February 14th, 2013
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Customer Services Training
Customer Service Representatives work in that grey area where the commercial bacon hits the consumer frying pan. They are the consumer advocate to the company, helping to resolve questions and issues with the companies products, policies and services. Customer Service Representatives need to have a lot of patience, good communication skills, tact, and good problem-solving skills. You have to want to help people. Good Customer Service Representatives are in great demand, and the demand is expected to increase by as much as 15% by 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor.
So where does a person get customer service training?
Well, there’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is that some of the skills that make a good Customer Service Representative can’t be learned. You can’t teach someone how to want to help other people, any more than you can teach someone to want to be an artist, or musician. Those are inherent qualities that you are born with (or not….).
The good news is that most entry-level Customer Service Representative jobs only require a High School diploma or equivalent. Most companies offer on-the-job training for their specific needs. Even if it is a work-at-home job, the companies will still usually offer you a 4 to 8 week training period to become familiar with their products, services, software, and other needs.
Education is still an important aspect…
Just because they don’t require a lot of education before hiring you, don’t think for a minute that any education in that area is a waste of time. Don’t forget, there will be many other people competing against you for the same jobs, so anything you can do to make yourself ‘stand-out’ is a good thing. There are many online courses you can take that lead to certification as a Customer Service Representative. They are usually modestly priced, but remember, a certification is only as good as the entity that is certifying it. Before you plunk down your hard-earned money for training, check out the school and be sure they are legitimate. Stay away from ‘diploma mills’ that simply offer you a certificate for a set price. They may get you in the door, but they won’t help you keep your job.
What about online customer services training?
Online training is one of the most exciting new offshoots of the internet. It allows people to get an education that otherwise would be difficult, or impossible. And there is nothing wrong with online schooling, if it is from a reputable company. In fact, scholastic standards are often considerably higher than for more traditional schools. And, as a rule, online training is more up-to-date than traditional Universities, and Colleges, who typically run 10+ years behind cutting edge knowledge. Many Fortune 500 companies, and subsidiaries use online training schools for their employees Beware that there are crooked schools out there as well, who just want your money. Be sure any online school you go to is accredited with one of the accrediting agencies listed with the US Department of Education.
While training may not be required, you can greatly increase your chances of getting a job as a Customer Service Representative with a little extra training. Money spent on education of any kind is never wasted.