Job Search – Is Consumer Services a Good Career Path?

Maintaining customer loyalty is one of the most important keys to having success in the business world. Do you love helping consumers with their questions and concerns about goods and services for a company or brand that you love? If the answer is yes, you should consider a career path in the consumer services industry and do something you love!

What is the Definition of Consumer Services?

Cornell’s Law School Legal Information Institute broadly defines “consumer services as goods or services that people purchase, rent, or lease for short-term or indefinitely for a personal or household-related reason. Instructional or training courses apply in this category as well per this definition.”

The United States Bureau of Economic Analysis measures the consumer spending industry as, ” personal consumption expenditures (PCE). By the last business in 2021, the consumer spending portion of the American Economy peaked at $13.8 trillion, which was a large chunk of incoming funds for the economy.”

What types of industries fall under consumer services?

A large array of industries in the US are considered for a consumer services career. These industries include:

  • Real estate 
  • Information technology (IT) 
  • Trade services
  • Media
  • Leisure
  • Retail
  • Finance
  • Healthcare 

Consumer services have many different career paths related to these industries where you connect directly to individuals that need help with obtaining the goods and services from any of these companies. 

Career Paths to Seek Out in Consumer Services

Consumer services focus on reassuring that consumers have a great experience when shopping for goods or services from a company. There are multiple positions you can fulfill in the consumer services industry such as the ones explained below. 

Market Researcher

Marketing is how you appeal to consumers to purchase goods and services. The approach you take by examining how consumers behave will help you to apply marketing tactics to get them more interested in your company’s products or services. 

As a market researcher, you will discover how consumers behave in your industry and overall when shopping in your company. Then, you will apply these findings to enhance how the company markets to these individuals to boost customer engagement and sales. 

Customer Service Representative

Becoming a customer service representative is the most popular way to enter the consumer services industry. In this position, you are the direct link between the company and its consumers. 

You help consumers by answering their queries or concerns about the products or services your company offers. Customer services take on many communication modes whether in-person or virtually. You may be a store-based Customer Service Representative (CSR) providing in-person product support or you can be a virtual CSR interacting with consumers via email, telephone, or live chat. 

Service Designer

Being a Service Designer means you will go through service procedures with customers and find out what can be improved to enhance the consumer experience. You can help tailor each part of the process to be more seamless for customers so it’s easier to obtain the goods or services. 

Service Manager 

As you build your experience as a Customer Service Representative, you can move up to become a Service Manager. You are essentially the leader of the Customer Service Representatives in this position. Managing how the company delivers services to clients, training employees, and helping service representatives to complete their job are the three main functions you will do as a Service Manager. 

Quality Control Specialist 

No matter if you are delivering a product or service, Quality Control Specialists are integral for reassuring that consumers receive a quality experience when dealing with your company. You are the link between the Customer Service Representatives and the consumers to reassure that customers receive only the highest quality service. Your job is to give pointers to current and new workers on how to properly deliver great service quality to consumers. 

Service Provider 

Whether you are a Service Provider for a company or you provide services as an entrepreneur, the possibilities are endless for this possible position. Practicing well-rounded customer service habits will enhance your skills as a Service Provider, especially if you have learned a trade such as plumbing, farming, or construction. 

How to Enter the Consumer Services Industry

Don’t simply apply for consumer services industry jobs and hope for the best. Take these steps to enter the industry seamlessly and effectively. 

1. Study It 

The best way to enter a new field is to do your due-diligence and research the industry from multiple angles. If you are passionate about consumer services, research them to become more familiar with their demands. 

Find the answers to these questions:

  • What companies fall under the consumer services industry? 
  • What are the products and services that these companies offer? 
  • Where are these companies located throughout my local community?

Answering these questions for yourself and delving deeper into studying the consumer services field will get you ready for the application and interview process. 

2. Build Upon Your Skills

Being a good listener and thinking critically to solve consumer issues are a couple of major key skills to have as a person working in the consumer services industry. Especially when a customer problem is nothing like you have ever endured before, properly evaluating the situation and making decisions accordingly will keep you successful in the industry. Learn a new language to set yourself apart from other job candidates. 

3. Find The Right Company For You

It’s not enough just to pick a company and enter the consumer services industry quickly thereafter. Do your research to find which companies align with your overall values. Evaluate their mission and vision statements and the nature of their company culture. You will succeed more so in the industry by affiliating yourself with a company that matches who you are. 

4. Stand Out With Your Resume 

Your resume is the company’s first impression of you when you apply for a job in the consumer services field. Include only the positions, achievements, and endeavors related to consumer services on the resume. Have a skills section to show where you excel in the field. 

As you edit your resume, reassure that you know the basics of the consumer services industry business model. You can further impress hiring managers by knowing this information when it’s time for the interview. 

5. Be Memorable When Interacting With Hiring Managers

Speaking of hiring managers, let your passion shine through during the interview. Talk about your love of customer service, how your skills can help with company needs, and past successes you have had in serving customers. 

Watch out for when customer service simulations occur in the interview. The hiring manager will act as the customer and you will act as a consumer services representative. These simulations will help to hire managers to see how you would handle a true customer service issue whether in-person or virtually. 

Always be prepared for the possible simulation test. Study the company job description in which you are interested and go from there to get prepared for the interview and possible simulation. 

Why Consumer Services Is A Great Career

So many companies have a customer service department that needs skilled people to run them. These are 5 reasons to join the field now. 

1. There Are Low Barriers to Entry

Some fields require so much experience and schooling to enter them. However, consumer services usually require a High School Diploma and/or some college. All you need to do is have the basic skills for the consumer services field including active listening, customer interaction skills, and problem-solving. 

2. Change Companies Seamlessly (Go Lateral)

No matter the company you have previously worked in customer service, jobs consider this a highly sought-after skill to keep their clients happy. Companies are not successful unless their customers are happy and create repeat service. 

For example, you may have worked an entry-level position at McDonald’s in your teenhood and a local office would see that as a great experience if you are applying to become a Front Desk Representative. 

3. Advanced Professional Development 

You do not have to stay in an entry-level consumer services position for long. As you build your skills and perform well in a company, you can build yourself professionally by entering into higher echelon positions. Refer to the consumer services industry jobs above for more information. 

4. Many Companies To Choose From 

The companies that offer consumer services are not just related to one industry. You can align yourself with a company you love that matches your desired industry with low barriers to entry. No matter where you begin in the consumer services field, you may be in a different position with an entirely new company five years from now because of the many choices. 

5. High Job Availability 

The consumer services field continues to change and optimize because of how consumers behave, but there will always be positions available. It’s your call on how you want to enhance your consumer services career based on these new consumer behaviors. 

Is consumer services a good career path? Absolutely. When you start your consumer services industry career, you may work for one of these big-name brands or another one not listed here. The possibilities are endless when it comes to working in this field, and it’s up to you to find the company and position best for you.