Customer service careers may involve a series of jobs in a range of different industries. Customer service itself is a special skill set, transferable through many different types of work including management level jobs.
Customer service includes:
Nearly everyone receives formal training in customer service in one form or another, whatever industry they may be in or type of work they do. Customer service is in fact a basic business communication skill, critical to business performance. Many firms have customer service training programs for all their staff to ensure quality of service.
Customer service also includes a very strong component of experience in particular types of role, including service provision, problem-solving, complaint management and handling customer enquiries. These extremely useful skills translate well into any form of employment, and many employers look for people with previous customer service experience for that reason.
The type of customer service experience and training received also relates to direct opportunities for career progression, both within an organization and in the wider employment market. Many jobs now involve client relationships and customer service in some form, and a generic type of customer service experience, like in financial services, for example, is a qualification for working in similar industries. In banking, customer service experience is an essential skill which relates to almost all positions in a bank from a trainee teller to the bank manager.
Career progression in customer service careers is therefore very diverse. Customer service as a general skill is usually added to other skills like administration, but in many jobs like sales jobs it's one of the primary skill requirements, because any type of sales work includes a range of customer services by definition.
In the modern workplace, customer service skills also relate directly to sales and management qualifications. Nearly all line managers, supervisors and middle managers are required to have customer experience. At the higher levels of the workforce, executives and senior managers roles include 'client relationships', which are often essential required skills in those positions.
Customer service careers can provide a lot of job opportunities, and frequent opportunities for promotion with an organization or within an industry. A typical example of a successful customer service career would be a sales manager. These skills can open a lot of doors, so if you're looking for advancement in your own industry, consider customer service.