Who’d Work in Customer Support?
There’s this image of online customer support jobs being a poorly paid grind where you suffer through annoying/abusive customers while you try to make the day go quicker until you can either quit the job or retire old and bitter.
And I’m not going to tell you that there isn’t an element of truth in all of that; there are customers that make you want to claw your eyes out, ploughing through tickets/calls can feel like a grind, and there are customer support jobs that pay peanuts.
Mostly this image comes from businesses that don’t give a crap about customer service, to these types of companies it’s all about keeping costs low and, it seems, staff turnover high. But in the startup community (and other businesses are catching on) quality customer service is held in the highest regard.
Startups realised that improving their customer service can differentiate them from competitors and, in a world where you can copy someone else’s multi million dollar app for a few hundred bucks, differentiation is hard currency.
So what does customer support look like in this brave new world?
Dollar Dollar Bill Y’all
In a survey of 60 customer service pros, done by the excellent folks over at Support Driven, the average salary was $63,688 for men and $69,591 for women; bucking the trend right? I could write a book about why I think women generally make better customer service agents but that’s for another time.
Considering that the average salary in the US is around $26,695 and about $40,000 in the UK that’s a big step up.
And, before you say anything, this isn’t just for seasoned customer service vets that manage a team of 20 and work 70 hour weeks!
In the same survey they looked at average salaries for different experience levels. Which showed that even as a newbie to the customer service game you’re looking at an average that again is much higher than the average wage in both the US and UK.
Customer Service Matters
It really does. I swear! Think about it from the business’ perspective. To them, as a customer service rep you have the ability to;
- Make a sale: many startups offer a free version of their service, if you can fix a problem for a customer there’s a better chance they will then pay for that service.
- Stop ‘em leaving: I don’t mean physically! But if a customer has a problem and you can fix it for them, then they don’t leave and that means at least another month’s subscription.
- Get more of ‘em: exceptional customer service spreads like wildfire. If you don’t believe me check out all of the articles written about Zappos‘ legendary customer service. Forbes, Business Insider, and Huffington post have all written them up.
The common theme here is that as a customer support rep you’re not an employee that sucks money out of the company – which is the traditional way to think about customer service, in fact you are doing just the opposite.
That’s not all either, if a company was a human then the customer support department would be the ears, eyes and nose. You are at the forefront of change, you know what the customers are saying about the product, service and marketing. If the company you work for doesn’t take customer service suggestions seriously, then they really aren’t worth working for.
It’s a Lifestyle Choice
The companies that are looking to create customer service teams that go above and beyond don’t want employees that are faking it. They want people that are naturals. People who work in customer service because it’s what they are good at and not just a stop gap while they decide what to do with their life.
I’ll go into detail about what characteristics make for an exceptional customer support person in another article but it’s important to know it’s a two way street. Companies expect you to be yourself and in return they are offering you a lifestyle that suits you; competitive wages, flexible working hours, remote working and some great perks.
5 years ago I decided that’s what I wanted from a work/lifestyle and it’s the best choice I ever made. Get in touch with us to learn more.