I used to work in a library
From 2012 to 2014, I worked as a customer service officer at the British Council Library.
It was mostly on weekends as part-time because I was doing a full-time degree.
The job role included stamping dates on books, helping customers to locate books, offering library tours to new students, and checking out hot girls. (No, that last one wasn't in the job description!)
From the outset, it wasn't a glamorous job. The highlight of my career was shaking hands with Prince Charles, but that's a story for another day.
When I left the job, I didn't think much about it. After all, the only reason for working there was to make extra money while still studying.
But now that I think of it, customer service may be the most important skill I learned during my corporate career.
When you're a customer service representative, you get to listen to their requirements, concerns, suggestions, and even complaints. This is precious information to a company. But that's the tip of the iceberg.
More than anything, you get a glimpse of how the customer's mind works. You get to view the problem through their lens. You get to empathize with someone's situation, and this knowledge can take you a long way.
In any business, understanding your customer is the most important thing. Everything else, from product development to sales to marketing, stems from it.
That's why in companies like Automattic, every new hire must work in customer service, including the CEO.
When a company grows, the CEO that once replied to every customer inquiry outsources it to someone else. This is a significant mistake. Don't get me wrong. I'm not asking the CEO to put aside everything else and start working in customer service. But it would help to do so from time to time. At least to go through the records to understand the customer sentiments.
That's my suggestion for any business owner.
As for anyone else, being in customer service for at least 6 months in any company would help you immensely whether you plan to work for someone else or start your own business.
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