't prepare them to use.
Why Customer Support?
For a new graduate, it can be difficult to come to terms with the world of work. As more and more people graduate with lower levels of interactivity with their peers, there are many different skills they lack that are necessary for any work environment. Psychology Today notes that political, persuasive, emotional and interpersonal 'soft skills' make up a significant requirement for students entering a workforce. Customer support can help develop those skills while at the same time giving a new graduate a feel for how the world of work operates, from scheduling to inter-departmental co-operation. If anything, customer support should be the chosen starting point for any professional to feel what the world of work offers.
Emotional Intelligence Development Through Empathy
As customer support, the bulk of your time will be dedicated to helping users solve problems. This means having to see things from their point of view and understand their feelings about a particular issue. On a few occasions, the customer may even turn hostile and deliver scathing tirades using combative language. But what they can teach is how to wade through the worst parts of a job to accomplish things. The best parts of any profession are always couched in the worst parts of it. Customer support allows you to work through the rough times to accomplish your goals and appreciate your clients' struggles.
Understanding The Need For Product Familiarity
Products form the backbone of most businesses, and whether that product is a good or service doesn't matter, what does matter is the fact that clients expect customer support to know their product inside out. Becoming a subject matter expert, on something like auto insurance in Edmonton, means that not only will you inspire confidence in the clients that interact with you, but you will also be able to leverage that expertise in developing things both for the company and privately. Many article writers and bloggers initially started within specific industries and turned that expertise into a full-time job at the end of the day. The more enterprising of these creators put complete walkthroughs and reviews of products on social media to cultivate a following.
Problem Solving under Pressure
There are few places as stressful as a customer support role at the height of complaint season or when a particularly bad batch of products enters the market. To deal with the issues that clients are likely to have, you're going to have to learn problem-solving on the fly. This can teach multi-tasking (through juggling multiple client complaints at the same time) and a quick grasp of an issue. Most times, the problem isn't unique, and there's already a standard way to fox it. However, every once in a while, there exists an issue that requires a little critical thinking and know-how about the product to resolve it. Many times, you have to come up with this answer while on a clock, since the client is right there, on the phone, waiting for an answer. Thinking under pressure is a highly valued and underrated skill.
Utilize Opportunities to Network
It's a generally held fact that no one person could ever know anything about any particular product. Interacting with coworkers to resolve issues allows a way to create networking contacts that can be leveraged later down the road. You will have your personal insights about customers (based on the calls that you field), but each customer support representative has their own set of ideas. By combining those insights with the insights of others, you can start developing an overall view of what the average customer is. This data can either be passed on the relevant department or even used in a side-project of your own. Networking contributes to the success of an endeavor like this. Even if you don't intend to create a new insight system for the company, having the information readily available can help you to get your job done efficiently.
Powerful Skills make Well-Equipped Professionals
Graduates are unlikely to remain in a customer support position for very long, but it does have its merits in all the things it can teach. Additionally, customer support jobs are good proving grounds. Having these skills allows a professional to be more in touch with the world around them, especially with the customers that utilize the service he or she provides. Customer service is a skill that will never go unused, regardless of which part of an organization you end up in. Having this skill early on in work life is preferable to having to learn it at a later date.