One of the common entry positions
in most companies is the customer service department. This is the silo where we take nice people who need jobs, and let them interact with our customers. In some cases, the employee has extensive training about the company’s product or service. In most cases, however, they are thrown into the lions pit, with only a reference manual or computer system as their defense.
It’s time to sink or swim.
It’s obvious that the sinkers are those I would define as just not cutting it. No worries, however; these people will be just fine, because they are nice. And with one more customer service position on their resume, and another set of interviews added to their training, you can be certain they will land on their feet soon. One day, they may even make it to middle management (and lose that “niceness” quality).
For those who are just treading water,
they will have to start swimming sooner or later. Otherwise, the job will get tiring, and the complacent will eventually sink or be sunk.
As all swimmers would agree:
it’s a daily grind. Each day brings on new challenges (that the sinkers passed on), and new knowledge is acquired about the company. These are the folks who actually care about the customer, and feel compelled to be more than nice: they have a burning desire to aid the customer. As knowledge from the other silos is consumed and loopholes in the computer system are traded, a burning desire to be doing more is the characteristic of someone who will soon leave the department.
It’s promotion time,
and The Company can no longer justify the salary for those champion swimmers. They have picked up too many skill sets and learned too much about The Company’s products and services. The only thing to do is “promote” them out of this silo and into a new one. But do you see the problem here? They just took someone who is very valuable to the customer, and promoted them away from the customer.
Shouldn’t we be promoting people into customer service and not out of it?
Please stop kicking talent out of the customer service silo.
Seriously, knock it off