Are you working as a customer service specialist? Are you knowledgeable about the products of your company, and always willing to bend over backward to please your customers? Luckily, career advancement is within your reach!
As much as you love your job, though, that doesn't mean you want to stay in your entry-level position for the rest of your life. Because your job at the forefront of the company puts you in touch with many other departments, you can learn about those departments and choose where you want to go. Once you decide, you can start honing your skills so you can step into one of the following jobs.
Customer Service Supervisor
If your co-workers often come to you for help, you've already taken the first step toward becoming a customer service supervisor. As a supervisor, you'll help train new customer service reps, step in when a customer service rep is having trouble answering a customer's questions, and help your team reach its goals. Your new job will come with an increased salary, too; the national average for this position is $35,000 for full-time workers. To reach this next phase of your career, work on the following skills:
Proficiency with computer programs, such as Microsoft Word and Excel
Written and verbal communication
Technical expertise in your field
To let your employer know that you're ready for a promotion, strive to go above and beyond the requirements of your current job. This doesn't mean you should overstep your authority, but you can make wise judgment calls that will streamline the customer service process and please both your boss and the customers you assist.
If a promotion seems a little too far away, reach out to CareerBuilder and start looking for open customer service supervisor positions in your area.
Customer Service Manager
After you've worked as a customer service supervisor for a time, you may be able to add another feather to your cap when you become a customer service manager. The national average salary is $46,000, which is over 30 percent more than customer service supervisors make!
Managers have a tougher job than supervisors. They have to keep an eye on a team of customer service reps, and they may have to deal with disciplinary issues. They may also play a key role in developing a company's customer service policy.
Does this sound like it would be a good fit for you? Continue to hone the skills that are important for a customer service supervisor, but keep in mind that you'll need even better credentials to land a job as a manager. Most often, you can work as a customer service specialist or a customer service supervisor without having any college education, but that usually isn't the case if you want to be a manager. A college degree may be necessary in order for you to land the job.
If becoming a full-time student isn't an option for you, consider enrolling in a certificate program that will enhance your skills. Take online or night classes that fit your schedule. You might want to study
business management, accounting, and topics that relate specifically to your industry. Keep an eye on customer service manager job openings, and study the job description in each posting to get a good feel for what different companies want from their managers.
Other Jobs to Explore
Your experience as a customer service specialist may also equip you for careers outside of customer service. For example, if you work for a retail store, you may become interested in things like the visual merchandising aspects of how to set up a store. If you really enjoy working with people, you might branch out into sales. When you take up the mantle of a salesperson, you might have the opportunity to earn a nice commission on the products you sell.
Regardless of what your career goals are, you should always be looking for opportunities to advance. Seek out chances to learn, welcome feedback, and be flexible. When you focus on the keys to career development, you're setting yourself up for success. Before you know it, you could be out of your cubicle and into an office of your very own!