Call center jobs provide a lot of leeway for professional networking, but often, those in the industry don’t make the most of this opportunity. Your professional network could open great doors that would otherwise be inaccessible. You might be surprised that most managers choose to do business with people who are well-connected. The breadth of one’s network not only measures a person’s influence but also implies good communication and socialization skills.
Aside from the socialization aspect, however, various factors can make an impact on how well you connect with other professionals. Of course, you need to start with the basics: dress smartly, be confident, and always wear a smile. Besides these handy reminders, however, you need to know how to build a strong network. Take a look at the following tips for effective networking, which are especially useful for customer support representatives.
1. Be helpful.
If someone asks a favor from you, and you know you can help, don’t hesitate to do so. In fact, don’t wait for someone to approach you first. If you see them struggling with something you can solve, volunteer to assist them in a nice way. Share your ideas, make suggestions, or provide useful information. In the future, these people may be more motivated to return the favor, and this is a key factor in enhancing the quality of your professional network.
2. Use social media to your advantage.
Nowadays, building a good reputation starts with social media. With the information we can find online about anyone, it’s no surprise that employers check out LinkedIn or Facebook to gather basic details about prospective employees. What others see on your social account can shape their impression about you, so make sure to craft a clean-looking and impressive profile.
Aside from that, there are plenty of online groups, forums, or pages you can join. Be active in these online communities by commenting on topics or threads that interest you. That way, you’ll meet a mix of like-minded individuals and others with different perspectives. Just make sure that the information you share is error-free, and be prepared to acknowledge your mistake if you ever make one.
3. Attend company events.
If your customer support job requires you to stay on your desk for an entire day, your chances to meet people from other departments are limited. That’s why it’s always a good idea to attend company events such as year-end parties, team building activities, and even just the usual dinners. Here, employees from various parts of the organization gather in a relaxed and fun way, making them conducive for socialization. Just be yourself, learn to listen attentively, and try to add something valuable to every conversation and you’ll find a lot of people gravitating toward you.
4. Get an introduction.
This is probably the most important professional networking tip you need to remember. You can meet more people by asking your existing connections to introduce you to those they’re already acquainted with. This technique is effective, because the other person would be more likely to trust you if you were referred by a mutual friend. Make sure to thank the middle person and be willing to do the same for them in the future.
5. Send a friendly email.
To build a professional network, you must be persistent. Don’t limit your circle around people you meet daily. Instead, reach out to other influencers within and beyond the call center industry. The easiest way you can do that is by sending emails or personal messages over social media. When writing messages, try not to be overly professional that you sound almost robotic. Instead, be conversational and allow your personality to show upon the emails you send.
Call center jobs allow for plenty of chances to get yourself acquainted with people with different backgrounds and expertise, but you have to take the initiative to reach out to them. So put yourself out there. Always be prepared to listen, and try to learn at least one thing from each person you meet. In the long run, this will make you a more well-rounded and wiser professional.