- The customer service industry is experiencing rapid growth as the customer experience becomes increasingly important to business outcomes.
- You don’t usually need qualifications to become a customer service advisor.
- As a customer service professional, you can choose an industry or company that you love, making work more fun and meaningful.
There are more job opportunities available than ever, giving you more freedom over where you work. Customer service is a great option for people who enjoy interacting with others all day and love solving problems.
Since customer experience roles don’t usually require a degree-level education, you can start fresh out of school. With experience and time, you can climb the ladder and make a lucrative career out of customer service.
National average salary: $36,120 per year
A bank teller is a customer representative for banks and other financial institutions. If you’ve ever been in a bank or used phone banking, you’ve interacted with someone in this profession.
Duties include greeting customers, answering questions and helping them with checks, transfers, deposits and withdrawals. Bank tellers usually deal with a mixture of personal and business clients and work regular hours over a standard work week. There’s room for career progression into supervisory or managerial positions.
Call Center Representative
National average salary: $33,565 per year
If you’ve called a contact center, you know what a call center representative does. As an inbound call agent, you’ll handle customer queries. There are KPIs to hit, and you usually receive on-the-job training.
What’s more, you can work for an unlimited number of companies in a wide range of industries. So, if you love candy or fashion or smoothies, you can find work with a company whose mission you believe in.
National average salary: $36,431 per year
Medical receptionists work in a medical setting, such as a hospital, doctor’s office, clinic or community setting. Duties include answering phone calls, greeting patients and checking them into appointments, scheduling appointments and sending reminders. They often perform light administration duties, such as opening and sending mail, managing emails and assisting with data entry, bookkeeping and payment transactions.
The scope for promotion is somewhat limited within this role, but you’ll learn plenty of transferable skills.
National average salary: $41,923 per year
Flight attendants provide hospitality in the sky. Commercial and private airlines hire these professionals to oversee flight safety and service procedures. Duties include providing emergency instruction, ensuring compliance with safety protocols and demonstrating how to use safety equipment. You’ll also greet passengers, help them with hand luggage and serve food and drinks.
There are opportunities for career progression as a flight attendant. You may be promoted to a senior professional role on flights or management positions to recruit, train and schedule attendants. You also get the chance to travel the world and can enjoy stopovers at some of your dream destinations!
National average salary: $45,215 per year
A receptionist is another role with massive scope when it comes to industry and vertical. You can work for a company you already love or find employment in an industry you’re passionate about. You’ll work at a front desk answering phone calls and greeting employees, visitors and customers.
Often, receptionists direct customers to the relevant department or individual, check people in and provide visitor badges where required. They also handle administrative tasks, such as filing, copying, printing, mailing and emailing.
National average salary: $31,876 per year
Account coordinators often work in marketing, recruitment, business development and other niches where client accounts are paramount. In this role, you’ll provide administrative support to account managers and account executives, in addition to scheduling meetings and making phone calls.
Professionals in this role are usually responsible for putting together performance reports, updating databases and preparing and filing documents. There’s typically a lot of scope for career progression within this field of work.
Client Relations Specialist
National average salary: $40,625 per year
While junior customer service professionals often work with the public, senior reps tend to be in the B2B field. As a client relations specialist, instead of dealing with consumers, you’ll exclusively handle client accounts. The focus of this role is on inspiring long-term loyalty from high-value customers.
You’ll be on-hand to resolve issues and answer questions, and use data to evaluate client profiles and determine how to increase revenue.
National average salary: $42,861 per year
As a concierge, you’ll work within a hotel or resort setting, either at the front desk or the door. As the first point of contact for guests (usually high-paying), you’re expected to make them feel welcome, answer questions and show people around the establishment.
A concierge also manages reservations, answers the phone and offers suggestions to guests regarding dining, local attractions, transportation and leisure activities. If you’re exceptional in the role, there’s good scope for career development. This job also often includes tips, which increases your potential salary.
National average salary: $40,383 per year
Patient coordinators are high-level customer service representatives who work in long-term care facilities and hospitals. The job is complex and demanding in nature because you need to liaise with patients and their families to discuss often sensitive topics regarding health and well-being.
You need to have a good understanding of healthcare, so you can discuss care plans and potential outcomes with customers. Patient coordinators are also responsible for educating patients and their families about procedures, medications and treatments.
National average salary: $31,876 per year
Service advisors, also known as sales advisers, usually work within the automotive industry, which is highly lucrative and offers good base salaries, with the opportunity to make a large commission. You’ll communicate with customers in-person, online and by phone to suggest suitable vehicles based on their needs, budget and preferences. Service advisors also take customers on test drives, negotiate the final price of a sale and close deals.
To succeed in this role, you need to be exceptionally good at selling because cars are big-ticket items that consumers put a lot of thought into buying. In addition to customer service and sales, you’ll also perform light administrative duties.
Why Is Customer Service So Important in Business?
Although customer service has been a part of business for decades, it’s only in recent years that the scope of its influence has been truly understood. In the past 10 years or so, real-world data has driven best practices, and insights show that consumers are highly emotionally driven. This means that the way companies are perceived as treating people has a major impact on business outcomes.
In today’s world, where competition is stiff, having repeat customers is paramount for business success. Resolving complaints and answering questions in an accurate, timely and friendly manner makes a customer more likely to be loyal to a brand. And having a roster of loyal customers underpins success for most companies.
Top Skills of Customer Service Representatives
To be a great customer service representative, the most important skill is communication. You need to be an excellent listener, have a good understanding of how people behave and be able to put points across sensitively. What’s more, you need to be able to suit your customer service style to the individual — as everyone has slightly different expectations and vastly different personalities and preferences.
Other vital skills for customer service professionals include:
- Persuasive speaking skills
- Ability to put a positive spin on situations
- Ability to defuse situations
- Brand awareness
Can Anyone Work in Customer Service?
While it’s true that most skills can be learned with patience, hard work and determination, some people are better suited to customer service than others. For example, if you have a positive outlook and persuasive nature, and you enjoy assuming a brand identity, you’re perfect for the role.
However, the main drawback of customer service is that it often involves speaking to people who are grumpy at best and angry at worst. If patience under pressure is something you struggle with or you’re easily offended by rude people, you’ll need to undergo some training. It can be too easy to take people’s complaints personally, instead of stepping back and seeing them in context.