5 Things I’ve Learned from Customer-Service Industry

As August rolled out, I was welcomed with a good news that my persistence in the last couple of months has paid off — I’m finally a regularized employee! And the sweet thing about it is, I finished my probation a month earlier than scheduled and just before my birthday month. If you haven’t seen me posting my shenanigans anywhere, it’s probably because I was just trying to breeze it off through this process.

In celebration of this terrific news, I thought I’d share with you a couple of things I’ve learned in my work so far. Who knows, you might be able to pick up a thing or two to add into your own work life, eh?

I’ve not been working in the industry that long to really share with you some life-altering pieces of advise but being in this line of work, you will quickly realize that there is a lot to learn even on your Day 1 of being out on the floor. 

I do think that everyone should experience working for a customer-oriented job at one point or another in their lives. It sounds fairly cheesy, but it’s one of those jobs that will really shape your understanding and/or communication with another person. It gives you a real sense of how to deal with people. Now that I think about it, most job nowadays are very customer-centric, so it shouldn’t be difficult to end up being on a job like this. 

I personally used to think that I would not ever work for one, but I later figured that it was also necessary for the career path I wanted to take. Not to mention, I know how tough and high pressure the environment is, so it’ll definitely toughen me up.

Here are a few things I’ve learned in my couple of months time at work:

  1. You will learn the importance of being accountable — for us, it is ALWAYS necessary to be 100% sure of the information we are sharing to the client, and to always have references to back us up in case trouble arises. I’ve thought lightly about this at first, but realized that if you’re unsure of certain information, you’re susceptible in sharing unverifiable or incorrect information to a client which might lead to dissatisfaction or worst, a complaint and that is something that we needed to avoid at all costs.
  2. You learn to have the patience of a saint — This should actually be the top skill you’ll learn from working directly with clients. It’s not even rocket science that having a customer-facing job can be a lot challenging. You will encounter tons of different personalities and situations that will test your limit and will have you questioning your patience. Yes, you still have to keep that “can-do” attitude even if you have an agitated customer who’s going off on your ear. I kid you not, there are many times where I’m being pushed to my limits and every client are dealt with differently but the best way to handle this is to keep your calm, emphatize (if necessary) and provide all kinds of assistance you’re able to from your end. Often than not, clients just need to feel that you are actually providing them service, that you care about their issues or concerns.
  3. You also learn to have a spine — maybe contradictory to the second tip but there are situations where it’s necessary for you to stand your ground when someone uses the “the customer is always right” card. As a brand, you wouldn’t like a customer who is angry and would go off online badmouthing you, especially with how online reputation for brands is so important in today’s age. But there are special cases when you’d have to put your foot on the ground, especially when they’re just trying to make a ruckus.
  4. You learn to adjust quickly — being easily adaptable to different situations can guarantee you success. There are always something to learn from observing other people who’s worked there for years, that are valuable to ante up your work knowledge. Another way to adapt is in terms of personalizing the service to each individual. Clients understand that we interact with thousands of them daily basis but they need that feeling of familiarity and comfort when they’re talking to a representative, as if it’s just their friend.
  5. You learn to be gentle with yourself — in my personal experience, being a representative can be exhausting at a certain point especially when you’re dealt with an irate set of customers often but it’s helpful to remember that work should not be taken to the heart. Clients don’t get frustrated with you directly, it’s almost always with the company as a whole or having to deal with the situation poorly which is not your fault. Nothing should be taken personally, even the troubles being given by the people you work with. It’s essential that we keep our work from our personal lives to preserve our sanity.

In other news, I’m also so excited to be having my short local vacation in three weeks time! I feel like I do need some break to just refresh and put a pause on some things. My parents are thinking of visiting for a couple of days before my sister leaves, although not sure yet, but that should be something to look forward to as well. 

How about you? What’s new with you? What are your teachable moments at work?