Working in Customer Service – is it For All?

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To become a success in any job, one requires technical skills, interpersonal skills and a mental aptitude as well as attitude that fit well with the nature of the job. If you ask what qualities are needed for customer service, teh following are the ones primarily needed:

  • your technical expertise in solving problems

  • maintaining your cool even when tempers are rising at the customer end

  • willingness to please the customers at all adverse circumstances, and be happy in doing it.

Customer service requires the right attitude. Highly egoistic people who have a high degree of “self-rightist” attitude, who are short tempered, who have less patience, who are too argumentative, who do not have restraint of their tongue from speaking at the wrong time and who have bureaucratic tendencies are not the fit persons to work at customer service.

From the point of view of work load, if you are a service engineer who has to go and repair malfunctioning products supplied by your firm at the customer’s works, then you have to be prepared to spend long working hours without looking at the clock to solve the problem in a critical machinery. The customer may expect you to be an expert and a jack of all trades to solve the problem at the drop of the hat; the customer may continually breathe behind your neck and put pressure on you to solve the problem without allowing adequate time for you to go into the root cause of the problem.

At times, your company may expect you to travel to far off places without giving adequate time for you to plan your trip or without giving any consideration to any of your personal or family problems.

In practical reality, not all rightly qualified persons would want to work in customer service. A mechanical engineer may be quite good at solving technical problems as part of customer service, but he may not be endowed with many other qualities that are needed in addition to technical virtuosity, like patience, politeness and controlling rising of temper when offended. While some can tackle customers with common sense, it may be extremely difficult for them to tackle illogical and irrational customers who try acting too smart. Some professionals, if they are confident that they are 100% right,  can become quite argumentative with customers and they may not concede to any illogical demands, for the sake of satisfying the customer.

There are some people who become very rigid if they are repeatedly pressed to do something that they are not convinced of. A right customer-oriented approach would require flexibility and non-rigidity. Those who are too principled or bureaucratic cannot do a satisfactory job at customer service.

    Customer service is not for everybody. No wonder some people would not end up there, even if they are qualified to the job.


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