If you think of customer services as a dull job then think again. Customer service assistants are hired by lots of retail businesses from banks and airports to supermarkets and it's down to YOU to make sure the customer leaves with a good impression of the company you work for.
We take a look at life as a customer services assistant...
So, what will I actually be doing?
Is it all days filled with angry customers shouting at you down the phone? Actually, no! Your daily routine will vary depending on where you work and you could do anything from arranging shop displays to taking part in customer promotions and events. Of course, there is an aspect of dealing with customer complaints but it's not what this job is all about.
The nitty gritty
If you're after set hours in an office then a customer service assistant job may not be for you as many companies are open at weekends, evenings and even through the night. Ouch. The plus side to that is there are often part-time and flexible working options available so you can fit it easily into whatever else you have going on in your life.
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Money, money, money
The average salary for a customer service assistant is between £12k and £18k per year depending on where you live and the kind of company you work for. Those who speak a second language can often get higher salaries. Time to break out the Italian dictionary, then!
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The good points...
The Institute of Customer Service (ICS) says that the best thing about customer service roles is "Dealing with people and helping them with their needs and their problems."
So it can actually benefit your career longer-term as well.
...and the bad
However, ICS also warns people of the negatives: "Not being provided with the necessary skills or the freedom with which to use your initiative to meet customers’ requirements and solve their problems can be an issue."
Is there study involved?
Personality is what counts in this job and companies are looking for calm people who are friendly and show common sense. However, a good basic education (five GCSEs, grades A-C) will give you an advantage when applying for jobs. If you really want your CV to stand out from the rest you may want to consider taking a Level 2 or 3 NVQ in Customer Service.
Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone
This is an entry-level role and working as a customer service assistant is a great way to learn about a company and receive training and experience. Customer service assistants can go on to become a supervisor or manager and the transferable skills you learn in this job can be used to get jobs in other industries.
OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
If you've got this far and are still interested in customer service assistant jobs then it's now time to check if it suits your personality and skills... Are you friendly, patient and quick-thinking? So far, so good. And don't forget:
- Like working as part of a team
- Well-presented, polite and tactful
- Can handle complaints in a calm manner
- Have good IT skills