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How to Get a job in Customer Service

Updated on Jan 24, 2019 8473 views
How to Get a job in Customer Service

Are you passionate about interfacing with people and solving their problems?

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Then you must be interested in building a career in customer service.

Building a career in customer service will start from you getting a job that will help you put your passion to practice. According to research, there are lots of competition for customer service positions, so you will need to stand out from the crowd to build a successful career.

If you have all it takes to build a career in customer service, then this is the time to make your passion a true paying career.

We have decided to help you stand out from the crowd and make your passion a career with our “tips to getting a job in customer service”. 

Tips for getting a job in customer service

Know what customer service is all about

The first stage to getting a job in customer service is to know all you need to know about customer service. When we say “know all you need to know about customer service”, we simply mean you should know what customer service is all about. It is important for you to know what the job field entails before diving into it.

Let’s quickly see what customer service is all about;

What is customer service all about?

Customer service is all about taking care of the customer's needs by providing and giving professional, helpful, high quality service and help before, during, and after the customer's requirements are met. In a broader sense, customer service is basically about taking care of a customer’s need.

Who is a customer service person?

A customer service representative, associate, or officer is someone that interacts with customers to handle complaints, take and process orders, and provide information about an organization's products and services.

Top qualities of good customer service

Knowing the qualities of good customer service will give an idea of what your prospective employer will want you to achieve. A good customer service should have the following qualities:

  • Promptness: Clients often get to contact customer service agents when they are facing a challenge using a product. Attending to issues or solving problems must be done fast.
  • Positivity: Customers give up easily especially when a product is not working as they expect, so it is the duty of the company/customer service agent to be positive enough to face the customer.
  • Politeness: greeting and applying a more courteous approach to attending to customer’s challenge is key to every company.
  • Acceptance: Acceptance is another key factor in customer service. Accepting that a customer is a big part of your business and so has a big say. Accepting your customers will help you deal with them better.
  • Problem solving: Problem solving is a core aspect of customer service. Knowing your product well will help you be of great help to your customer.

 

Skills and Qualifications You Need to get a Customer Service Job

To get a customer service job, you will need to get some in-demand customer service skills. Employers often look out for certain skills/qualification when they want to recruit customer service representatives.

Consider these skills and qualification;

Customer service skills

Hard skills

  • Product knowledge: This is one of the key skill that every customer service representative must have. Whether you are working as a customer service agent or tech support, you must have a very good knowledge of your product to be able to trouble shoot and provide solutions.
  • Time management skills: There is a high probability that you are going to be juggling task in the course of your work. From attending to customers complain to searching for solutions to their problems or even attending to internal duties. Managing your time and prioritizing your task is one skill you need to acquire as a customer service representative.
  • Basic HTML skills: You don’t necessarily need to know how to code, but having basic HTML knowledge can help you perform your task better. Having basic HTML skills will help you work better especially if it is a tech support role. Knowing how upload a blog post, edit etc. could be of great help.
  • Typing skills: Multi-tasking is synonymous with the role of a customer service representative. You will need to have good typing skills to be able to attend to customers as fast as possible. While answering the phone, you may also need to take down note to be sure you got what the customer was saying. This is where typing comes into play.
  • Excel skills: Having a good knowledge of excel will help you arrange your task and present information in a more organized way. Having a list of customer report, feedback etc. can be done better with excel.
  • Customer service software skills: You may not have to receive and make calls alone performing your day-to-day task as a customer service representative. You may need to make use of some soft wares to perform your task. Soft wares like fresh desk, service guru etc.

Soft skills

  • Communication skills: Communication is an essential skill in customer service. You need to understand what the customer wants and how best you can articulate the solution. This skill is important for telephone conversation as well. If you are communicating through emails or chats, you should make sure your grammar is constructed in way that it will pass the right message across to the customer.
  • Listening Skills: As important as it is to communicate effectively, it is important to listen attentively to customer’s need. Listening attentively will help you know what the customer want and how you can help them. You can also make use of body language to show that you are listening attentively. An important aspect of customer service is to make the customer feel like they are being heard.
  • Conflict resolution: conflict resolution is the core of customer service. Customers often come with different kinds of problems, so you must be always ready and willing to resolve any form of problem that the customer may be facing. If you cannot find a solution that works for a customer, help her locate additional help. Always follow up with the customer to find out if the issue is resolved.
  • Patience: As a customer service representative, you will likely get calls from customers. You should also know that customers don’t call you because they want to. Customers call because they are facing one challenge or the other and they really want to fix it.

You need to be patient to tackle customers’ problems, because some customers maybe so frustrated with the challenges that they are facing that they may even vent. You have to be patient to deal with customers.

  • Good analytical skills: Being analytic is another skills that a customer service representative should build. As much as it important to solve the problems of customers, it is also important to have good analytical skills. Analytics will help you measure your result so that you recognize areas that need urgent attention.
  • Team spirit: As a customer service representative, you would have to work with other team members to ensure you are giving the right solution to the customer. You should be able to work well with other team members.
  • Empathy: Empathy is a core skill for a customer service representative. You should be able to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and feel the same way they are feeling. When a customer is facing any form of challenge with a product, you should be able to put yourself in his/her position and see how you can help solve the problem.

 

Create a professional CV

Even if getting the necessary skills and qualifications will give you a higher chance of getting the customer service job of your dreams, creating a professional CV is key too. Your CV will give your prospective employer the first impression of you.

If you want to create a lasting impression on your employer, then creating a professional CV that showcases your skills and ability is a step ahead to achieving that.

As a beginner, we understand that creating a professional CV can be a daunting task, but with the right information, creating your own professional CV will be a work over.

You can follow these steps to create your professional CV:

Step1: Personal details

Your personal details is usually located at the top of your CV. Your personal information is very important because this is what your employer will likely see first. This section should contain the following;

  • Your name (your name should be written in bold letters that can be easily read).
  • Contact details: This includes your address, phone number, and email address.

Step 2: Personal statement

Your personal statement is a brief statement that tells the employer about your skills, abilities, experience, and career goals.

When you are writing your personal statement make sure it is;

  • Concise and relevant
  • Relevant to the position you are applying for
  • Contains action words

Your personal statement should be catchy enough to show your skills and abilities. Remember to be confident about your skills and abilities. Also avoid using clichés.

Step 3: Achievement

Adding achievements to your cover letter goes a long way to give your prospective employer the idea that you are result driven. It also gives a form of endorsement that you are the best person for the job. When adding achievements to your CV, be sure that they are related to the position you are applying for.

Your achievement can include;

  • Promotions
  • Awards that you won
  • Increased sales percentage
  • Helping others
  • Outstanding leadership roles
  • Relevant qualification
  • Relevant education

Step 4: Education

 This section gives a brief history of your educational background. Employers usually look at this section of your CV, so you should make sure you are giving the right information. You should give a list of institutions attended with dates starting from the most recent.

You can give a list of training that you took when studying a particular course. This list can give the employer a clear idea about what the course entails and how it relates to the job.

Remember to add grades and dates when entering this information in the education section of your CV

Step 5: Qualification

Most times the qualification can be merged with the education, but separating it and listing it out in bullet makes it clearer and more readable. In this section, you can list the names of qualifications you added and dates granted.

Step 6: Skills

This is the section of your CV where you can mention some skills and abilities that you possess that will emphasize that you are a good fit for the job.

You may possess some soft skills and hard skills that will show your prospective employer that you are the best person for the job. Most times soft skills cannot be seen or measured from what you say on your CV, but hard skills are more tangible.

Listing some of your hard skills on your CV will show the employer that you are the best person for the job.

Soft skills include;

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Numerical skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Teamwork
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Management skills
  • Time management skills
  • Attention to details

Step 7: Interest/hobbies

This section could be optional. This section can further prove to your prospective employer that you are the best person for the job. In this section, you can show how your interest and hobbies aligns to the job role that you are about to fill. Even if they are your interest/hobbies, it should be a push that you will perform well in that particular position.

When you are adding your interests and abilities to your CV, be sure that they are relevant to the role you are applying to.

These tips will help you write a professional CV. If you want to be precisely guided when writing your CV, then you can make use of our free CV template or better still use a CV re-write service if you want the professional touch on your CV.

 

Create an Attention Getting Cover Letter

Your cover letter is most likely the first document your prospective employer will likely read. Since your prospective employer will likely read your cover letter, then it is necessary for you to make the best first impression with your letter.

Creating an amazing impression with your cover letter is simply having a well-written and tailored cover letter. You will definitely need guidelines to help you write a good cover letter especially if this is your first time.

With these steps, you can write a good cover letter;

Step 1: Contact information

This section should include;

  • The name of your prospective employer
  • Position
  • Company name
  • You should also include your contact details too to make it easy for the employer to contact you.

If you are sending your cover letter via mail, then you should make sure you have a good subject line.

It is always important to get the name of the hiring manager, it gives a sense of familiarity. Hiring managers are more likely to read cover letters that are directly addressed to them than a more general one.

Step 2: Introduction

Your introduction is one of the most important aspect of your cover letter. Most of the times, employers have gotten all they need to know about you just reading the introduction of your cover letter. Since the introduction is an important aspect of your cover letter, then creating a good one is key. When writing your cover letter introduction make sure you;

  • use action words to describe yourself
  • State the position that you are applying for
  • Where you saw the advert
  • Give a brief but catchy statement about yourself (you can use your elevation pitch)

Step 3: Second paragraph (show why you are the best fit for the position)

In the second paragraph, you should show the employer why you think you are the best fit for the position. In this section, you should talk about your skills, abilities and achievements that makes you the best person for the position.

Make sure that the skills, abilities and achievements that you talk about in your cover letter are related to the position you are applying for.

Step 4: Third paragraph (tell the employer why you want to work in the company)

Unlike the second paragraph, in the third paragraph you will concentrate on telling your prospective employer why you want to work in the company. Doing a good research on the company will help you know where your skills and abilities come in to helping the company achieve its vision.

It is important for you to be specific when writing the third paragraph of your cover letter

Step 5: Closing (show that you are interested and will like to hear from them shortly)

Make sure you show that you are interested in the job. Writing a post script will show that you are interested in the job and that you look forward to hearing from them as much as you look forward to being a part of the company.

Example;

“I will value the opportunity to tell you how my marketing skills grew the combined sales of XYZ Company that led to a breaking record of 30% increase in one year.”

Don’t forget to use an appropriate valediction for your closing.

Sure these tips were helpful, but if you think you still need a more precise guide, then you can take a look at this how to write a cover letter guide and create your professional cover letter.

 

Prepare Ahead for the Interview

Can you imagine spending years to acquire a skill and getting certified, spending hours to create a good CV and cover letter and then failing your interview?

Failing your interview after putting in so much is as good as not doing anything at all. The reason why you went through the stress of creating a cover letter and a CV is to land your dream job. So if failing the interview will rob you of your dream job, then you should learn how to never fail a job interview again.

These interview preparation will help you prepare well for your interview;

  • Research the company: Research the company background, product, staff members, and even its competitors and find out what they do. Research the role generally and in that particular company. Employers often ask candidates’ questions about their knowledge of the company, researching the company will help you answer the question confidently.
  • Research the job requirement: It is important for you to have a good understanding of the role you are applying for. Researching the role and comparing it with the job requirement will help you understand how well you fit into the position. Employers often ask to know if you understand the role you are applying for.
  • Plan your dress: Your dressing has a lot to contribute to the success of your interview. Your dressing gives the impression of you immediately you walk into your employer’s office. Before the day of the interview, take time to plan what you would wear.

It is safer for you to dress corporate, but if the dress code is business casual, then make sure your judgement is good enough.

  • Come with some items: When you are going for an interview, you should come with items like copies of your cover letter (incase requested), a pen (you may need to write something), some of your documents to complete an application, a portfolio with samples of your works (depending on the role)
  • Pay attention to non-verbal communication: During your interview section with the hiring manager, make sure you pay attention to certain non-verbal means of communication. Non-verbal means of communication tells more than words can tell.

When you want to use non-verbal means of communication, you should be;

  1. Be careful: Non-verbal means of communication speaks louder than words will. You should always be careful using non-verbal means of communication so that you pass the right information.
  2. Be conscious: As soon as you enter the interview premises, be conscious of your attitude and make sure you are sending out the right information to the people that are in the environment.
  3. Be attentive: It is important for you to pay attention when you are talking or listening to the hiring manager. Don’t keep staring, but maintain a good eye contact while answering the interviewer’s questions.
  4. Manage your reactions: Body language and facial expressions give hints about your true feelings. You must learn to keep your reactions in check and project a positive image.
  • Practice: practice common role play and behavioral interview questions. Practicing common interview questions will give you that confidence you need to ace your job interview. You can browse online and search for common interview questions for the role that you are applying to. Always remember to rehearse the answers with your family or friends before going for the interview.

Since you are applying for a customer service role, then it is wise for you to search and practice customer service interview questions and answers. Below are common customer service questions and answers.

5 Common customer service interview questions and answers

When you are preparing for a customer service role interview, you may be asked common interview questions that are asked in any job interview. Questions about your work history, personality, and maybe some behavioral interview questions.

You should also be ready to be asked customer service based interview questions. These common customer service interview questions and answers will help you prepare better for the interview

  1. What is customer service?

Employers use this question to see if your definition of customer service aligns with the company’s vision. When answering this, you should pay attention on the role, emphasize your passion for the role.

You can frame your answer like this “To me customer service means understanding a customer’s problem, getting to the root of the problem, and working to find a solution that exceeds their expectations working with other team members and using a good knowledge of the company’s product.”

  1. Why do you want to work as a customer service representative?

This question is always asked to access your skill level and qualification. The employer simply wants to know if you have what it takes to do the job. When you are answering this question, you should focus on your skills and how they directly apply to the role you are applying for.

Sample answer; “With my flare for people and my problem solving skills working with team members, projecting a positive image for the company, and also increasing the company’s customer base will be easier for me to achieve taking the role of a customer service representative.”

  1. What do you enjoy about customer service?

Most times employers ask this question to have an idea of your personality and perspective of customer service. When you are answering this question, focus on tangible things that affects the job and the company.

A good answer can look this; “I enjoy the satisfaction I get when I have successfully helped someone solve a problem.”

  1. What do you do when you don’t know the answer to the question?

Employers ask this question to find out if you can work well in a team, or your method to handling difficult situations.

Your answer can be like this When I don’t know the answer to a question, I politely ask the customer to hold on while I go to ask someone else with better information or refer the customer to someone else if I am not in a position to handle it”.

  1. What would you do if a frustrated customer complained about a widely known problem with the company’s product?

Employers use this question to find out how well a candidate can respectfully and clearly communicate with a dissatisfied customer.

When you are answering this question, your answers must reveal empathy, patience and your problem solving skills.

 

Sample answer “First I would apologize, then tell them that I totally understand how they feel and assure the customer that the team is currently working to fix the problem. I would also make sure I give them a timeline of the solution and make sure they feel valued by thanking them for their observation and feedback”.

 

Search and Apply for Customer Service Jobs

Customer service jobs will not just jump on you once you have the skill and qualification. The only way you can you take advantage of your customer service skills and qualification is to search for jobs that match your skills.

Searching for a customer service job may not be an easy thing to do, but knowing the right thing to do will make the whole process less tasking and more successful.

These job search tips can help you get the customer service job of your dreams:

  • Search on online platforms: Online job boards advertise jobs on a daily basis, you can look out customer service vacancies and apply. Online job boards like myjobmag.com allow you to subscribe to their newsletter and get vacancies of customer service job s sent directly to your mail.
  • Network:  Always look for opportunity to network with professionals in your field of interest. Networking can expose you to the hidden job market. Since not all job are advertised, a professional on your network can refer you to a prospective employer.
  • Be active on social media: Most companies have social media pages, so you can search and like/follow the social media pages of your dream company. You can even network with employees in a company you are interested in. Those employees’ can notify you when there is a vacancy.

LinkedIn is a good social media platform to network and connect with like minds.

  • Apply correctly: When you are applying for any position that you are interested in, make sure you follow instructions correctly and fill up all the required details.

 

Job hunting may not be interesting, but it is a good way to grow your skills and learn more about the labour market. Searching for a customer service job is not just getting any job, but getting one that will be satisfying, pay well and one that will match your personality. These tips will help you get ahead of the competition.

If you want to learn more about the customer service field, take the Executive Customer Relationship Training course and know how much you should be making as a customer service representative.

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