Why Every Job is a Customer Service Job (and How to Rock at That, Too)

May 19, 2014 -
Pop quiz: Name one job that doesn’t include customer service. You can’t. That’s because it wouldn’t be a job unless you were providing some sort of service to somebody. (Click here to tweet this thought.) The intern serves the entry-level guy who answers to a supervisor who reports to a director. And the directors report to the president who serves the board of directors or stockholders. Sure, the titles of those jobs evolve, but the game stays the same. There’s no way you can get around customer service, and business couldn’t exist without it. If you want to do well in your career, make great customer service a priority.

Learn to appreciate the scope and value of customer service

It’s in your best interests to assume customer service will be an integral part of any job you take. No matter what the job description says or what the hiring manager says, it will be. And don’t underestimate the value of quality customer service. It’s key to maintain a healthy sense of self-awareness about how you treat your customers -- that quality (or lack of one) will be reflected in your reputation. The concept of customer service arguably has a negative connotation that seems to be associated with things like lower pay, less satisfying work and less glamour. But it’s so much more than that.

Consider how to gain workplace rock star status

A real-life rock star has to truly win over his fans. Nobody will buy his music or go to his shows if they don’t like him. Being a so-called rock star in the workplace, while probably not as fun as being in a band, follows similar logic. You know that guy in the office who makes stuff happen day in and day out? Odds are that he has good working relationships. Not with one or two people he meshes with, but several people in different areas of the business. Those coworkers are all, on a certain level, fans of this workplace rock star and their appreciation is only gained after receiving consistent, quality customer service. That’s what you should strive for in all of your business dealings.

Give great service by answering three questions

  1. What does the customer want?
  2. Why does he want it?
  3. When does he expect to get it?
Identify the customer’s requirement(s) and the strategy behind why he wants your help to achieve his goals. If you truly understand all of the answers to each question and you deliver on them, you should always have a happy customer. The best thing you can do for your customers is to treat every interaction with a sense of urgency, yet without appearing rushed. People are more patient when they believe you’re vested in the resolution of their problem or request. Like it or not, customer service is a responsibility. How you handle it is up to you and it’ll make a big difference in the quality and harmony of your relationships throughout your working life. Once you understand the basics, try anticipating and exceeding customer expectations -- that’s next level stuff. A big part of your job is to be helpful to the people you work with and that’s called customer service. Embrace it, ideally with a smile. Seth J. Carr is a freelance writer and author of Post-College Knowledge: How to Not Suck at Your First Real Job. Connect with Seth on Twitter @sethjcarr.