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What do I need to qualify for a customer service job?

I think there are some jobs in my area where I can work in customer service. What do I need to qualify for a customer service job? Do I need to have a certain college major, or can I go straight from high school. Do I need previous experience? Every job seems to require previous experience, so where do you get the FIRST job? #customer-service #support

Thank you comment icon Having a college major in marketing/ HR or other business-related areas is nice. But at first, you need to enjoy interacting with others. You can try some entry jobs in your local community to kick-start your career. Jennifer
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Chris’s Answer

Best of the Village

Hi Julea,


It really depends on the job description on what they're looking for. However, I wouldn't take a listing for required past experience or college degree as an automatic out. It's funny but sometimes "required" actually means preferred, but again really depends on the company.


I'd recommend really studying the company and the description and tailor your resume to that. In order to find out if you have the "required" parameters your prospective employer will have to read through your resume. If you make it tailored to them it's more likely to be intriguing, and therefore spark their curiosity to give you a call.


I'm currently a Supervisor for a Customer Service team and can tell you that the hardest part is getting your foot in the door. Stay diligent and find creative ways to push your way through as that goes a long way in showing us how passionate you are. If you're able to secure an interview let your personality shine and make sure to highlight your knowledge about the position/company as well as what you plan to do to make it better.


Chris

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Jasminder’s Answer

You should consider your interpersonal skills, as well as think about times you've empathized with people in general. To be in customer service, it's really all about how you can retain customers and keep a YES attitude.


I hope this helps!

Thank you comment icon YES. Sometimes it is hard to always be positive, but I will try. Thank you Mr. Pabla. Julea
Thank you comment icon Julea, I am a manager at a large financial institution in a call center. When interviewing candidates, I do look for experience, but I also look for a certain maturity level and a desire to help people. Do some research on the business prior to the interview and try to tailor your resume to the job posting qualification. Starting out in customer service is a great way to get your foot in the door. You can learn the skills to do the job but you must really like talking to and helping people and also be able to deal with taking the heat from unhappy customers. Good luck! Mary Criswell
Thank you comment icon Thank you Mr. Pabla Jon
Thank you comment icon I've worked with Call centers for quite some time. During interviews, I look at interpersonal skills, being courteous and displaying patience. I work from a different country where a graduation is preferred by most companies. However, I am certain that the requirements are different where you are. I would suggest customer service as the first job because there's a lot to learn from this job even when you move forward to a different job role. Prakash Ramani
Thank you comment icon Great suggestions! Almost exactly what i was gonna recommend. Effie Strauss
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Angela’s Answer

Customer Service is a great place to learn how to communicate with others, really discover how a business operates and develop numerous soft skills that will help you in your career path. You will learn how to recognize people's needs, guide them to self discovery and educate them to appreciate the product/company you are supporting. These skills will develop within you and help you long after you've moved on to your next opportunity. It's done wonders for me so I can't recommend it enough!

Thank you comment icon Thanks Angela Jon
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Julea!


You can definitely get a customer service job right out of high school as there should be entry level customer service jobs that require zero to very limited experience. I found that many of these types of jobs lie within retail, restaurants and typically in call centers where you are providing one-on-one customer support. You shouldn't need previous experience unless you are going for a customer service job that isn't entry level. Typically, if it's an entry-level job, the employer understands that it's probably your first job and you may not have experience yet.


I would say (similar to what others mentioned above) that there are some top skills that employers who are hiring for customer service roles look for in a prospective candidate. These types of skills aren't necessarily things that can be taught, they are transferable skills that you probably use right now on a day to day basis. Remember, just because you don't have work experience, doesn't mean that you don't have these skills. These are things such as problem solving, taking initiative, understanding customers, their needs and how to empathize with them. It's also having the ability to think on your feet and having great interpersonal and relationship building skills. If you excel in any of those areas and have those skill sets, you should be able to find a entry-level customer service job. I hope that helps!

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Tushar’s Answer

Passionate about people, relationships and customer-first mindset. Always keep yourself in their shoes and think what they are going through and address the problem. Think about how you can make your customer successful.
Hope this helps!

Thank you comment icon Great advice, I have been in customer service for over 20 years, and the one piece that has made me successful is to always think how would I want to be treated and treat your customer that exact way. I will always work and make you a superstar! Donna Sanders
Thank you comment icon great advice Donna Jon
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Andrew’s Answer

Hi Julea,


In order to qualify for a customer service job, your mindset needs to be MEMBERS FIRST. You must be passionate about working with people and providing the best service at any given time. Even when members are irritated and extremely angry, a great customer representative is poised and resourceful.


You don't "NEED" certain things for the job, but you do NEED to be proactive. Reach out to companies you're passionate about and speak to the customer reps themselves so you better understand the work they do and why they do it.


Hope this helps!


Andrew

Thank you comment icon Thanks Andrew Jon
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Heather’s Answer

Hi, Julea!
If you are truly interested in customer service, then start right where you are. If you've held a job at all, you were most likely counted on to provide a service. Think about any opportunities you've had to help another human being. Even if all you've ever done is volunteer, certainly you've performed a task that helped someone else along the way. Use these examples to help boost your customer service "skills" in a cover letter to hiring managers.

With regard to your other questions, it's hard to say if you would need a degree or prior experience. It's different depending on the company looking to hire. If you have good computer/typing skills, this will help you because many customer service jobs are at call centers and support centers that rely on computers for up-to-date information.
Unfortunately, it is very competitive out there, but with a positive can-do attitude and persistence, I'm sure you'll do great!

Thank you comment icon thanks heather Jon
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Bhavesh’s Answer

four key ingredients make an excellent customer service professional in any area: positive attitude, natural inclination to help, patience and knowledge of the service or product

Thank you comment icon Thanks Bhavesh Jon
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Mia’s Answer

Hi Julea
If you really enjoy interacting with people, customer service would be a great job. Most of your entry level jobs, has some area of customer service. For example your local fast food restaurant servers, cashiers and order taker are all part of customer service and requires no prior experiences. Another place to get customer service experience is volunteering at your library or hospitals to just name a few places.


I hope this helps.

Thank you comment icon Thanks Mia shipman Jon
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Danuta’s Answer

Hi Julea, 😀

Customer service jobs don't require a specific college degree, making them accessible right out of high school. You typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and skills in communication, problem-solving, patience, empathy, and basic computer literacy.

Previous experience isn't always necessary for entry-level roles, which may offer on-the-job training. Gaining experience through internships or volunteer work can be valuable. Highlight soft skills like adaptability, emotional intelligence, and teamwork on your resume.

To get started, consider volunteer work or internships, and apply directly for entry-level roles, emphasizing transferrable skills from school projects or clubs. Focus on showcasing your soft skills to excel in customer service.

For more resume tips, check out this resource: Customer Service Resume Writing Guide. 😊
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Loni’s Answer

Hey there, I would suggest starting with retail if possible. Customer Service really is about understanding a person's needs and striving to try to help them the best you can. It is really cool that you are thinking about this because Customer Service just isn't what it used to be but with people who care like you this can be turned around. Just put yourself in the other person's shoes and ask yourself how you would like to be treated and treat them that way. It is really as simple as that! : ))

Thank you comment icon Loni i love it Jon
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NA’s Answer

Hey Julea,


The key to customer service is patience. As long as you are a good communicator, then speaking with customers will not be your hurdle, but if you are unable to maintain a positive experience in the event that things do not go correctly, it could reflect negatively on your work. Just keep in mind, as long as you have a genuine need to want to help people, then you can be successful in customer service. People will recognize that you truly care to help resolve their needs, and will ultimately lead to a positive experience. Just be prepared for things to go wrong, because they do, and often. Don't let it discourage you from wanting to seek a career in helping people.


Good Luck.

Thank you comment icon Christan my friend this is fantastic Jon
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Shyam’s Answer

Hey Julea,


To survive in this industry, all you need to have is 'Positive thinking'. Like many other professionals said, you should have patience, listening skills (utmost important), interpersonal skills and the list goes on. The below quote says everything about everything service:


“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”


Just be 'Positive'.
All the very best, Julea!

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Nicoleta’s Answer

There are certain customer service skills that every employee must master if they are forward-facing with customers.
Patience, Attentiveness, Clear Communication Skills, Knowledge of the Product,Ability to Use "Positive Language", Time Management Skills,Ability to "Read" Customers, Ability to Handle Surprises, A Calming Presence, Willingness to Learn.


Best of luck!

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Sandra’s Answer

I work for a Telecommunications company, I started working for this company shortly after high school. Prior to this job I worked for a retail company, Kmart which allowed me to work in different areas of the store and gave me the experience to work with the public. The experiences from the retail store helped me in my interview with the telecommunications company which ultimately helped me get the job. I would say start looking for jobs that expose you to having to work with the public before applying for a customer service job. As you begin to get experience you 'build your resume' to get the customer service job you want. There are some books that help with communications and different personalities that help you understand your customer and how to respond to their needs. I encourage you to start there.
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