Advantage & Disadvantage of Customer Service Jobs

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Customer call centers use customer service workers to assist clients.
Customer call centers use customer service workers to assist clients. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Customer service workers focus on assisting customers with their questions and concerns regarding a product or service. Though the occupation might require long hours and the wrath of some unsavory customers, the growth prospects are rivaled by few other careers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, training is typically provided for the positions, so previous experience might not be necessary.

Education

Many customer service jobs do not require a college education, and most require only a high school diploma, according to BLS. For those in the workforce who cannot afford to obtain a college education, or could not attend college for some other reason, customer service positions offer a steady source of income with opportunity for advancement. For example, customer service representatives might start at entry-level positions, but over time work to management positions because of their knowledge of work processes.

Growth

The customer service workforce will grow faster than average over the next decade, according to BLS. Most companies require some form of customer service worker to assist clients and customers with sales, technological problems or other service issues. Another advantage to customer service workers is the ability to withstand economic downturns. Recessions and economic slumps have a reduced effect on customer service positions because companies require customer service workers even if the sale of products or services slows.

Work Length

Customer service workers are required to work as long as it takes to get the job done. Sometimes employees must work overtime, weekends and holidays to assist customers with their product or service needs. Additionally, customer service workers are at the mercy of their customer's schedule. For example, if a customer enters a store for technical help at 6:25pm -- five minutes before closing time -- the customer service worker might have to stay 20 or 30 minutes past the store's closing time to solve the issue.

Environment

The work environment for many customer service positions might not appeal to some in the workforce. Because service positions require some form of interaction with customers, workers experience angry and upset customers. This occurs particularly with technological support. Additionally, the work pace of customer service positions is often fast-paced with high rates of customer turnover. For example, workers at a customer call center might deal with hundreds of calls during the work day.

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