Looking for the perfect first job after you graduate from college? Maybe you've been a part of the workforce for a while and just want a change of pace. Whatever your background, a career in customer support could be exactly what you need!
In this article I share eight advantages of customer support careers. By the end, you'll know exactly why this exciting field is so rewarding to those employed in it.
What is Customer Support?
It's Monday morning and you roll out of bed, bleary-eyed, but otherwise ready to dominate the day. You brew a cup of coffee, down a bowl of Captain Crunch (breakfast of champions!), take a quick shower, comb your hair—whatever you do in the morning.
After a little self-care, you head to your home office and fire up your computer. Look out world, some serious work is about to get done. The only problem…
You can't work without an internet connection. So what do you do? You call your internet provider, wait on hold for too long (you're calling a telecommunications company after all,) and finally talk to a friendly person who helps you get back online.
This is customer support in action.
Customer support refers to the collection of activities a company uses to assist its patrons and ensure they have everything they need to succeed with its products and/or services. These activities include answering phone calls and emails, onboarding new customers, upgrading customers from one product to another, and troubleshooting product-related problems.
In a nutshell, customer support makes sure customers get the value they pay for.
Referring back to the example above, you're not getting value from your internet provider when your WiFi connection is down. The customer support representative you talked to on the phone helped you get back online, thus enabling you to fully enjoy the service.
8 Advantages of Customer Support Careers
I'll be honest, some people view customer support as an entry-level, unimportant, and boring profession. This couldn't be farther from the truth! Customer support careers can be incredibly rewarding, both emotionally and financially, and can lead to amazing career opportunities.
Here are eight benefits you'll experience by working in a customer support role:
1. Become More Emotionally Intelligent
As a customer support rep, you'll develop important people skills that will help you the rest of your life. One of these skills is the ability to empathize with others.
Customers will contact you every day with a problem they need your help to solve. The only way you'll be able to assist them effectively is to put yourself in their shoes. That way you can better understand the issues they're dealing with.
Emotional intelligence will also come in handy when dealing with angry customers. When you feel their frustration, it will be easier for you to de-escalate situations.
Studies show that empathy leads to greater productivity, performance, and employee happiness—all important things that will benefit you in your career and your life. Become a customer support rep and learn to empathize, while getting a paycheck.
2. Learn a Wide Range of Skills
Empathy isn't the only thing you'll learn as a customer support professional. You'll also acquire sales, marketing, and product development skills you can use to propel your career forward. Let's take a look:
- Sales: Success in sales requires customer knowledge. What better way to acquire it than by talking to customers all day long? Learn what your company's customers struggle with, then use this information to improve your prospecting efforts and sales pitches if you ever decide to join the sales department.
- Marketing: You'll also need a deep understanding of your company's target audience if you plan to join the marketing team at some point in the future. This knowledge will allow you to craft content and promotional campaigns that really connect with your company's customers and help drive quality leads to the sales team.
- Product Development: Maybe your goal is to one day join your company's product development team. Customer success careers can help with this objective, too. By solving customer problems, you'll naturally learn about the products your company creates, which will come in handy when building new offerings.
The customer success team can be a fantastic launching pad to other departments within your company if that's where your ambitions lie.
3. Improve Your Problem Solving Abilities
As a customer success professional, you have one main job: solve problems.
Customers will call you because Product X won't do Y. Or the thingamajig on your company's latest gizmo seems to be malfunctioning. Or Program ABC keeps doing this instead of that. It will be your job to display a bit of creative thinking and fix issues as efficiently as possible.
Problem solving is in high-demand. In fact, plenty of hiring managers would kill to have more problem solvers apply for their open positions. Your career in customer support will hone this skill within you, turning it into a sharp tool you can deploy in a variety of scenarios.
4. Master the Art of Communication
Effective workplace communication has been proven to boost employee engagement, improve team productivity, increase staff satisfaction, and more. So it's not surprising to learn that communication is a highly sought after skill by most employers.
As a customer support representative, you won't just learn how to communicate well, you'll learn how to communicate in a bunch of different ways.
For example, you might be asked to answer phone calls one day and then respond to live chat queries or social media comments the next. After a short time, you'll become a master communicator, able to effectively interface with people on multiple platforms.
Obviously, this is a valuable skill. But it's also a lot of fun, which we'll discuss below.
5. Never Have a Dull Day
Working in customer support is exciting because no two days are ever the same...
You'll talk to different customers, be presented with different challenges, and operate on different platforms (see above) on a daily basis. You'll probably work with interesting colleagues, too. Customer support reps tend to come from a wide range of backgrounds.
This variety will keep your days from getting stale, give you the chance to learn new things and have new experiences, and live a more fulfilling life.
You might have the opportunity to learn new technologies as well. For instance, many companies use interesting customer support tools to better connect with their audiences.
Imagine creating a screen recording or GIF to explain the solution to a customer's problem rather than typing out a boring email. Not only is this strategy more effective, the process of shooting the video is a lot more fun for support reps like you!
6. Enjoy Remote Work
Remote work has so many benefits—for both employers and the talented folks they hire.
As technology has advanced, the need for customer support reps to report to a company office has largely fallen by the wayside. These days, the support team can work from anywhere they want, provided they have access to a quality internet connection.
While not every company has fully embraced the remote work trend, many of them have. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic forced it on us all for much of 2020. If you decide to embark on a career in customer support, you could have the opportunity to work from home.
7. Forget About Expensive Degrees
If you want to become a medical doctor, you'll need to dedicate at least 10 years of your life to the task, maybe more. If you want to become a lawyer and frequent courtrooms, plan to hit the books for an additional seven years after high school.
Some professions require a lot of schooling. And we all know that college isn't cheap…
Customer support careers are the exact opposite. Most positions don't call for any advanced degrees. In fact, your employer will train you after you've been hired, which is kind of like getting paid to go to school. Pretty great, right?
For aspiring customer support specialists, the barrier to entry is really low, but you'll still have great earning potential. If you rise through the ranks at your company and attain a customer support management position, you could earn six figures a year.
8. Get Paid to Help People!
Finally, as a customer support professional, you'll literally get paid to help people.
Customers will contact you with a problem, you'll fix it for them, they'll be grateful, and you'll feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing you did something good for the world. If you're looking for a job that fulfills you, customer support work might be the perfect thing.
Customer support careers can be incredibly rewarding. If the eight advantages listed above sound interesting, we encourage you to pursue a position in this field!
Once you lock down a customer support role, consider using CloudApp, a visual communication app that makes it easy to serve customers successfully. From screenshot features to image annotation capabilities, CloudApp gives you the tools you need to answer customer questions in an effective manner. Try it today for free.