Now more than ever, customer service jobs are in the spotlight. How many times have you seen a bad interaction between a company and a customer go viral for all the hilariously wrong reasons? Corporate branding is very public now, with social media and scrutiny—and that underscores how important it is for companies to provide good, reputation-enhancing customer service.
One of the great things about choosing a career path in customer service is that it’s an industry that is continually growing and changing. Technology and day-to-day duties might change, but as long as there are consumer goods and services, people will always be needed to guide and help those customers. If you’re interested in working in customer service, but aren’t quite sure which branch works best for your skills and experience, we’ve got some of the hottest customer service jobs around now, and what each job entails.
Call Center Representatives
Call center representatives are the first line of defense for a classic customer service outlet: a phone number that customers can call for questions or issues. These representatives may work in a physical call center somewhere (think of a bullpen-style room with lots of phone booths) or remotely from the rep’s home. And despite the name, these call centers may also task their reps with handling email or online chat apps as well as phones. This is essentially a hub of contact, with representatives working directly with customers to provide help or guidance.
It seems like everything is a customized, curated experience these days, meant to deliver goods and experiences according to a customer’s wants or needs. A concierge is the person who puts that personal touch on a customer experience. Concierges can work for any company that offers an individualized experience, but primarily in the hospitality and tourism industry. Concierges work with clients to book trips, suggest activities, help get tickets, make reservations, and arrange transportation. This can be a great role for someone who’s in the know about the best things to do in town and has a passion for helping make someone’s vacation or trip more enjoyable. Concierges may work directly with clients (like at a hotel), or may communicate and make arrangements online as a “virtual” concierge.
Client Relations Coordinator
These customer service professionals are kind of the closers when it comes to clients. They focus on the client experience and making sure that clients are satisfied with the level of service they’re receiving. These associates may work with a number of different teams inside and outside the company to ensure that the client is happy. It’s a more focused role—instead of fielding general queries, these coordinators build and maintain relationships with specific clients.
Client Services Manager
Rather than specific products or services, client services managers are tasked with managing relationships with clients and customers. You may see this kind of job under similar titles, like “customer success manager,” “account manager,” or “relationship manager,” but the duties are pretty much the same—the client services manager works with specific clients to ensure that all of their needs are being met. Client services managers provide next-level customer care.
Customer Service Representative
Customer service representatives, sometimes also known as customer care representatives, are responsible for helping customers in every industry (retail hospitality, healthcare, etc.). They may answer questions in person, on the phone, via email, or via chat. They take reports from users or customers, help troubleshoot if necessary, or provide product information. The job may include follow-up investigation or escalation of customer issues to other parts of the company, as well as reaching back out to customers for resolution. Customer service reps may also be responsible for keeping detailed records, processing payments and refunds, generating sales leads, and helping to meet sales goals.
Customer Service Manager
This role is typically the next step up after you’ve worked as a customer service representative. Customer service managers are often responsible for managing teams of customer service representatives, handling queries or complaints that have been escalated, handling financial transactions like refunding customers, and ensuring that the company’s best practices for customer service are being met. This is a role that requires only stellar customer service skills, but also strong organization and leadership.
Member Services Specialist
If it seems like every store or company seems to have a “perks” program or some kind of VIP club for elite customers, that’s because these programs are a lucrative way to build and create a loyal customer base. Member services specialists are customer service professionals who focus on working with customers who are members of these programs, ensuring that they understand and receive benefits, and meet program requirements. These specialists may also be responsible for recruiting new members, with yearly signup goals.
Patient Care Coordinator
Patient care coordinators are found in the healthcare or health technology industries, working for hospitals, clinics, medical and rehabilitation centers, insurance companies, and government agencies. They arrange appointments and services for patients, get approval for procedures or tests, and act as a liaison between the patients and the medical administrators. In addition to customer service skills, this role may also require basic medical training and knowledge.
A receptionist is often the first face you see (or the first voice you hear) when interacting with a company. And a good one can make all the difference—someone who answers the phone with a polite, friendly demeanor sets a much better tone than someone who is clearly grouchy or dismissive. Also known as “front desk associates,” receptionists need to have great communication skills and good interpersonal skills. Receptionists typically receive guests, answer and direct phone calls, give information, manage schedules, and keep logs or records.
Social Media Customer Service Associate
Social media has become a major force in customer service. And while many of these jobs are more of an administrative marketing function, the person behind the Tweets serves an important customer service role as well. Social media is used to present a brand, as well as information for customers. Being the point person behind the social media accounts can also mean fielding real-time customer issues and feedback, as well as helping to resolve things before a minor customer issue develops into a major customer problem.
Technical Support Representative
Modern tech is great. It’s also imperfect. And when things go wrong with your phone/tablet/candy-themed game app, you will surely be reaching out to the company that made it to help fix things. These customer service representatives are specially trained to handle technical queries, or to direct them to other IT groups to fully troubleshoot. These professionals typically have solid technical skills in general, as well as specific experience or training on a particular product, software, system, etc. This is also a job that can be done remotely, depending on the company.
Technical Support Engineer
Technical support engineers have both customer service skills and a four-year degree in an area like computer engineering, computer science, information technology, or similar. These professionals provide high-level support for particular products, programs, apps, or technical services to help ensure that your product/service is working as it should. These engineers may also work within a company’s IT department to fill the customer service role for internal teams or groups as well.
If you’re thinking about a career in customer service, there are some baseline skills you should develop as you figure out which customer service job opportunities you want to pursue. Organization and being detail-oriented are great assets, as is a positive and patient “bedside manner.” While customer service may seem like a solo job (or a duo with you and your phone), teamwork is essential to achieving company service goals. And tech savviness will always come in handy as factors like e-commerce, online customer service, and data collection become priorities for companies.
And if you’re starting to think about crafting your customer service resume, we’ve got you covered there too.
The bottom line is this: if you have a passion for helping people get the best possible experience from something they’ve bought, then this can be a great choice. It’s also a career path that gives you flexible work options, whether you’re looking for a standard desk job, a remote work opportunity, or a graveyard shift.
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