Whether you are looking for full-time or seasonal work, a job as a customer support agent is a realistic and desirable option for many. There are customer support agent job openings in nearly every industry, from retail to healthcare to information technology. At an average salary of about $32,000 per year, most customer support agent jobs require only a high school diploma, along with some basic computer skills. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 10 percent growth in customer support agent jobs from 2014 to 2024, which is higher than average among other occupations.
While there is certainly no shortage of customer support agent jobs, there is likely to be a lot of competition among jobseekers applying for these positions. To get ahead of the competition in the job market, here are some things to learn before you apply that will help you be a better customer support agent:
1) Learn Patience
You won’t get very far in customer support if you don’t know how to be patient, even in high-stress situations. The only way you will be able to solve an angry customer’s problem is by staying calm and thinking clearly. On days when your workload is high and you feel yourself getting especially tense, get in the habit of taking a quick break, going for a walk and taking some deep breaths.
2) Take Notes
With every customer you deal with in your job as a customer support agent, keep a log of their history of calls or visits (if you deal with them face to face). This will save you a whole lot of trouble and time when you are dealing with ongoing problems.
3) Become a Good Listener
It’s easy to want to get to the bottom of a problem so fast that you lose focus and miss some very important points that the customer is trying to make. Take the time to listen to what the customer is saying. It will help you fulfill their requests more effectively, and they will appreciate having your attention.
4) Get Experience with People
It will be hard to perform customer support full-time if you don’t have previous work experience dealing with people. There are many jobs out there that require little to no experience that will give you a leg up when you apply for a job as a customer support agent. Try waiting tables, babysitting, or working as a checkout person at a grocery or convenience store.
5) Become a Good Multi-Tasker
In a job as a customer support agent, there is likely to be times when you are fielding multiple calls at a time, or are closing out several orders at a given time. For this reason, it is important that you learn to work quickly and be able to switch smoothly from one task to another, without making any errors.
6) Learn to Communicate Effectively
Speaking politely and clearly can make a huge difference in the quality of customer support you deliver, and in turn can go a long way to improve your company’s bottom line. By learning to communicate more directly and courteously over the phone, in person and over e-mail, you will save a lot of time and aggravation in resolving customer concerns.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.