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


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Make way for our Coffee Chat 🎉

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

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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.

The experience and knowledge gained in a CS team is a almost worth a goldmine

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Moving on to 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 the answer with A4

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Moving on to 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 the answer with A4

Bringing the activities of marketing, sales and customer support into alignment begins with focusing everyone on the same goal. That goal is delighting your customers by giving them the products and services they need to fulfil their needs and solve their problems. A few ways to do this: 

  1. Encourage collaboration – your team can better address customer needs if they work together and share ideas
  2. Align performance metrics and rewards to common objectives – don’t let your rewards program undermine success
  3. Encourage excellence in individual roles – give team members the training, tools and support they need to excel.
  4. Soften boundaries between functions – don’t let org structures create barriers
  5. Share data across functions (avoiding siloes) – cross-functional data leads to better quality insights
  6. Think long-term – focus on lifetime value and customer retention
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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 → 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.

@finn You’re right. I confused it. It’s a boo-boo. Sorry! The question I posted was right - my answer was supposed to be for something else.
 

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Last question, for today!

Q5: What advice would you give someone looking to pivot into a customer support related career?

Please start your answer with A5! 

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Moving on to 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 the answer with A4

A4:

Actually, the other teams should align themselves with CS because we have customers...while they have just products, reports, treasure and other unimportant things :)) Joking aside, other teams really should evaluate the feedback that comes from CS team in detail. The best image of the customers' needs can be seen from CS's point of view. Sharing monthly reports among departments is crucial to do that. Being aware of the abilities of each department is important too. I mean if there is a problem with the delivery and if you know the capabilities and abilities of the related team you can apply them to resolve the problem. Therefore, in-house workflows should be defined very well.
 

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Last question, for today!

Q5: What advice would you give someone looking to pivot into a customer support related career?

Please start your answer with A5! 

A5: 

Your prior experience would be the most crucial part of your resume. This section will get a lot of focus, so you need to make sure that it shines.

Here are some points to keep in mind while describing your experience on your resume.

Focus on achievements, not responsibilities. The goal of a resume is to showcase what you’ve achieved and not what you’re supposed to do. Research showed that the following modifications positively impacts resumes. Even if you’ve got a lot of projects to list, keep it brief and relevant. 

Use numbers. You led a team, yes, but you know what’s more impressive? The fact that your team had an a quantitative improvement during your tenure would be great. Numbers showcase achievements in detail so quantify whenever you can. Example: Reduced employee attrition from x% to y% through consistent mentoring.

Projects: Include professional and personal projects that you’ve worked on that’s relevant to customer service. For instance, surveying how people feel about a particular brand or designing/developing a web page is the foundation of a customer satisfaction survey and a support portal launch respectively. As long as impacting a customer or an agent is the focal point of your project, you can include it.

Volunteer work: Add any volunteering work you’ve done since this shows that you are skilled at coordinating, communicating, and working in a team.

Show conflict and stakeholder management
You’re bound to encounter conflicts within the team and the organization. So, it would help if you showed that you’re good at diffusing these difficult situations.

Feel free to add anything that you think can help someone pivot to a CS related career
 

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It was a great session today chatting away about career paths and growth in customer support. Feel free to keep the conversation going everyone! Thank you so much for participating @finn @KeithW, @Brok, @Getjayesh, @rashmi.nag , and @alyssia.correa ! 


P.S. Really sorry about the delay in starting this virtual hangout since we had a glitch with our community. We hope to you in another edition. 

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Last question, for today!

Q5: What advice would you give someone looking to pivot into a customer support related career?

Please start your answer with A5! 

A5:

The possible CS reps should know they have a career path in all industries that have (human) customers. Keeping themselves updated is very important. This includes not only the technological improvements or fashion trends but also understanding. The new big change has started! From customer support to customer experience...the one who wants to track that career should broaden his or her mind to understand all steps the customers experience from the first click to the last emotions.

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