I started out in this industry almost two decades ago. It has changed beyond recognition in that time, from an environment where customer service meant handling customer calls and emails to the present-day where we are far more focused on building a great long-term relationship with customers.
But throughout that time, I can’t deny that many people have felt that working in a contact center or for a company that designs customer service solutions isn’t aligned with a long-term career plan. The old stereotype of contact center jobs being temporary or ‘something to do in the summer’ lingers on.
To start with, take a look at the Great Place To Work™ certification we achieved in both Guatemala and the Philippines. Great Place to Work™ is a global people analytics and consulting firm working with Top 500s all over the world. Backed by over 30 years of research, representing millions of employees workplace experiences, their benchmark is the Trust Index Survey™, the most widespread survey taken worldwide.
This is an independent audit of our workplace culture and practices, and everywhere we work, our team is ranked one of the best places to get a job.
But looking beyond the certifications and getting back to my initial point about just how much this industry has changed, working in customer service is no longer a simple or easily defined role. Look at this article in the HR Director magazine exploring contact center careers.
This article references some of the changes to the industry and the skills required to make a modern customer service solution function. This includes cloud, security, compliance, Internet of Things, automation and bots, self-service content, biometric analysis, languages, data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, as well as sales and marketing. Since the pandemic, it also requires a hybrid work approach that can also embrace work-from-home (WFH) as well.
Many of these skills are very detailed – we are talking about data and AI specialists designing better ways to build a great customer relationship. Contact centers are no longer literally about answering the phone. They are at the heart of all this activity that is ultimately designed to improve the customer experience (CX) of a brand or service.
The modern contact center environment is not just creating the temporary jobs of the past – we are creating opportunities to build real careers. Agents with frontline customer service experience can move into other business areas where these skills are valued – such as sales and marketing. Technology professionals with experience building cloud-based databases can flex their expertise in an environment where there are real business outcomes.
I think that when you look at the wide range of different technologies that are now being integrated into customer service solutions – from AI to data analytics to natural language processing – it is clear that designing customer service solutions is actually at the forefront of many innovations. This is where technology innovation can be tested in a way that really counts.
Human service remains at the heart of any customer service solution, but in the modern CX environment there are so many customer-facing and agent-supporting innovations taking place that this is now one of the most fast-paced and exciting areas to be working in.
Forget the summer jobs – CX really is now offering long-term and exciting careers!