When it comes to business branding, customer service plays an important role to secure customer’s royalty and retention. Especially for global MNCs where they are willing to invest a significant sum of money to set up a customer service department and hire a customer service officer to handle customer inquires and resolve their issues that are relating to their company’s product or service.
In the job market, there are two main types of customer service job available which is either working as a frontline customer service officer or as a call center agent. Although some companies have job positions for backend customer service roles. It is rather different from a frontline and call center customer service role as they do not handle customers directly as they are only required to handle administrative and operational duties.
It is not difficult to find customer service jobs in the market due to its high demand and there are many companies and even government agencies that urgently required customer service officers to work in their customer service centers or call centers. Due to this demand, their job requirements and expectations are less demanding, and even accept candidates who have no prior experience in the customer service industry.
Common examples of frontline customer service jobs are concierge officers working in the shopping malls, customer service officers working in Telco customer service centers like Starhub, Singtel, and M1 in Singapore. While their main role is helping customers to resolve any technical or non-technical issues, some companies will also require these frontline customer service officers to work as sales agents by upselling their company’s product or service to their customers while serving them.
You would have spoken to a call center agent before when you call the company’s hotline to get answers for your queries. For those who are interested to work in a call center environment, it is quite easy for them to find a call center customer service job in any industry especially in the banking, telco, hotel, or government sector where they have a high demand for such role and also based on the high job turnover in these sectors.
Based on my working experience in the frontline and call center customer service jobs, I can say that there are many similarities in the job roles between these two. You will need to serve your customer with a professional attitude and do your best in resolving their issues on the spot. Even if the customer is angry and shouting at you if they are not satisfied with your service.
The key difference between frontline and call center is that working as a frontline customer service officer, they will need to face the customers physically and assist them the moment they walk into the customer service center. Besides wearing the company uniform, they are required to be well-groomed in their facial appearance which means jewelry or visible tattoos are allowed. Frontline customer service officers are often required to work long hours to cater to the large crowds of customers especially after office hours and on weekends.
Working in a call center environment is different from a frontline as the call center agents are only required to handle incoming calls and assist their customers over the phone to resolve their issues. Depending on the job industry, some companies allow their customer service officers to dress in smart casual in the call center and there are usually no strict requirements or guidelines in your physical appearance to work as a call center agent. Some companies even accept job candidates who are handicapped to work in their call centers.
If you want to work as the frontline or call center customer service officer for your career, you will need to be mentally prepared to face the long hours of shift work, enduring the complaints of angry customers, and served them in a professional manner as you are representing the company as their “brand ambassador” to assist them in upholding the company’s image.