Women lost more jobs than their male counterparts in customer service as companies cut back on such positions during the pandemic.
Men also outpaced women in wage gains for key customer service positions in 2020, but women also showed strong positive wage increases overall, according to a LiveCareer analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
As the customer service sector bounces back, the rise of work-from-home capabilities has created new positions across all industries, especially in business support services like call centers and customer support lines. Meanwhile, the bar for entry remains low. If you can answer questions, help resolve customer complaints and do it all with a smile on your face, this industry is for you.
5 customer service jobs women can get now
1. Customer service representative. The main duties for the job are to answer questions or requests from customers or the public via email, phone, or live chat. Most representatives usually receive short-term on-the-job training, typically lasting two to four weeks, depending on the field.
A key quality to mention to potential employers is organization like keeping records of customer interactions or transactions, recording details of inquiries, complaints, or comments, and actions taken.
2. Customer service manager. Focusing on communication and customer satisfaction is an integral part of this position as management in this sector has to coordinate and supervise order processing, take the lead on problem resolutions, and represent the company's interests in correspondence and telephone communication. Dealing with customers and external vendors in this capacity also requires various soft skills like leadership and time management.
3. Call center representative. This position mainly involves making and answering phone calls to resolve customer complaints by investigating problems, developing solutions, preparing reports, and providing recommendations to upper management.
Representatives are expected to know the ins and outs of every company product, so if you have excellent computer skills, are a quick learner, and can exceed company goals, this could be the job for you. Roles like this are adaptive entry-level opportunities that have an average annual salary of $27,349 per year.
4. Customer experience associate. The focus of this role is designing and improving the customer experience. It's important to build solid relationships with clients, which are fostered by collecting customer feedback in real-time via phone, email, or team members, and then incorporating that feedback into sales processes and bug fixes to improve the overall customer experience.
5. Support specialist. Positions like this are responsible for assisting technical and administrative support, depending on the business needs. Potential employees must have extensive knowledge of the services to efficiently assist customers with their inquiries and resolve complaints. Technology is important as these representatives must be well-versed in technology systems, perform basic troubleshooting, and secure databases. This role also requires maintaining documents of issue resolution, providing recommendations to improve business strategies and procedures.
How to write a customer service resume
Now you're ready to write your resume. There are three different resume formats you'll want to consider:
Functional resume format: Best when you're new to the industry or have significant gaps in employment
If you have a gap in your experience or are new to the industry, the functional resume is right for you. If you lack professional experience, focus on skills that show you're prepared for the position, like a strong work ethic or the ability to function well in a fast-paced environment. Be sure to put forward your excellent interpersonal skills and highlight your communication skills.
Combination resume format: Perfect when you want to put equal emphasis on your skills and work experience
A combination resume is the perfect fit for candidates that have both career-relevant skills and great work experience. Make sure to give your work accomplishments more impact by taking a quantified approach; using metrics and numbers helps recruiters see the results of your hard work.
Chronological resume format: Great when you can show solid career progression and clear achievements
Chronological resumes are the best way to show career achievement and progression. Experienced customer service professionals should highlight examples of working with management to improve service processes and efficiency, any advanced training or certifications you get in important areas such as project management or job-specific software.
How to explain employment gaps on a customer service resume
Explaining employment gaps is easier after the pandemic put thousands in this sector out of work. Nonetheless, employers may be curious about your gaps, and you should be ready to answer their questions. Mention any relevant activities that improved your skills, including:
- Becoming a Certified Customer Service Professional (CCSP) or finishing another relevant program.
- Any experience working directly with the public doing gig work, like running errands or assisting in volunteer work.
- Social activities that involve collaborating, communicating with, or teaching people, such as starting a virtual book club or crafts activity group.
Finding a customer service job that fits your schedule
Customer service representatives typically use a telephone, computer, and other office equipment, so it is easy for some workers to transition to at-home work and flexible schedules. However, the specific duties and schedules of customer service representatives can vary by industry.
The types of work vary, and all have their own scheduling quirks: Some representatives work in banks answering customers' questions about their accounts; others work in utility and telecommunication companies and are tasked with informing customers about service problems, such as outages; and yet others work in retail stores handling returns, processing refunds, and helping customers locate items.
You don't just need a job. You need a job that works for you. Building a resume that's tailored for jobs currently available is a major step in the right direction. If you enjoy meeting goals, problem-solving and can deal with the stressors that sometimes come with aiding dissatisfied customers, then this industry could be right for you.