As companies strive to develop fruitful relationships with their customers, and to ensure that their experiences are positive, it is usually up to the customer service department to handle enquiries, complaints and requests, preferably at first point of contact. Customer service positions entail dealing with customers face-to-face, by email, by chat or by telephone. The list of duties spans a wide range of tasks. They can involve everything from customer account management, security check-ups, record keeping, database management, payment processing, delivery management and follow-up to filing customer activity reports.
Education and Training
Degrees are not usually a requirement for entry-level customer service positions, and candidates are normally qualified for most jobs if they are educated to GCSE or equivalent standard. Many customer service departments offer support to customers across the globe, and representatives are often required to master at least one foreign language. For those who have been in this line of work for a certain amount of time, an NVQ or CICS serves as additional qualification. Most employers look for candidates with IT, communication and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to work under pressure and in a team. Being able to maintain a positive attitude and to develop cooperative working relationships are sought-after qualities for those who wish to excel in the field. Customer service jobs can include attendant jobs or call centre management jobs, amongst many others.
There has been a steady rise in the number of customer service jobs available on the market, with most positions requiring Customer Service Advisors, Inbound Call Centre Operators and Account Managers. Fewer Customer Service Assistant jobs have been offered since 2014 to date, and the number of Switchboard and Helpdesk Operators employed has stagnated. Employers operate in a wide spectrum of fields, and the experience, competencies and responsibilities that come with a position in this job market vary across the industry, to some extent.
Depending on the position, the average salary in customer services ranges between £16,000 and £42,000. Call Centre Operators tend to earn less, while Team Leaders, Account Managers and Contact Centre Managers have the highest paying jobs, on average.