where customer service jobs in canada are headed

Prior to COVID-19, the majority of customer service and support organizations worked from traditional call centres and less than 10% of staff worked from home. That has now drastically changed, with 71% of customer support centers being completely remote. Customer support workers have had to adapt to new working environments and transition contact centre tools to their home offices. Alongside adapting, customer support workers need to be able to respond quickly to the new emotional state of consumers. Providing compassionate customer service has never been more important. Customer support reps also need to be able to use collaboration tools like instant messaging and Slack to connect with other reps in real-time to get advice and perspective from colleagues.  Data shows this makes an enormous difference as companies that allow reps to tap into one another’s expertise perform 50% better than organizations that force reps to stick to the script and seek answers only from management. As online shopping and e-commerce continues to trend upward, customer service reps within industries like health care, banking, retail, and government will be in high demand.

1. customer service representative

Customer service representatives take the top spot on the list of in-demand customer support jobs for another year. Despite concerns that customer service jobs would decline due to the advancement of point of sale technology and self-serve checkouts, that worry seems unfounded for now. Skilled customer service professionals offer a human touch and knowledge that can't be replicated by machines.

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2. customer retention specialist

Customer retention specialists (also sometimes called loyalty agents or retention agents) play a critical role for businesses, particularly those with recurring billing, such as in telecommunications. Customer retention specialists have a tough job: they deal with customers who are upset or planning to cancel their service. Their main job is to keep the customer happy and retain their business. Calm, professional and outgoing people who aren't easily ruffled are most likely to thrive in this challenging role.

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3. bilingual customer service agent

Bilingual customer service agent holds onto the same spot as last year. Bilingualism, particularly spoken English/French is in high demand in all customer service jobs. Being able to speak both of Canada's national languages is a huge asset for employers that operate call centres that serve both French and English speakers.

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4. inside sales representative

Inside sales representatives tend to be more focused on B2B sales or big-ticket B2C sales than other customer service professionals. Inside sales representatives focus most of their time reaching out to prospective customers, often through cold calling. They typically work (at least partially) on commission so persistence and sales acumen are key skills to master in this career path.

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5. customer service agent

Customer service agents may work in call centres, though through the pandemic many of these roles have shifted to remote operations. Customer service agents typically handle customer requests over the phone, email, or instant messages. Though customer service agents may work remotely, outgoing people who excel at communicating and staying calm under pressure are in demand.

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6. team leader

Team leaders (or supervisors) are the first level of management in most customer service or call centre operations. Team leaders typically oversee small teams of entry-level customer service professionals. Their main directive is to ensure their team meets the performance metrics and KPIs outlined by the organization and to report on results. They may also be in charge of scheduling, training, and hiring for their team.

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7. collection specialist

Collection specialists are tasked with recouping money from outstanding debts owed by customers. They're in charge of monitoring overdue accounts and reaching out to collect payment, usually by phone. Though collection specialists are technically a call centre role, knowledge of accounting software and accounts receivable is particularly useful in this role.

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8. e-chat specialist

E-chat specialist is a new entry on the list of in-demand customer support jobs for 2021, just squeaking into the 8th position. Don’t think that means they aren’t important though! Surging online sales during the pandemic have ramped up the need for customer service professionals who are able to use their skills remotely

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in-demand customer service skills