4 future jobs in customer service

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Operator works on laptopBy Ashley Verrill, writer at www.softwareadvice.com

How long has it been since you called a company on the phone for customer service? A week? A few months? Now think about the last time you went online to pay a bill or searched for an answer online. It was probably a lot more recently, right?

In today’s instant gratification-obsessed world, customers increasingly head online first to find answers. They don’t want to sit on hold or fish through a sea of phone transfers. As such, companies are investing in technologies and strategies to enable this digitally based problem-solving. This means new and varied talent is needed in the support department for the first time. This significantly expands the kinds of opportunities available in support.

Recently, I interviewed several customer service software developers, as well as hiring experts, to find out what positions they see emerging from this trend toward digital communication. Here are four jobs they see in the future service organization.

1. Self-service content analyst
The individual in this role would continually look for trending topics in call center notes and review Web analytics data to assess which articles in the self-service community receive the most traffic.

He or she would also moderate content created by the customer community and facilitate the sharing of this user-generated material. The goal would be to reduce call volumes by creating content that speaks to customers’ most common issues.

Interested job seekers would need experience in content generation as well as in Web analytics and project management.

2. Natural language processing optimizer
The person in this role would help ensure the right answer is found no matter how or where the customers ask the question. This could include queries typed in a search box on a webpage or typed in an automated live chat session.

For this to work effectively, websites must use sophisticated algorithms that can process natural language to find the answer. This means knowing the difference between someone asking, “Where is your phone number?” and “How do I call a real live agent?”

Candidates interested in this role would need experience in software configurations as well as in project management and performance management using analytics.

3. Social service success coordinator
The social service coordinator would ensure social customer service efficiency, while keeping an eye out for opportunities to market support interactions. In order to respond effectively, companies have to use social listening technology. This person would work to refine keyword identifiers that tell these systems what signals a customer service message.

If the contact center suddenly gets an influx of calls about a particular product, for example, the coordinator would want to start listening for combinations of that word and “help,” “broken,” “angry” and so on. If a Twitter user responded with a glowing “thank you, I will tell my friends!” that person might hand off the interaction to marketing for promotional uses.

Interested job seekers would need experience as a community manager as well as in customer service management and Web analytics.

4. Mobile customer service app director
The day is fast approaching when most customer-company interactions will happen on a mobile device. Unfortunately, traditional Web browsing with a tiny smartphone or tablet can be frustrating. The mobile customer service app director would act like a product manager exclusively for the customer service mobile application. This person would work with internal or external developers to optimize the user experience for all of the company’s customers.

If analytics showed one feature is used more than another, for example, the director might try featuring it more prominently on the app home screen. Or maybe he or she would work with the NLP optimizer to refine speech recognition for that function.

Candidates for this position would need experience in user experience, mobile design, analytics and project management.

Ashley Verrill has spent the last six years reporting and writing business news and strategy features. Her work has been published or cited in Inc., Forbes, CIO.com, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal. She currently writes software reviews for www.softwareadvice.com/ and is the Managing Editor for the Customer Service Investigator blog.

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