Good customer service job

Work as customer support agent: Best insider tips

Are you looking for a job abroad? Maybe you’re looking for work options that doesn’t require previous experience during your gap year? Then customer support roles might be exactly what you’re looking for. Working isn’t just about earning money, but seeing the options that every type of jobs give you. Once you master the art of seeing possibilities instead of limits you will find so much joy from a simple job. Customer support includes resolving issues and answering questions. It involves adding a personal touch to the digital world. We have gathered our personal experiences in this role and spoken to a female with four years of experience.

Fact or fiction: “Customer support is boring and you don’t learn anything”

You have probably heard many different rumours, criticism, and warnings about working in customer support. Working in customer support is not the most demanding, exciting, or versatile job. But to me, this is also a big part of the reason why it’s an awesome job to do if you consider moving abroad and having an adventure WHILE earning money. I decided to take a gap year job in Athens, Greece, as a customer support representative for a famous brand in a big company. The training was intense but once I started the job, everything just fell into place as time went by.

This way, customer support jobs can become repetitive and boring from time to time, but the good part about that is that you always finish work full of energy, which you can use to explore, meet with friends for dinner, going to the gym or whatever I could think of. And honestly, this has become one of the things that was most important and crucial for my experience working and living abroad: having energy to do all the fun and adventurous stuff when I was off work. Working in customer service enabled me to do exactly that.

A typical day of work as a customer support agent

The daily routine in the customer support role involves alternating between focused work and well-deserved breaks: “You would come to work and login and open your cue for people to come in with their questions and problems … I would work for around 2 hours and then I had my break and during that time… went up to the balcony and watched the sea or played ping pong with my coworkers”. Circling back to what we were saying in the section above: not spending energy on the work itself enables you to have fun in breaks and after hours. Breaks are an opportunity to relax and recharge.

Now… You might ask “What if I will be working from home and not in an office?“. Don’t worry, you will always have group chats, regular team and supervisor meetings, and these are so fun and important. Personally, I also worked remotely in Athens with colleagues both within Athens and the rest of Greece. We often arranged to meet up outside of work, and we would always meet someone new, that someone else brought along.

So working from home does not mean that you will become lonely in the new country. On the contrary – you can get a lot of practical things done at home during work, and you don’t have to spend time commuting. So when you’re off work, you’re ready to go out and have fun!

Key responsibilities and valuable skills

As a customer support representative, the primary objective is simple: To help customers via phone, mail, and/or chat to solve their issues.” Whether it’s troubleshooting product-related inquiries, payment issues, unlocking or updating accounts, or answering general questions, In a customer support position you will enhance and develop valuable skills like remaining composed in high-pressure situations, multitasking, troubleshooting, conversational skills, and managing multiple systems at once.

Navigating challenges with a smile

Handling a variety of customers and their different problems improves your problem-solving skills: “I now know how to remain calm and also not take offense when people are rude”. Sometimes you will be faced with straight up rude customers who is not listening and are angry from jump. In these cases the best thing you can do is to stay quiet and avoid interrupting them while they speak. This coping strategy truly works wonders, as the customer gets all or most of their anger off their chest, and if they are then met with an understanding and friendly tone, you will experience that a lot of issues are solved fast.

Of course you will also experience cases that you will not be able to solve on your own: “Sometimes even the technology makes mistakes”. So if you and your coworkers and supervisors cannot find the right resolutions, there are still help to find. These challenges are what escalations are made for! In all customer support roles there will be a so-called CSR1 and CSR2. You are the CSR1, and then there are more technical and experienced people working as CSR2s. And often there will be yet another layer, sometimes referred to as tier 3, which is technicians. What I am trying to say is, that you will always have someone to reach out to for help.

Thriving under pressure

Customer support roles can also be demanding, especially when customers are looking for quick solutions. Being able to stay calm while managing various systems and responding quickly demonstrates your skill in handling pressure: “Being stressed only harmed me, so instead I just tried to make it more fun”.

The strategy is to do the job while keeping things light, having a bit of fun, and ensuring that the stress doesn’t steal the show. This will most often also affect the mood of your customer, and turn the interaction into a pleasant and fun interaction with a very happy and satisfied customer experience. I have handled multiple customers who starts out frustrated and angry. But by setting a happy and pleasant tone, allowing the customer to finish speaking and blow off their steam, and then providing them with the right solutions and good explanations, they will 9/10 times be forever grateful, happy, and even slightly goofy. Those calls can really boost your confidence as well.

Embracing different cultures and being flexible

It is important to customise communication based on each customer’s communication style, age, level of tech knowledge etc. Many times, instead of using big, fancy words or complicated phrases, use easy simple terms for explaining. Being able to explain something complicated in a simple way is the best sign that you’re proficient at your job. You can for example get a very old person on the line, who has no clue how to operate their device. In this case you will get nowhere using fancy and technological words. Instead you have to assess their level and speak to them in words they can relate to. The ability of meeting people where they are is a valuable skill in life.

Constructive criticism: A way to advance

Dealing with customer feedback is an essential part of the learning process. Encouragement is used to boost confidence and constructive feedback is viewed as an opportunity for growth: “Negative feedback gives you room to improve while positive feedback really just boosts your confidence and, of course, mood.”

Customers can be dissatisfied with a long list of things including prices, system issues, response time, and payment issues. See feedback as a chance for growth rather than a setback, show understanding, and recognise the opportunity to improve – and remember that most of these issues can be fixed within minutes with your help.

In your response, you can say something like “Thank you for sharing your experience. We understand how important it is to respond quickly and are working on improving our efficiency. We use your feedback  to improve our service and meet your needs better.”  By saying this you turn negative feedback into a chance to show that you’re willing to do better, which shows that you have a positive attitude towards ongoing growth. 

Advice for upcoming customer support agents

Before you start working you will receive formal training in addressing different scenarios and systems, which is crucial for anyone wishing to join customer service. So if you’re planning on becoming a customer support representative you must always be polite, helpful, and communicate honestly. Your influence on others is significant. There is formal training on how to handle specific situations, how to operate the digital systems, and some projects even have specific guidelines on what information you should provide in different scenarios.

So the best thing you can do is just to pay attention to your training and use all the tools and information they provide you with. The solution to (almost) all problems will be found within this, which makes your job, customer interactions, and life so much easier to enjoy.

Development opportunities from being a customer support agent

CSR2: the technical supporters who are one level above regular customer support.

Team Leader/supervisor: Be in charge of all the customer support agents and be their mentor.

Quality Assurance Analyst (QA): Screen calls and make sure the customer support agents deliver the best possible service and complies with all regulations as well as KPI’s.

Trainer: Be the one in charge of teaching new customer support agents all they need to know.

Start your work adventure abroad in customer support

In the world of helping hands and friendly voices, customer support agents are the real heroes – let’s not forget to appreciate them. It’s a job that will teach you to stay calm and chill when things get a little bit heated. You will gain skills and personal growth that you didn’t expect. Honestly speaking: If you succeed as a customer support, there’s not much you can’t handle. It’s about handling stressful situations without losing your head and snapping at others. That’s a priceless asset.

So, next time you’re typing away for help, know there’s a whole team behind the screen, ready to turn your “uh-oh” into an “aha!” So, a big high-five to you for wanting to be a part of these helpers, making sure your questions get a speedy, smiley answer.

You are more than welcome to contact us at if you’re left with any questions. You can also check out our available jobs HERE.

And if you’re taking a gap year job and you are considering moving abroad and getting the adventure at the same time, you can read more HERE.