I was the most unlikely person to be in customer service. Let’s face it. If you’re painfully shy, the last job you want to be stuck with is one where you’re constantly assisting people with complaints. Yikes! But I was in college and desperately needed a job.
Trial by Fire
The first couple of weeks were painful. No guts, no glory, right? I learned the computer systems, the procedures and policies, but then I was faced with live customers with real and sometimes unique problems.
Sometimes customers will say things that mislead you. But then you also find legitimate claims that must be approved in order to uphold justice and customer confidence.
Each customer might tug at your heart strings or attempt to browbeat you into submission. Either way, in the beginning, it’s difficult to resolve concerns quickly, which is essential to make customers happy and to meet your performance goals. While other customer service reps (CSRs) are banging out claims left and right, you’re struggling to meet your quota.
I hit smooth patches where I came in second or third, but there was one young guy, possibly still in high school, who had twice my output even on my best days. He was a demon at the keyboard—a veritable machine with the customers. The only time anyone on our team beat his output was when he could only work half a shift or called in sick.
Is it Worth it?
I happened to look at a few of his tickets. They were awful. His notes were so cryptic, it was impossible to tell what he did to resolve the issue in some cases. In others, it seemed he had made the wrong decision or had overlooked obvious questions, and decided the outcome without completing needed research.
I found that my productivity went up when I realized that not all decisions are going to be perfect. I also realized that the customer is not angry at me. And finally, I realized that I don’t have to be the fastest and most productive. I just have to be the best. “And what’s that?” you may ask. Being the best is about finding a balance between quantity and quality. It takes only seconds to add an extra word or two to clarify things in your notes. It takes only a few seconds to ask probing questions to get to the bottom of an issue. Even if the company rewards quantity only, you can make everyone happier in the long run by being only “good enough” on quantity, but better than everyone else on quality.
The great thing about working with computers is the wealth of corporate training available— customer service courses included. With such online training courses, you can improve your skills on your own schedule and even a few minutes at a time. eLearning is the best!