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Why Working Customer Service Sets You Apart

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sometimes, working in customer service tends to get a bad rep. All people can think about is the simple fact that the primary role of your job is to serve others. All they see are the angry, rude, and irate customers. All they see are the hard to please and the "I would like to speak to your manager" customers. But I have worked in customer service for a very large portion of my working career, and I can tell you that working in a field that is customer driven isn't all bad.

My first job was a cashier at Publix. I've worked several retail clothing stores. I've worked in call centers, and even my current full time role is at a museum. I have had my fair share of customers, and I can admit that some can be like mentioned above. I would be lying if I said that working customer service is always a breeze.

But truth is, being able to say that you have customer service skills or that you've worked in a role that is customer facing really sets you apart. Here's why:

Customers aren't always easy to deal with.

Sometimes you get those customers that feel "the customer is always right." Sometimes you get those customers that have no clue what they want or how you can help them. Sometimes you get those customers that seem impossible to make happy.

But working in this field shows that you have the patience needed to oversee the behavior of that customer and still serve. Not everyone possesses this quality. It takes a lot out to get a verbal beating from someone that you're simply trying to help.

In my early 20's, I used to work for a call center that serviced self-publishing books. I once had a customer that was so angry that her published book didn't turn out as she felt it should have. Of course, she calls into our call center demanding that the problem be fixed. The issue was not on our end. It was an error that the customer misentered. But despite who's at fault, it was very hard for me to calm this customer down so that I could help her.

Well, needless to say she lit into my ass. I was called everything in the book except a child of God. And despite how badly I wanted to curse her back out, I had to find an alternative way to deescalate the situation. No. I wasn't able to refund her purchase on the several books she had already ordered. But, I was able to cut a deal for her next order to correct it.

Customers need someone that can explain things to them clearly.

Nine times out of ten if you're in a position that's customer focused, your role requires a fair amount of product knowledge. Any customer should be able to come to you seeking answers with expectations that you can deliver. Even if you don't know the answer personally, you know where to get it. 

Learning the ins and outs to obtain the appropriate product knowledge shows that you're not only able to retain a ton of information, but you're able to provide answers that is relevant to their needs.

Happy Customers Always Return

Providing exceptional service means that happy customers will always come back. While I worked in retail clothing stores, I always had customers seek me out specifically because they knew I provided the service they needed and wanted. Although it may seem small, this resonates with supervisers. To see that you're able to make such a huge impact means that not only will customers return, but business will steadily grow with you on their team. 

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