If you are someone who has worked mostly (or exclusively) in face-to-face customer service roles, it is easy to psych yourself out when you are looking for a job in today’s world. Many roles in today’s employment landscape are at all or --at least partially-- remote.
But not to fear! There are plenty of skills your face-to-face experience can bring to remote customer service roles (and vice versa). As you look for future client-facing opportunities, assess your strengths in these five areas to see how well your in-person customer service experience translates to remote roles.
Anyone who has worked retail, food service or any labor-intensive job understands the attribute of being adaptable. Working remotely is no different. Depending on if you have multiple projects to complete, balancing last-minute meetings or updates to office processes, being able to switch gears quickly while not losing your composure is a highly valued skill.
2. Making Solid Customer Connections
Usually, when working in a position that requires face-to-face interaction, most of your conversations are one-on-one. The good news is that doesn’t change when you are working in a call center or other remote customer service role; you are still working to make those personal connections and assist individuals with their needs.
If you have management or leadership experience from retail, food service, or even labor-intensive work, you are no stranger to conflict resolution and/or time management.
When you are working remotely, you will use these skills when connecting with customers via phone or email or while working with your coworkers on various projects and balancing your own responsibilities.
When you have a position with face-to-face interactions, most of your conversations are one-on-one. This doesn't change when working in a call center or other remote customer service role.
A certain level of discipline is needed if you want to do something well. As such, possessing internal and external discipline is needed for any remote opportunity. Internal discipline is needed to choose what you should be doing, while external discipline is needed when someone requests something from you.
Think of discipline in the context of training for a new career/position: Usually, you are shown how to complete a task within a certain timeframe, but over time, your employer is looking for you to apply your discipline and stick to those timelines on your own.
Everyone’s internal discipline can vary, but since there is no one physically there to monitor your progress on different tasks, having a strong sense of both can benefit you tremendously in a remote role.
5. Solid about Solitude
When you are used to working in an environment where you are physically around others, adjusting to a remote setting can be quite the change. Now that traditional office jobs are shifting to be work-from-home opportunities, you need to ask yourself if you are the type of person who needs daily physical interaction with others. If you are someone who is OK with being more isolated, a remote work environment might be a good fit for you.
In most companies, they are already communicating through phone and email, but with the capabilities of virtual communications, you will still have a daily routine with interactions with others. You also need to give yourself the chance to try, especially if you pride yourself on adapting to change.
WANT TO SEE
Changing a job's format from face-to-face to remote can change how some tasks are performed, but that doesn’t mean everything changes. It certainly doesn’t mean that the core skills that make customer service professionals successful have changed, either. If you are someone who has strong organizational skills, loves talking to and helping others, and is OK with a more independent work style, a remote customer service job may be the right next step for your career.