As a precursor to a budding career, customer service jobs can provide a wealth of opportunities for professional growth and development. Many successful executives started their careers in similar roles. Why? Because they provide a launchpad for many advanced career skills. Here’s how a customer service position can help you in beginning upward career mobility:
Developing Soft Skills
Customer service jobs are a great way to develop those important soft skills that can be applied to any job or industry. Contrary to hard skills, soft skills refer to non-technical skills such as communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution and empathy. These skills are highly valued by employers and are essential for success in any job. By working in customer service, employees have the opportunity to develop and hone these skills, making them highly marketable to future employers.
Amassed Industry Knowledge
Say a college student starts an internship or part-time job as a customer service rep with a company — a computer science major at an IT firm, or a pre-med student at a healthcare clinic. It’s a chance to start gaining institutional knowledge about a specific industry or a company’s product offerings or services. Given that you’re often the first point of contact for customers or clients, this deep understanding benefits both them and you in your upward professional trajectory. And this knowledge can be leveraged to move into other roles within the company, such as sales or marketing.
Building a Professional Network
Given that customer service reps interact with a wide range of customers and colleagues alike, they have the chance to build relationships that can be leveraged later in their careers. These relationships can be invaluable when it comes to finding new job opportunities or advancing within the company. These connections can become professional or personal references, future managers, or even employees you may soon have the chance to manage. Cultivating a professional network — no matter how small at first — can take you a long way to opening doors to new, bright career opportunities.
Opportunities for Advancement
Many companies offer lucrative career advancement paths for customer service representatives. These paths provide employees with a clear roadmap for advancing within the company. For example, a customer service representative may be able to move up to a team lead position, then to a manager position, and eventually to a director position, and so on. These advancement opportunities can provide employees with increased responsibilities, higher salaries and greater job satisfaction.
Skills Transferable to Other Roles
The skills learned in customer service positions are highly transferable to other roles within the company. For example, the communication, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution skills developed in a customer service role (plus other soft and hard skills) are essential for success in management positions. Many companies recognize the value of customer service experience and actively seek out candidates with this background when hiring for other positions within the company, giving you an edge over external job seekers.
They Cultivate Leadership Potential
Customer service reps have an ideal opportunity to show leadership potential. By exhibiting a positive attitude, strong work ethic, and reliability under stressful conditions, customer service representatives demonstrate qualities valued in future leaders. Representatives who go above and beyond to solve client issues and advance processes may be identified for managerial roles.
Lay Your Foundation
For ambitious professionals, customer service roles serve as stepping stones to greater things. An entry-level job in this capacity helps develop foundational skills and exposes customer service reps to opportunities that enable upward mobility, where the sky’s the limit. While the work may begin humbly, customer service careers often end up transforming lives and defining careers.
Get your start by working with AP Professionals. As a recruiting leader in technology and across several verticals, enjoy tier-1 access to exclusive career opportunities and top-rated employee benefits.