If you’ve been working in customer services for awhile, you may be starting to look for a more senior role.
But it can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’re unsure about whether you can even handle a management position. If you’re looking to gradually move into management, become a customer service supervisor.
So, what will I actually be doing?
Customer service supervisors essentially look after a team of staff, ensuring they give good customer service, turn up on time and are generally doing their job properly.
But just because it’s a management role, it doesn’t mean you’re a world away from the customers; in fact supervisors are a primary point of contact for both staff and customers, so you’re more involved than ever before.
Because customer service roles are an integral part of so many industries, your daily tasks will change depending on the company you work for. But whether you’re leading a small group or an entire department, your role will always involve looking after the team and helping the company run as smoothly as possible. This can include:
- Delegating tasks
- Monitoring the team’s performance
- Assisting the team by performing the tasks with them
- Helping with training and development
- Completing paperwork (yes, there’s always admin to do)
- Handling complaints (from both staff and customers)
- Helping to hire new staff
- Reporting to senior management / personnel when required
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The nitty gritty
You can expect to work around 40 hours a week, and depending on the industry this can be done between 9-5 during weekdays or in shift patterns.
Just like most customer services jobs, flexible hours can be available for this role, so whether you’re looking for full time or part-time hours, you’re bound to find an industry that can accommodate you.
Although your working environment will obviously change depending on the company, some businesses will want you to travel to different sites on a frequent basis, especially if they’re a large chain.
Money, money, money
Your salary will change depending on your location, your employer and your previous experience, but customer service supervisors generally earn between £15,000 and £25,000 a year.
Reach a higher management level, and you could be looking at earning around £40,000 a year, maybe even more.
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The good points...
With so many companies needing customer service supervisors to keep an eye on things, there’s lots of working environments on offer. Industries with the widest range of opportunities 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
When you were in a junior role, any major complaints could be taken off your hands and given to management to sort out.
Well guess what…now you’re management, so expect to deal with more severe complaints and be responsible for solving them. And expect much angrier customers too (good luck with them).
Is there study involved?
Although it’s always helpful to have some general education on your CV, when it comes to becoming a supervisor previous experience is often more important than qualifications. Why? Well, it not only proves your commitment to customer service, but also shows that you can handle the responsibility and leadership opportunities that comes with the job.
Because every company is different, it’s always worth checking with your employer what entry requirement they’d want from you and how much experience you’d need before you’d be considered for a supervisor role.
However, if you’re looking to study useful qualifications that might impress employers, or want to learn while you work, NVQs and similar qualifications relevant to your industry are always useful.
Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
If you’ve never really enjoyed working with people it may be time to avoid this job, as you’re now dealing with more people than ever before.
You’ll need excellent communication skills too, as now you’re not only dealing with customer enquiries, but you’re also delegating and motivating a whole team of people too.
Other useful skills include:
- A responsible attitude
- Ability to make decisions under pressure
- Calm and patient
- Ability to lead and motivate others
Time management (if you can’t be on time, why would the staff?)
- Accuracy at record keeping
- IT skills
- Ability to prioritise your own work and other people’s
If you’re worried you haven’t got some of these skills, or think your leadership abilities could do with some extra work, many companies now offer in-house training to help you learn on the job.