Coffee Chat on March 23 at 11:00 AM EST: Career paths and growth in Customer support


Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Make way for our Coffee Chat¬†ūüéČ

It’s happening on Wednesday, 23 of March at 11 AM EST.

The topic of discussion is: Career paths and growth in Customer support

Please block your calendars for about 45 minutes to answer five questions. To keep this session as engaging as possible, I’ve chosen a topic that all of us can relate to, and here are the key-segments:

  1. How did you end up in a customer support role? Alternatively, what do you think makes for a good customer support rep?
  2. What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?
  3. What is the kind of growth/career development a customer support agent can expect, say, 5 or 10 years down the line?
  4. How should customer support teams align themselves with other related functions like product, marketing, customer success, and operations?
  5. What advice would you give someone looking to pivot into a customer support related career?

As always, here’s reminder about a few things to keep in mind
 

Six important things to know before we get started on our coffee chat :coffee:

  1. To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the first question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the Quote option 

  2. If you cannot make it at 11:00 am EST or even if you’re past time, you can still post your answer to a particular question.

  3. You can reply to each others threads/posts to keep the conversation going.

  4. Be polite and respectful of other people’s opinions.

  5. Most importantly, have a great time here!

  6. Lastly, I will make sure to engage with all of you to make this interesting. 


34 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Hey everyone! we‚Äôre starting off in a minute. Who‚Äôs in today? Roll call time :D¬†ūüĎč

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

I’m super excited to host the coffee chat after a break! How is everyone doing? Also, did you miss us? 


Our first question for today is, Q1:How did you end up in a customer support role? Alternatively, what do you think makes for a good customer support rep?

 

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the first question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the Quote option 

Userlevel 6
Badge +6

Really good to have you back @akshara.sruthi ! We certainly did miss you - I’m sure everyone is looking forward to having these more often! Looking forward for what’s to come - welcome back :) !

Badge

A1

I spent several years supporting a specific application and naturally that involves the helpdesk.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Hello everyone! Our community threw an error message right when I started the coffee chat today. It’s back - up and running now. Sorry to keep all of you waiting and thank you for your patience. 

Userlevel 1

I’m super excited to host the coffee chat after a break! How is everyone doing? Also, did you miss us? 


Our first question for today is, Q1:How did you end up in a customer support role? Alternatively, what do you think makes for a good customer support rep?

 

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the first question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the Quote option 

A1: I was an end user for a few years and then joined the company to support it. A few years as part of CS I am now on the product team.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

A1

I spent several years supporting a specific application and naturally that involves the helpdesk.

That’s amazing. What are some of the qualities of a good support rep in your opinion. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Tagging our friends so they can tune in to this space and join us today!  @Lea France, @finn, @BrendaM, @Sean.Daly, @DaniCSI, @Alice, @n.winslow, @TheresaDorr and @manns

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Next question for today, Q2: What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the second question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the Quote option 

Userlevel 1

Next question for today, Q2: What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the second question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the Quote option 

A2: I have learned more about how people think. I can better understand behavior when I see patterns. This has helped me to provide feedback to our product team on ways to improve that user experience. I have also learned how to communicate via email and messages as a skill. It is a very different skill than talking to people. How to format your questions as a curious person instead interrogation in the tone.  

Userlevel 4
Badge +3

I’m super excited to host the coffee chat after a break! How is everyone doing? Also, did you miss us? 


Our first question for today is, Q1:How did you end up in a customer support role? Alternatively, what do you think makes for a good customer support rep?

 

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the first question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the Quote option 

Hi Akshara and everyone else :)

It is great to have a chance to exchange ideas, again! 

A1:
I started to work in cs team more than a year ago. The first rule for being a good cs rep is being a frustrated customer at least one time in our life cycle. Such experiences create empathy to solve the issues better. To me, a good cs rep advocates for the customers, not the company.

A1

someone who can relate and make customer understand that you are able to relate with their pain   And can help him resolve with your resources be a good customer rep. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

I’m super excited to host the coffee chat after a break! How is everyone doing? Also, did you miss us? 


Our first question for today is, Q1:How did you end up in a customer support role? Alternatively, what do you think makes for a good customer support rep?

 

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the first question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the Quote option 

Hi Akshara and everyone else :)

It is great to have a chance to exchange ideas, again! 

A1:
I started to work in cs team more than a year ago. The first rule for being a good cs rep is being a frustrated customer at least one time in our life cycle. Such experiences create empathy to solve the issues better. To me, a good cs rep advocates for the customers, not the company.

@finn - So well stated. I absolutely agree! Being in the shoes of a customer will certainly help develop the empathy required to provide the right solutions to our customers.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Next question for today, Q2: What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the second question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the Quote option 

A2: I can answer this question for a newbie customer service rep. 
You’ve landed a cool job in your great company. You’ve realized your dream of helping people be more successful. You’re eager to get started and shine in your new role.

During the first few days, it might feel like the factors that make you successful are completely out of your control. And it might be true. But the good news is, you can train yourself on the basic customer service skills to make sure that you do the best you can to turn these out-of-control success factors in your favor. The basic customer service skills are - Communiction, Empathy, Organization skills, and the Ability to honor deadlines. While list can go on, this is a good place to start

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Next question for today, Q3: What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the second question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the Quote option 

What is the kind of growth/career development a customer support agent can expect, say, 5 or 10 years down the line?

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

I’m super excited to host the coffee chat after a break! How is everyone doing? Also, did you miss us? 


Our first question for today is, Q1:How did you end up in a customer support role? Alternatively, what do you think makes for a good customer support rep?

 

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the first question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the Quote option 

Hi Akshara and everyone else :)

It is great to have a chance to exchange ideas, again! 

A1:
I started to work in cs team more than a year ago. The first rule for being a good cs rep is being a frustrated customer at least one time in our life cycle. Such experiences create empathy to solve the issues better. To me, a good cs rep advocates for the customers, not the company.

It’s amazing to see you again, @finn! Well said - Do what’s right for the customer always :D  

Userlevel 1

Next question for today, Q3: What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the second question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the Quote option 

What is the kind of growth/career development a customer support agent can expect, say, 5 or 10 years down the line?

A3: I see a trend toward moving from a customer support agent to a customer success manager, so shifting from putting out fires and first line of support to a customer engagement role to plan onboard strategies and best practices. I also see shifting to the product side, like I have where I know enough about the product AND customer need after working closely with customers to offer insight to make the product better. Support Agent - to Suggest Manager (5 years) - to Product Manager. It has been 10 years for me to get the role I have as Product Manager. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +3

Next question for today, Q2: What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the second question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the Quote option 

A2:

Witnessing all weaknesses of an industry is a dedicated chance for the customer support teams :) I know many people who have been transferred to the other departments and carried the experiences they gained in cs team there succesfully.

I’m super excited to host the coffee chat after a break! How is everyone doing? Also, did you miss us? 


Our first question for today is, Q1:How did you end up in a customer support role? Alternatively, what do you think makes for a good customer support rep?

 

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the first question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the Quote option 

A1: I was initially hired to reply to emails for my boss (admin assistant) and then as his company grew, my role developed into customer support and now we have a full team. I think a good customer support rep is someone who is good at asking questions and not making assumptions. They’re inquisitive and an excellent problem solver. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Next question for today, Q3: What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the second question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the Quote option 

What is the kind of growth/career development a customer support agent can expect, say, 5 or 10 years down the line?

A3: I lead Freshworks Academy and we educate customers on customer service skills. We’ve also taken the goal of tackling ticket deflection and this really picks my brain always. Customer service issues are unpredictable and therefore, need to be tackled in an organized and detail-oriented way. Support teams and knowledge base managers must try every solution themselves before suggesting it to customers, and ensure there are no lapses in communication. I’d like to be someone who advocates this even after a decade or so and perhaps have a tried and tested framework to deliver solutions for all customer issues instantly or right after they reach out to support

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Up next, Q4: How should customer support teams align themselves with other related functions like product, marketing, customer success, and operations?

Use the Quote option and start your answer with A4

I’m super excited to host the coffee chat after a break! How is everyone doing? Also, did you miss us? 


Our first question for today is, Q1:How did you end up in a customer support role? Alternatively, what do you think makes for a good customer support rep?

 

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the first question Q1, start your answer with A1 and use the Quote option 

Hi Akshara and everyone else :)

It is great to have a chance to exchange ideas, again! 

A1:
I started to work in cs team more than a year ago. The first rule for being a good cs rep is being a frustrated customer at least one time in our life cycle. Such experiences create empathy to solve the issues better. To me, a good cs rep advocates for the customers, not the company.

Excellent point! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Next question for today, Q2: What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the second question Q2, start your answer with A2 and use the Quote option 

A2. Ah, there’s going to be plenty here. Though I am not a customer support person myself, in my interactions with many of them over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that there are certain key skills they possess or develop over their career. A few to these are:

  1. Emotional Intelligence - the ability to understand and put emotions into the best use to communicate, solve, overcome challenges etc.
  2. Product or service knowledge - and this can be in-depth knowledge as much as or probably more than the product/ service manager
  3. Problem solving ability - to find innovative, helpful ways through which the customer can find solutions
  4. Collaboration - customer support interacts and coordinates with multiple teams to stay updated on anything new, verify information, taking back customer FAQs to the respective teams etc.
  5. Effective communication + Patience - how to communicate the right way to each customer as each one is going to be different and this demands a lot of patience and understanding.
Userlevel 4
Badge +3

Next question for today, Q3: What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the second question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the Quote option 

What is the kind of growth/career development a customer support agent can expect, say, 5 or 10 years down the line?

A3:

(Is there any confusion about questions? Q3 was about career path)

It can be divided into two parts ‚Üí internal and external. Internal career paths should be planned as CS team steps. Rep, team leader, supervisor, coordinator, manager, etc offer expanded responsibility and authority step by step. These tangible positions motivate the employees to go forward in the CS team. The external path includes different positions in other teams like marketing, operations, sales, etc. While the internal path requires soft skills like empathy, problem resolution, time management; the external path requires hard skills like coding, advanced level knowledge for office programs, etc.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Next question for today, Q3: What are the opportunities and skills a customer support role can open up for a person?

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering the second question Q3, start your answer with A3 and use the Quote option 

What is the kind of growth/career development a customer support agent can expect, say, 5 or 10 years down the line?

A3: I see a trend toward moving from a customer support agent to a customer success manager, so shifting from putting out fires and first line of support to a customer engagement role to plan onboard strategies and best practices. I also see shifting to the product side, like I have where I know enough about the product AND customer need after working closely with customers to offer insight to make the product better. Support Agent - to Suggest Manager (5 years) - to Product Manager. It has been 10 years for me to get the role I have as Product Manager. 

Your career trajectory is amazing. Good luck with your role, @Brok 

Reply