To obtain a customer service job, you usually need to have had customer service experience. This is particularly true for hotel customer service jobs. Fortunately, there are many ways you can get customer service experience, and you may well have gained some of this experience in various jobs you’ve already done. Think about your past roles and write down any aspects of those jobs that involved customer contact, whether face to face or by phone. If you don’t have any customer service experience and you want to move into one of these roles, you can always apply for entry-level positions. These usually require a minimum education level of a high school diploma or GED. However, for some job types you may need higher qualifications. Read the essential criteria for the sort of jobs you’re interested in to get an idea of the skills and qualifications you’ll need to obtain if you don’t already have them. Then make a plan to get them.
Administration skills are usually necessary for modern customer service positions. You’ll generally need a typing speed of 60 words per minute, a high level of computer literacy, and the ability to follow procedures. If you don’t already possess these skills, do what you can to gain them, as most people applying for customer service positions will have them and you don’t want to be at a disadvantage.
Personal appearance is also very important in face-to-face customer service roles. For example, hotel customer service jobs, particularly those in the top hotels, will only be given to people who look the part and can act the part. These are elite customer service roles, and if you want to work in one of these environments, it’s important to have professional training in the hotel industry. Internships are available in many frontline roles that will give you the ability to obtain a job in this industry.
Customer service agents also need to be keen problem solvers. In other words, they have to be solutions-oriented. They also need to be diplomatic and even-tempered, as they are far more likely to have to deal with difficult people than most types of employees. When applying for these positions, you therefore need to clearly articulate how you have solved problems in the past, in what ways you are solutions-oriented, and how you have successfully dealt with difficult customers in previous roles and situations.
Your resume and application letter should target the essential criteria of the advertised job and also emphasize the personal qualities you possess that make you a good candidate. Include descriptions of yourself like “calm under pressure” or “view problems as challenges.” It is also very important to ensure that your resume and letter of application look professional and do not have any spelling or grammatical errors in them.
Online job sites are probably the best way to locate most customer service jobs. You can easily search on these sites and/or request an email alert to inform you when new jobs are submitted which match your criteria. This can save you a lot of time trawling through online job listings and getting distracted by the job-search process itself. However, the best customer service jobs in the hotel industry are often obtained by contacting hotels’ human resources departments directly.
The employment sections of newspapers are still good places to look for jobs, so make sure you pick up the paper on the busiest employment day and go through the ads. Employment agencies can also be excellent sources of customer service jobs. Companies are increasingly outsourcing the recruitment for these roles, and you may well find that a recruitment consultant can give you some very real help to land the job you want. They may also recruit temporary customer service staff which can give you exposure to various workplaces, add to your experience, and increase your chances of obtaining a permanent position.
If you have identified particular companies you would like to work for, you can go directly to their websites and see if they are recruiting. You can also contact them directly and ask their human resources representatives what they are looking for in a candidate and for advice on how to improve your chances of selection. This way, you can be extra prepared when they next advertise for customer service staff.
The last stage of the selection process, as far as you are concerned, is the interview. Your goal is to be offered the job, so make sure you attend the interview professionally attired and conduct yourself courteously and in a friendly manner. Make sure you have done some research on the organization you are applying to so you can ask questions about the company. Show an interest in the organization and be willing to ask questions about the job. Also, be aware of the stated values and purposes of the organization so that you can explain how you conform to them.
There might be strong competition for customer service jobs, but you can give yourself the competitive advantage you need by following some or all of these steps. If you do this, you’ll not only be able to celebrate obtaining a customer service job, you’ll be able to enjoy the thrill of getting the one you really wanted.