One of the most demanding areas of work in the service industry has to be customer support. Not only does it entail long hours of relentless industrious effort at work but also oblige you to do it with a smile. As a matter of fact it is still considered to be surprising for an individual working in customer support as a means of livelihood to claim they have any semblance of a social life by their peers and contemporaries. And why not so, the work drains all energy, physically and emotionally and long hours at work, erratic schedules more often than not leave a person so tired, they barely have time to spend apart from themselves. Having said that, although working in customer support is a tough industry to belong to and numerous expectations to be met, it is not a wasted experience at all.
Working in the customer support industry can teach a person a lot of lessons about the realities of life and is a great stepping stone for young adults transitioning to professional world. Working in the customer support industry is a great way to inculcate a lot of character attributes and skills that will be very helpful in the long run in any service industry. The benefits and applications of such positive attributes and personality defining skills are not limited to any particular industry or walk of life. Even a short term tenure in a customer support service industry is a walk of fire which if one emerges unscathed, he is merely weathered and harnessed better, forged by the fire itself. A tenure in this industry and the foundations are laid for an individual to be successful in any walk of life, professionally or personally. However if there are few key attributes one can consciously develop during a stint at a customer support initiative, they can be discussed as namely below.
While we all know what sympathy is and employ the emotion from time to time as it warrants, empathy is a great emotional skill that most adults lack and possessing which, in application, can potentially unlock wonders, both, on the professional as well as the personal front. What the dictionary defines the word empathy to be is able to reciprocate a response based on the exact understanding of the nature of the feelings of another. What that actually translates to in layman’s terms is that when you sympathize you express regret and pain at the other’s loss, but when you empathize you relate to the onlooker’s loss. For example when someone complains about the lack of a service or a faulty product has upset their life, if the standard expression of regret could be replaced with a understanding of the unwanted situation and conforming of relating to their state of mind and assuring you will do everything to change that situation, is more of replacing sympathy with empathy.
Working in customer support service industry really tests an individual and ensures their empathy skills are harnessed as a life skill in order to be successful. Being subject to numerous complaints, the last thing anyone wants are irate customers who are intent on being unreasonable, for reason stemming from other deep rooted issues with the brand service. However, if your empathy skills are enviable, the same irate customer can be tamed to calm down and the situation can be easily diffused by making appropriate resolution. If one is intent to be successful at customer support they will definitely develop and acquire their empathizing skills and having done so become an expert at using the same skill to succeed in different walks of life. And empathy can be developed by starting to put oneself in the shoes of the onlooker while listening to an issue or complaint.
Another key to succeed at life which one can learn while working at customer support is the importance of positive language and conscious use of positive words in regular interactions and conversations, especially when trying to resolve a situation. Customer situations can be extremely tricky and sensitive situations which are a good testing ground for harnessing convincing skills. And while concentrating on developing convincing skills, one will observe how the usage and employment of positive words and positive attributes in speech creates an atmosphere of trust and positivity and enables to facilitate smooth resolution of affairs. Simple pointers to inculcate positivity in speech and the ability to develop a positive atmosphere include avoiding using negative sentences and words. Instead of saying “I don’t, I won’t, I can’t and blatantly promoting negative words bordering around refusal, replace it with “Yes I will try, or surely why not, let’s see if that is possible …” and other such phrases inspiring hope and positivity. After all we are all aware and the notion becomes even more reinforced after a stint in the customer support service industry, that it is not what we say, but how we say it. A carefully chosen narrative inundated with positivity and hopes said in the correct tone and delivered in composure and control can serve as more reassurance than gospel truth delivered in the wrong tone repeated numerous times.
Patience is a virtue and virtue are acquired and not born with. Further virtues need to be acquired by inheritance or as a token of goodwill gesture but can be acquired only by ownership, by earning it. It is quite popular an adage in moral fables, how a person should acquire the patience of a dog and the perseverance of a crow to develop their personality with positive attributes. Patience is really a jewel in the crown of those who have loads of it and can use it when being tested to the hilt. Those stressful times with customers may have been second not even to hell but looking back the amount of restrain you had to apply on yourself to prevent a reactionary outburst, has really trained one to be curtailed in their actions in the future in life. Those who are armed with the prize quality of patience are armed with a weapon of mass destruction. With patience in your favour, fortunes will turn eventually and you will conquer life because no obstacle will withstand the test of time when patience is fortitude.
Clarity in Communication
Once it has been made a habit to include positivity in speech and vocabulary, the road is paved for convincing skills to be honed on an expert level. All that remains for the stage to be set is clear and lucid communication skills. Obtaining clarity in thought and being able to reproduce it in speech and effective communication is a very useful skill to be in possession of. It is not for nothing, the title of the gift of the gab is such a coveted title. Dialogue may end wars and an individual with supreme communication skill may attain any result in their withstanding unfavourable circumstances.
Finally being at rest having acquired these skills is not enough. Using them and continuous application is the key to perfection. It is only upon appropriate usage and employment do these skills become life changing. Therefore simply being the proud owner of skills and not being able to use them when required is not desirable. Continuous usage and polishing off the rough sharp edges can only permanence and excellence in the use of the above mentioned life skills.