Customer services can vary greatly depending on the type of company but generally it encompasses a few key elements such as responding to client queries, providing product information, making sales and handling customer complaints.
Every type of organisation will provide customer service to their clients or members; from banks and insurance providers to retail outlets and cinemas, each company will define the roles unique to their customers needs.
Customer service representatives will often be found in an office, working 9am till 5.30pm, at the end of a telephone handling hundreds of calls in a day. There are plenty of opportunities in the leisure industry and some customer service roles are mobile, visiting clients in their own environment.
Customer care and meeting client needs are the main focus for a customer service representative. Those needs vary from company to company although the following are most likely: order processing, query handling, data entry, product promotion and problem solving.
No formal qualifications are required but some positions may require GCSE Maths and English.
Demonstration of personnel skills are sometimes more important than direct work experience for junior positions. Previous working knowledge will be required for specialist roles within industries such as IT or finance.
Whilst basic computer skills and a good command of written and spoken English are essential, people skills are vitally important too. Keeping calm and remaining tactful under pressure is a must and a bright personality will make you stand out from the crowd.
Salaries start at £13k per annum and the average wage is between £14k-£16k. Experienced and specialist customer service representatives can earn over £18k per annum and some sales orientated positions will offer performance related bonuses.
Customer service representatives find their job can be very rewarding by building relationships and providing client satisfaction. It is also an excellent way to gain exposure in a professional environment and learn essential skills.
Customer service supervisor or team leader are natural promotions for experienced staff. The foundational skills learnt by a customer service representative are usually transferable into other areas too, such as administration, sales and account management.
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