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The importance of customer service exp?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by reverb, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. reverb

    reverb Byte Poster

    Is it near impossible to secure a 1st line role without having any customer service experience ? I've only been in monotonous kind of jobs to be honest. I'm sure there are many many people out there and here who want to change careers but have only been a driver, warehouse worker, office worker etc (no disrespect, I'm in a similar boat in a sense) for the most part of their working lives and want to change it but are kind of "stuck" or afraid to leave their comfort zone. I've found it quite hard to sell myself with only experience working in the jobs I mentioned above. I seem to be getting absolutely nowhere....although I got very close once :biggrin

    I know I have made mistakes and not the right choices but I don't like to spend time dwelling on them, rather just work on my weaknesses...thus I been (proper) considering quitting my job and work in a customer service role of some sort as I'm going to end up in this line of work forever if I don't get out soon :biggrin ..which is a scary thought as I'm not getting any younger. However I'm hitting the same wall like when I'm applying for IT jobs.

    Has anyone here gotten a 1st line/junior IT support job without customer facing or call centre experience before?
    Should I be focusing my time applying for call centre type work or 1st line job at this current time?
    More importantly, how do I sell myself for a customer service role when I don't even have strong proven customer service skills? The only thing that comes close, is that I've taught before as a volunteer. But I get the impression that is not taken too seriously although it is on my CV though.

    I probably have like 99 questions going through my head that I want to ask lol.

    Sorry for the long winded post...I suppose I used this to air my thoughts and rant at myself :biggrin
  2. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    I've just started work in a call centre for a major manufacturer doing IT support. I was considering doing call centre work for the customer service skills because I'd figured they were the most important. Luckily I got this, it's still call centre work but it's IT call centre work.
    I don't have any strong (proven) customer skills, apart form working in a pub for the last year to pay the bills. Maybe that counts, maybe it doesn't but what I do know is that I was taken on because there's a major contract going down and half our staff are leaving to join them (and get promotions at the same time no doubt cos it is still technically in-house).
    Moral of the story: Keep trying, you only need to be lucky once!
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Is it difficult to secure an IT job without having any customer service experience? Yes.
    Is it difficult to secure an IT job WITH having customer service experience? Yes.
    CAN you get a 1st line job without having any customer service experience? Yes.
    Does it help to have customer service experience? Yes.


    By selling your other traits.

    Why not? Teaching means that you can likely communicate things well to others.

    To help you get a first-line job, I"d recommend that you pursue some entry-level IT certifications, starting with the A+. Will it guarantee you an IT job? No. Can it help? Absolutely.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  4. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

    Definately keep on trying.

    2 years ago I was driving a reach truck in a freezer warehouse. After I got made redundant I kept poshing out my CV and volunteering for local charity as an IT guy (computer Luke I was called).
    Finally I landed my first IT job and 9 months later I'm in my second IT job doing stuff I could only dream about 2 years ago.

    Don't give up. It's really hard at the moment but it can be done.

    Also, I have no customer service skills what so ever.
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  5. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    Do you require it???? probably, will it be held against you if you don't? I would have to say no.

    I spent 10 years in the forces yet I still managed to get out and change my job completely, I went from being a soldier to being an IT guy quite easily, I didn't have any commercial experience (I joined the army straight from school) and yet I managed to not only get into IT but pretty much exceed everyones expectations of what and where I would be (everyone except me, I am a confident bloke).

    The idea is that if you are confident in yourself then others will also be confident in you. Try to remember that you are GOOD, as long as you believe it others will start to.
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  6. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Just keep trying as persistence is the key with determination. Best wishes as I have been where you are before and know the feeling but it would come if you keep on keeping on:)
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  7. Wilo

    Wilo Bit Poster

    I managed to nail my first IT job by being proactive and doing some entry level study. But I would have to agree with SimonD. As long as you believe in yourself and keep plugging away, something will pop up. Believe me, as i came from the same position as you and eventually i managed to land an entry level job:biggrin
    Certifications: A+ MCP 70-270
    WIP: MCP 70-290

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