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The Definitive Guide to Building A Career in Customer Support

Updated on Aug 19, 2018 4094 views
The Definitive Guide to Building A Career in Customer Support

Building a career in customer service involves a lot of development and hard work.

Customer service is one job field that can open you up to loads of exciting and amazing job opportunities because of its versatility and relevance that cuts across every business sector.

 

Customer service is the core of every business. For any business to thrive and secure customers’ loyalty, that business must have a good and effective customer support/service structure to maintain customers’ trust and consistent patronage.

Customer service is a part of the day-to-day life for any business person from service providers to common traders. What makes a professional stand out as a successful customer service person is the skill and experience that the person must have acquired over time.

Customer service has been in existence as long as the existence of business and will continue to remain very relevant in the business world both now and in the future. Without a strong customer service, a business will likely not grow, because a satisfied customer is usually a returning customer.

So whether you are a fresh graduate or a professional looking forward to changing a career, building a career in customer service will require obtaining the required skill, qualification, attitude and certifications to become successful. This article gives a step-by-step guide to building a successful career in customer service.

 

What is Customer Service all About?

Customer service is the act of taking care of the customer's needs by providing professional, helpful, high-quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer's requirements are met.

Customer service is the support you offer your customers both before and after they buy and use your products or services that help them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you.

 

Who is a Customer Service Professional?

A customer service/care professional is a skilled individual that provides the link between an organization and its customers. Customer care/service professionals answer customers’ questions and resolve issues customers may encounter while using their product. Customer service professionals resolve customers’ experience issues in person, over the phone or through email or faxes.

 

The relevance of Customer Service

Many businesses are competing for customers’ patronage and loyalty. The important aspect of customer service is in making sure you keep the customers once you bring them. Below are the benefits of good customer service;

  • Provides value: Strong customer service focuses on treating customers well, attending to their challenges and exceeding their expectations, which is a great value to any business.
  • Retains Customers: The cost of retaining a loyal customer is far less expensive than getting a new one.
  • Creates Endorsement: Loyal customers provide positive endorsements and online reviews that can help businesses strengthen their brands. According to research, people tend to purchase products based on recommendations from family and friends rather than advertising messages.
  •  Prevents Business failure: Customers can become disinterested in a product if they constantly encounter challenges that become ignored regularly. A good customer service structure will prevent business failure by attending to complaints, acting quickly on request and following up on customers questions.

 

An Early Guide to Building a Career in Customer Service

Building a career in customer service may not be as direct as other fields or careers, but there are choices that you can make early enough that can propel your customer service career. To propel your course in building a career in customer service, you would need to take these subject/courses in your O’level:

  • English language
  • Literature-in-English
  • Government
  • Commerce
  • Religious studies
  • Civic education
  • French or any other foreign language
  • Mathematics

To build a career in customer service at the tertiary level, art related courses are required.

 

Customer Service Related Courses

  • Mass Communication
  • English and Literature
  • Linguistics and language studies
  • Human relations
  • Business/customer analysis

 

Customer Service Skills/Qualification

To become a successful customer service professional, you would need to acquire some skills to help you stand out. Some of the most important skills you need to have as a custommer support personnel includes:

  • Phone skills
  • Listening skills
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Patience
  • Basic computer skills
  • Must be able to use customer relationship management software.

 

Qualifications

For enthusiasts, interns and graduate, a degree in English language, mass communication or other related disciplines may serve, but to become successful it is important for you to take certificate courses to become professional.

Being a Certified Customer Service Professional will put you in a more advantaged position.

 

Customer Service Certifications

Chartered Institute of Customer Relationship Management Nigeria (CICRM) Certifications

  • Certified Customer Service Professional
  • Certified Customer Service Manager
  • Certified Customer Care Professional
  • Certified Customer Care Manager
  • Certified Customer Service Consultant
  • Certified Customer Service Specialist
  • Certified Customer Service Organizational
  • Certified Call Centre Professional

 

International Customer Service Certifications

  • Associate Call Centre Professional (ACCP)
  • Certified Customer Service Delivery Professional (CSDP)
  • Associate Sales & Marketing Professional (ASMP)
  • Diploma in Customer Service Certification(DCS)
  • ABP Advanced Customer Service Professional (AACS)
  • ABP Foundation Project Management Professional
  • Award in Management and Leadership Principles
  • ABP Intermediate Award in Sales and Marketing
  • ABP Intermediate Award in Entrepreneurship
  • SQI-USA Certified Business Professional (CBP)

 

Customer Service Specializations, Job Roles, and Salaries

Customer service is not a career or a profession that exist in isolation, there are specializations just like any other field. Customer service as a whole can broadly be classified into three major classes based on their function.

  • Customer service
  • Customer support
  • Customer experience

 

There are different job roles in customer service. The different professions earn relatively different salaries. Below are the different specializations in customer service and their salaries;

  • Customer service representative

Customer service representatives averagely earn ₦64, 000 per month in Nigeria

  • Customer service specialist

Customer service specialist in Nigeria earn averagely about ₦67, 000 per month

  • Customer service engineer

Customer service engineers in Nigeria earn an average amount of ₦76, 000 per month

  • Customer service manager

Customer service managers earn approximately ₦280, 000 per month

  • Customer support engineer

Customer support technical engineers in Nigeria earn averagely ₦316, 000 per month

  • Customer support specialist

Customer support specialist in Nigeria averagely earn about ₦105, 000 per month

 

Online Platforms you can Learn Customer Support for Free

You can build your customer service career and become a professional without necessarily being within the four walls of a classroom, and even with little or cost at all. You can learn customer service online on the following websites:

 

 

Top 10 Customer Service Professionals to Follow on Twitter

 

How to Get a Job as Customer Service Professional

Experience is key when building your customer service career, Even when you have gotten all the certifications, and the required qualifications, it is still very important for you to gain relevant experiences. The only way you can get this experience is by working. Follow these steps and learn how to get the customer service jobs of your dreams:

 

  • Get Certified/Become a Professional: To become a successful customer service professional it is important for you to become certified. Being a professional will give you an in-depth knowledge of the career. Becoming a certified customer service personnel will put you in a more advantaged position that will open you up to better opportunities.

 

  • Create a Good CV: Creating a winning CV can land you the job of your dreams. If you are just building your customer service career, then creating a well-tailored CV is very important. If you find writing a CV as a challenge, then you will find these CV templates useful.  To create a more professional CV, you can this CV rewrite service

 

  • Search and Apply for Latest Customer Service Jobs: The next important step to take is to search and apply for latest job openings within your location. Searching for a job as a fresh graduate could be really challenging. To make your search easy, you can look out for job openings online. There are online job boards like Myjobmag that can allow you to access latest verified customer service jobs.

 

Building a career in customer service could be really rewarding and extremely satisfying. It requires hard work, passion, dedication, and selflessness. Getting the right skill and attitude can help you build a successful career in customer support service.

PS:  You may also find our career guide on How to Build a Successful Career in Accounting interesting.

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