by 5CA | September 25, 2020
In all walks of life, across almost all types of work and career path, all of us run into the need for skills that serve us—whether we’re serving customers an extra-hot double shot latte, securing a multinational corporation’s global network links, or teaching kids to recite their ABCs.
These ‘soft’ skills are highly marketable, and they’ll serve you no matter what direction your career takes. We don’t really focus on learning these skills. Instead, we pick them up organically, on-the-job, during our day-to-day tasks and typical interactions.
And it’s often not until we stop and reflect back over the course of our careers that we actually recognize the various transferable or ‘soft’ skills we’ve picked up, without even really realizing, over time.
Here at 5CA, we see that our outstanding team members often build extremely strong skillsets during their time as advisors and that these skills prepare them brilliantly for further progressing into other roles within the organization. We believe that career progression opportunities are vitally important, which is why at 5CA, we offer extensive and formal training across a huge number of soft and transferable skills—available to each and every member of our team across the globe.
In line with this month’s 5CA Career Fair, and to inspire you all, we caught up with a few 5CA’ers to pin down which skills they developed during their time as a 5CA advisor and learn how these skills have contributed to their career growth. Let’s take a look:
What is empathy? Somebody with strong empathy is essentially adept at putting themselves into somebody else’s shoes and understand, perceive or feel a situation from their point of view.
As you can imagine, support advisors at 5CA get fantastic opportunities to develop their empathy daily—helping customers and players with their challenges and problems and ensuring they leave an interaction satisfied and happy.
Benjamin Schmidt, Engagement and Communications Lead at 5CA and ex-advisor, says he was really glad to develop his empathy during his time supporting players of a major consumer electronics brand:
“Being able to understand the customer’s point of view and being able to put yourself in their position is key. I also learnt how to handle people who are upset, without getting upset myself—this is a fairly common challenge!”
Along with empathy comes expectation setting. This can be extremely challenging and often uncomfortable if you’ve never had to do it before:
“Being an advisor also taught me how to be clear about what I can and can’t do (I was never very good at saying “no”, but having to lay out the law to a customer taught me that I’m also able to do this outside of work too)”, says Benjamin.
Vincent Signorelli, who previously worked as a 5CA advisor and has since moved into a role as a Learning Specialist agrees:
“Learning to set proper expectations (thus improving a customer’s experience) has been something that’s been applicable to all the positions I’ve been in. Managing a customer’s expectations allows for a much greater level of communication, as the customer knows exactly where they stand with their issue. The same applies to every role I’ve been in since—from training and setting proper expectations for new advisors joining a project, to managing your team effectively. These days I would say expectation setting is as important as ever in the L&D department, as we’re often working with several stakeholder requests at any given time.”
Hopefully, you’re starting to see just what a large variety and range of transferable skills being a 5CA advisor helps you develop. Some of the other 5CA’ers we spoke to also mentioned that they had noticed a significant improvement in their emotional intelligence, resilience and logical thinking as their careers progressed over time within 5CA.
Of course, technical skills are also huge here. Depending on your role and the tasks you perform on a day-to-day basis, you’ll no doubt become intimately familiar with certain tech, tooling and software that you’ll come across again and again as your career progresses. Being able to confirm that you’re already au fait with a particular software platform or technical tool will do wonders for your eligibility for a role.
A need for ‘communication skills’ shows up in 99.9% of job descriptions or open vacancies and for good reason—being able to communicate effectively with others across multiple contexts and settings is invaluable in almost every job you’ll ever take.
Here’s what Kimberly Abbott, 5CA Project Lead, had to say about the communication skills she developed during her time as a 5CA advisor:
“Communication skills are, of course, most important as they encompass the many ways we speak with clients/customers and our responses as representatives of 5CA are reflective of not only ourselves, but the company as a whole. While you can make the argument that empathy and communication skills go hand in hand, they are just as important separately. Although, I’m a strong believer that if you can’t understand the basics of communicating with your customer or client base that you will struggle to feel any empathy. If you can’t relate to your client or customer base, you have no way of guaranteeing that you can effectively assist them.”
Benjamin finds that the benefits have extending beyond “just” communicating, and through to providing actual networking opportunities:
“Every interaction is a chance to make a positive impact – from laughing with a customer that I really have to end the call now because I solved their problem five minutes ago and I have to help someone else, to having suppliers always start their calls with a quick run over of how their family’s doing, to hanging out with the client when they were in town, to making friends with Traffic Control—every interaction can be meaningful and fun if you approach it the right way!”
This seems like a fantastic opportunity to not only develop your lifelong transferable skills but to have fun doing it!
5CA offers all the members of its community access to a multitude of fun and interesting courses covering a range of different, highly transferable skills on our 5CA Academy. Not only that, but we’re also currently running an internal Careers Fair, with presentations from 5CA’ers in different roles, career advice and inspiring talks from leaders across the industry.
Looking for a career that can grow with you? Check out careers.5ca.com to see our open positions.
Following on from National Customer Service Week, our Chief Customer Officer Rob van Herpen reflects on the journey that customer service has undergone in the last decade, and the role it plays within the wider scope of the whole customer experience.
I started working for 5CA back in October 2019. Currently, I’m working as a Gaming Technology Support Agent in Spain. My job as an expert on the products of the company I'm supporting is to offer support to customers and get them up, running and happy in no time.
2020 is set to be a blockbuster year for gaming. In particular, mobile games that don’t need the player to invest in a console or any other equipment. One of the effects of the stay-at-home and quarantine orders during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has been that people have needed to find things to keep them occupied.
The white paint lines on the road crept passed ever so slowly, like my life tricking away.
I tapped the steering wheel with my nails, trying to release the pent up stress and irritation while the radio mindlessly droned on. Then the tears came, right on time, same as usual.
When you look at how many people searched for ‘work from home’ in the past year, you see the chart soars in March 2020 just as many national governments were applying stay-at-home orders and quarantines to help reduce the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. This is no surprise. Every company that could possibly keep functioning with remote workers asked their people to go home.
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Have you noticed how many companies and senior executives are now experts in building a work from home strategy? According to Malcolm Gladwell it takes 10.000 hours of individual practice to become an expert at anything. Have those 320 business hours since the 1st of March really made everybody an expert?
Across the world, business journals have been endlessly reporting of the heroic efforts of companies with large numbers of office-based employees managing to switch to a work-from-home strategy. This has particularly impacted the contact centers because they have a large number of people in a small area and this is no longer acceptable because of the social distancing required to keep us all safe.
For almost two decades, 5CA has been perfecting our work from home customer service model. The latest version, where we only ever hire agents to work from home, has been around since 2015, so it is clear that for us this is very much business as usual.
A few days ago I participated in a webinar titled ‘pioneering contact center quality working remotely.’ The title makes it clear what the focus was, but I was pleased to be joined by our Lead QA Analyst, Sylvia Mattl, and Derek Corcoran, CEO of Scorebuddy.
A few days ago I participated in a webinar titled ‘pioneering contact center quality working remotely.’ The title makes it clear what the focus was, but I was pleased to be joined by our Chief Customer Officer Rob van Herpen, and Derek Corcoran, CEO of Scorebuddy.
My experience with starting to work remotely has certainly been one of the very best opportunities I’ve had so far. It changed my life, for the better. I’ll gladly tell you the short story of how I went from an in-office agent biking to the station every day, to exchanging my bike for snow boots when I reached my new home.
Companies across the world are racing to get their team all working from home to protect them. During multiple global lockdowns citizens are expected to practice social distancing, therefore it is essential for companies to operate with as many people as possible working from home.
95% of our team works from home and we have been working this way for over 15 years, where we truly understand what it is really like to build a work from home strategy with a huge focus on quality.
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At 5CA working from home is just business as usual. 95% of our team is based at home so we have been watching the sudden focus on work from home business models, especially for customer service, with some interest.
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Because 95% of our team works from home and we have been working this way for over 15 years I feel confident that I can help people to understand what it is really like to build a work from home strategy.
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I have to say, the first time leading a team without ever being in the same room is quite a unique and unsettling experience in the first few weeks, but I have found that it makes you work a lot on your communication skills...
Workforce engagement is a buzzword. And like all good buzzwords, there’s a lot of hype around it, but something really valuable at the heart of it too.
Consumer support over any channel, in any language, at any time: 5CA’s successful contact center as a service is possible because we use technology to make planet Earth our talent pool...
Consumer support over any channel, in any language, at any time: 5CA’s successful contact center as a service is possible because we use technology to make planet Earth our talent pool. It also presents an intriguing challenge: How do we balance flexibility, productivity, and security?
Consumer support over any channel, in any language, at any time: 5CA’s successful contact center as a service is possible because we use technology to make planet Earth our talent pool.