How to Prepare for a Career in the Future Customer Service Department

Ashley Verrill is a CRM software analyst for Software Advice, as well as the managing editor for the Customer Service Investigator blog. She has spent the last seven years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has been published or cited in Inc., Forbes, the Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal. She also produces original research-based reports and video content with industry experts and thought leaders.

There is a world of opportunity percolating in customer service, and current and future job seekers need to prepare.

Customer service has long been a great field for job seekers just out of college, looking for a new career, or entering the workforce with limited professional experience. Most positions require few skills beyond being comfortable on the phone, and sounding empathetic and patient. But the industry is evolving in such a way that new experience will be valued (and significantly compensated). Consider, for example, recent expert reports touting customer service as marketing.

Those that garner those skills today will have the best shot of capitalizing on these new positions down the road. As a HR technology and customer service expert, I’ve a assembled a list of positions I see in the future support organization, along with the skills needed to do the job.

Customer Communities Strategist

The individual in this role would continually mine for popular topics in call center notes, as well as review Web analytics data to assess which articles in the self-service community garner the most traffic. At the same time, they would also moderate content created by the customer community and facilitate the sharing of this user-generated material.

Skills: Writing, journalism, social media analytics, web analytics

Natural Language Processing Developer

The person in this role would help ensure the right answer is found no matter how or where the question is asked–whether it’s typed in a search box on a webpage, in a chat session, or spoken to an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

“Companies are evolving their customer service titles to highlight the fact that employees are empowered and accountable to resolve requests quickly,” Diana Koenig, vice president of strategic programs for Monster Global Customer Service, told me recently.

This requires sophisticated algorithms that can process natural language to find the answer. This person would need to constantly analyze query success rates to identify subject areas that still need refining.

Skills: software configurations, data analytics, project management

Social Service Success Czar

The Social Service Success Czar would ensure social customer service efficiency, while keeping an eye out for opportunities to market support interactions. In order to respond effectively, companies have to use social listening technology. This person would work to refine keyword identifiers that tell these systems what signals a customer service message.

Skills: Social media management, writing, content marketing, data analytics

Remote Call Center Director

The individual in this role would oversee the virtual call center — a network of customer service agents that work off-site (typically from home). This person would decide when and how to interact with these individuals, monitor their performance, and adjust the size of the team as needed. During peak communication cycles, for example, the Remote Call Center Director might increase the number of agents on duty.

Skills: Management, project management, data analytics, training



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