In customer service you can go far. Really far. It’s an easy way to climb the corporate ranks and settle into a high level customer service management position or even make the jump into marketing or corporate training. Another reason why it’s an easy path? It’s an area flooded with people who have just settled.

Customer Service Race

Think about it, customer service is seen as last resort. It’s people’s fall back job, it’s their makes-ends-meet mentality that makes customer service the perfect area for those who are passionate and active in achieving excellence in customer service. I recently discussed the key to succeeding professionally in customer service by getting results.

The successful in customer service are those who wake up before dawn to deliver customer service results instead of lazily strolling into the office dreading another day at work.

The customer service future belongs to those who create, develop, innovate, and add value to the bottom line. This doesn’t mean squeezing blood from a stone. Slave driving your customer service team is ALWAYS the wrong way to deliver customer service results. You get paid to manage, to lead, to mentor. You’re not a just a reaper. You are a sower, cultivator, and a harvester.

The success of your company has as much if not more to do with your performance as it does with the performance of the CEO and his or her senior team.

…[Unfortunately,] 50-80% of all middle managers fail to achieve the expectations of those who promote them.

-Jim Morris and Betsey Upchurch,

You have a good thing going for you. You may not realize it, but you do. It doesn’t matter that you aren’t in your ideal career situation right now. Make it the ideal career situation. BE SO GOOD THEY CAN’T IGNORE YOU. Most of us have access to training, education, and technical skills development but we don’t use it. I constantly hear about the “I want to…”, “I’m going to…”, “I’m thinking about…” and not enough of “I’m doing.” and “I did.”

Too many in middle management languish, never reaching their full potential because of the lack of needed support and attention needed to develop into management superstars. They’re not high enough in the ladder to get the senior and executive treatment, but not low enough in the ranks to be targeted by most corporate development training programs. A few forward thinking organizations have mentor programs available, but they’re few and far between. You’re mostly on your own.

Don’t be afraid to get out there and lead the way. No one is going to hand it all to you. No one is going to do it for you. The more you are given, the less it means to you and even less will your accomplishments mean to those who gave it to you. Get out there and lead.

Dedicate yourself to a cause. Work with all of your energy. Master your craft. Perfect your profession. Then, and only then, will you see the fruits of your labor. Leadership and management are difficult and complex, but it’s an opportunity you have right now. Show initiative, be vocal, be proactive, be active, take a stand.

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