Good managers are vital to the customer services industry. Bad managers can lead to terrible customer service, loss in profits and unmotivated staff that can’t wait to hand in their resignation.
But if you think you’ve got what it takes to successfully lead a team, you should probably find out what a customer service manager does.
So, what will I actually be doing?
As a customer service manager, your most important role is leading and motivating a team of staff to ensure they’re giving the best customer service possible.
You’ll also be expected to know your company’s products and policies inside out and be able to communicate it to other members of staff.
Because customer services jobs can encompass a range of industries, your daily tasks will change depending on what your company actually does. Possible duties include:
- Helping to build good customer relations
- Recruiting staff and doing appraisals
- Arranging staff meetings
- Training and development
- Handling complaints and queries (from customers and staff)
- Sorting security issues
- Financial responsibilities
- Arranging promotional events
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The finer details...
You’ll normally work the standard 40 hour week, which can be on weekdays or weekends depending on the organisation. Just like other customer services jobs, this role can offer flexible hours and part-time opportunities too.
If you work for companies that open late or even 24 hours a day (e.g. supermarkets, hotels, airports), your working hours could also include night shifts.
Your working environment will differ depending on what you’re managing, but you’ll usually be based in an office or at a customer services desk.
Unless your company is casual, it’s likely that you’ll either be given a uniform or expected to dress relatively smartly.
Money, money, money
It’s the question that you’re dying to know; how much can you earn in this job? Well it will vary depending on your employer, your location, your role and your previous experience.
At a trainee level, you can usually earn between £16,000 and £20,000 a year. With further experience this rises to between £20,000 and £40,000 a year.
Reach a senior management position and this rises again to around £60,000.
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The good points...
With so many companies needing customer service managers to keep an eye on things, there’s lots of working environments on offer. Industries that are available to you include:
Not sure which one would suit you? Don’t worry, with so many different industries to choose from, if your current sector isn’t doing anything for you, you can always try your hand at another.
...and the bad
You can really feel the pressure in this job, especially as you’re now responsible for handling complaints. And if it reaches management, it’s normally either pretty serious, or the customer is so angry the staff don’t know what to do with them. Either way it’s not going to be fun sorting it out.
Plus there will always be time wasting customers demanding to “see the manager” because they had to queue for too long or the business hours aren’t convenient for them. Good luck with them too.
Is there study involved?
You don’t need to have a degree to do this job, although a general education can be useful as many employers like to see GCSEs, including English and maths or an NVQ/SVQ in customer service or management. Larger companies may also want to see A Levels on your CV.
If you’ve gone to university and think customer service is for you, some companies have a fast-track management scheme especially for graduates to give you a hand up the career ladder.
But you can’t get this job on qualifications alone, as you’ll probably need previous experience in customer service too. Don’t get disheartened if you have to work in a junior role for awhile, as many organisations will internally promote their staff.
Worried you haven’t got the right skills or experience to be a manager? Don’t worry, many employers (especially in large organisations), will offer in-house management schemes to train you up and give you the chance to learn further qualifications while you’re working at the company.
Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
Good communication skills are a must-have in this job. You need to be able to motivate, inspire and generally lead a team of people (who won’t always listen to you), as well as dealing with any customer enquiries that head your way.
Can’t make your mind up about anything? This might not be the job for you, as being decisive and quick thinking are key traits that customer services managers need to have.
Other useful skills include:
- Interest and enjoyment in working with people
- Polite and tactful personality
- Ability to plan
- Able to work calmly under pressure
- IT skills