Many industries have changed over the last several decades, but few have experienced as dramatic a shift in their nature as customer support. In the space of less than a decade, customer support has evolved into an almost unrecognisable state and is continuing to develop. This rapid rate of progress can make things difficult for those who are hoping to start a career in the field.
Working in customer service means ensuring that customers and users have the smoothest and most stress-free experience with the products and services they use. Customer support staff today assist customers in a variety of ways, which have come to redefine the role and position of customer service departments in modern businesses.
How Customer Service Has Changed for Workers
The most important thing you need to know before you commit to a career in customer services is that it is a field that has changed a great deal – and will continue to change as time goes on. The nature of these changes tells us a great deal about how customer service work is viewed today, and what it entails for new recruits.
Customer service was once viewed as a necessary expense. It stood to reason that no matter how efficiently a company operated, or how reliable the quality of its output was, there would always be customers in need of assistance. Today, customer support is regarded as part of business’ front-facing operations, and the work they do tends to be classified alongside the rest of a business’ marketing efforts.
How Customer Service Has Changed for Customers
Another important change to be aware of is that most customer support departments in the past consisted of people working in call centres during business hours. Customers with problems would have to wait until business hours and would often find themselves having to wait in line to speak to a member of the customer service team.
Today, customer service is often 24/7, with more support staff working remotely. The number of ways that customers are able to contact customer services has also increased significantly, with many of these being online, such as email, chat clients, and using helpdesk ticketing software on websites.
Getting a Foot in the Door
The first thing you need to do if you want to work in tech support is to identify which business or organisation you wish to provide support for. If you don’t have any specific businesses in mind, it’s a good idea to do some more in-depth research into what working in customer services for various businesses actually entails. Once you have identified businesses that you would like to apply to, send out your CV. If this is your first customer support job, make sure that you think about the kind of qualities they will be looking for, and ensure that you play these up in your CV.
You’re a Part of the Team
In the past, customer support work has been largely outsourced to other locations and countries. In these setups, the customer support team is often kept entirely separate from the rest of the business, their work is considered to be nothing like that of their colleagues. This way of doing things has been falling out of favour with businesses for some time.
Customer support work today is as much about helping the rest of the business to achieve their goals as it is about ensuring customer satisfaction. Businesses now realise that these two considerations go hand in hand. When the customer support department is working alongside the rest of the business and is involved in decision-making, they are able to render their services more effectively and contribute meaningfully to overall perceptions of the business.