What is your perception of a customer service rep?
For many years, I have wondered why people have not viewed the customer service profession as a real profession . I have been in customer service for years and you have so many skills that are left unnoticed. You know why? It is because all people see is a skill-less person that can only answer a phone. Case in point: I was working as a Promotions manager handling all ranges of issues within my assigned region. This could be logistical issues to a product issue in store, to processing/analyzing reports. After the restructuring, the position was geared to be more “customer service” based, where I was answering calls all day every day, but this was in conjunction with my other duties. Once that changed, it seemed like a switch was turned on in some of the senior management. When I was laid off from that company, the VP of Operations told me that he could try to pull some strings to get me a customer service role at the new parent company. This is a HUGE slap in my face. I didn’t go to school to get my degree to be seen as a person that can only answer calls or perform reception duties. If I was the trainer and person with all the answers: How can I still be seen as just an “operator”?
How does a person remove that stigma and get people to see they are so much more?
I performed a poll on the job title to see what people thought of such a person. Here are some of those characteristics: personable, knowledgeable, problem solver, & communication. If this person works in a corporate setting, then they also possess the following skills: Microsoft systems, organizational, project management, leadership, multi-tasking, and detail oriented. How could this person not be “used” for better? These kinds of people can be taught, groomed, and formed into intricate parts of the company. They are looking for growth, knowledge, and that “open door”.
Customer service is servicing the client because customer and client mean the SAME thing. They are synonyms for each other. Regardless of how the term is used each one is being serviced by another party in order to obtain an end result. “Customer” service reps understand the importance of keeping the “client” happy because it is their money we are trying to obtain from our service. It is our duty to be privy to their needs and wants in order for all parties to leave the situation satisfied.
So, if you are customer service rep (of any kind) and you want a better job, do not be scared to go for it. You do more than answer phones. We tend to be abused in our roles and left with no place to move. Companies forget that it’s those interpersonal/people skills and attention to detail that keep many companies thriving because customers/clients keep coming back. Slight training and this person is a true asset. Take it from a person who is being considered for roles OUT of the customer service realm. It is possible.