5 Tips to Advance Your Customer Service Career in 2021

Become Highly Attractive to Hiring Companies

The number of customer service jobs in the United States is forecast to fall by 2% through 2029 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). This sounds like bad news for those who want to progress in the industry. Fewer jobs mean fewer opportunities to build a healthy career, right? Not necessarily. And certainly not if you have the right attitude and approach.

Our advice is not to leave your career advancement up to luck. With the right approach, you could uncover a world of new and exciting opportunities in customer service. Here we share our tips to help you get promoted, boost your earnings, and become highly attractive to hiring companies.

1.    Find a Mentor

A mentor is a fantastic resource. It’s always good to have a pseudo-tutor who will help guide you in your career. A person who has experienced the problems you are facing now and will face in the future. Someone who is prepared to share their experience with you, and help you avoid mistakes and make better decisions.

It’s not only a case of finding a mentor (or two or more) who can help to guide your career choices. You must also be open to honest feedback and acting on it. So how do you find your mentor(s)?

2.    Start Networking

Your network is, potentially, a great source of advice and support. The wider and deeper your network, the more ideas, advice, and help you are likely to receive. It’s not all about the numbers of people you connect with though.

Your network must be relevant. You should target growing your network by connecting with professionals in your field, or the field you wish to enter. This takes time and effort, but networking has certainly been made easier by the popularity of social media – especially LinkedIn.

An effective network will also help you to find your mentors (as well as those you may be mentee to at your present company), and develop your reach to unadvertised customer service jobs.

3.    Stay Tuned to Development of Technology

Technology in customer service is advancing rapidly, and is shaping call center staffing in the ‘new normal’:

  • Transitioning to the cloud is enabling call center staff to work from home
  • AI technology is automating many customer service functions
  • Voice bots are carrying out repetitive tasks

Customer service agents with high-level skills are likely to have more varied and interesting work. With the knowledge and skills required, you could develop your career into specialized functions, services, or products – and be more highly rewarded.

Stay on top of tech development in the industry, and learn the new skills that will help you evolve your career in the direction of demand.

4.    Focus Your Skills Development

As well as technical skills, employers will focus on those customer service agents who possess the soft skills needed to develop loyal customers. In our article discussing how you can carve out a career in customer service, we highlighted the need to be:

  • A great listener
  • A people person
  • Flexible
  • Patient

To help advance your career, improve your ability to:

  • Motivate and coach others
  • Analyze and solve problems
  • Collaborate in a team
  • Build relationships
  • Champion change

Employers love motivated self-starters who are committed to teamwork and developing others.

5.    Speak to Your Boss, and Ask for a Promotion

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

You want to advance in your career. You want to take on more responsibility and earn more money. Your boss won’t know this unless you tell them. So, request a meeting and let your boss know that you’re ambitious and keen to move up the ladder.

Show your boss that you are a positive team player, reliable, and produce great results. You may not get promoted immediately – there may not yet be an opening for promotion.

At the very least, aim to set some milestones that will help you to advance your career. Get your boss to confirm what steps you must take, and what achievements you must hit to be considered for promotion. Then work on doing all that is required.

Is It Time to Look for New Opportunities in Customer Service?

Putting these tips into action should help you advance your career in customer service.

What should you do if your career has stagnated, despite doing all your boss asks of you? What should you do if there just isn’t the opportunity to further your career with your present company?

It may be time to explore your options elsewhere. There are many companies seeking to improve their customer service capability. They are searching for the skills and experience you possess. Where do you find out about these opportunities? Contact Lakeshore Talent today.