If you’re feeling indecisive about your career and are looking for a job that can give you lots of different options to try out, then you don’t need to look any further than a career as a customer service assistant.
Hired by lots of businesses from banks to supermarkets, it's down to YOU to make sure the customer leaves with a good impression of the company you work for.
So, what will I actually be doing?
Making sure every customer who comes through the door leaves happy, a customer service assistant provides help and advice whenever they can.
Answering queries and offering information, this job involves a lot of interaction with the general public (as well as with colleagues) in a variety of methods including face-to-face, over the phone and via email.
Your daily routine will vary depending on where you work and you could do anything from arranging shop displays and handling payments to taking part in customer promotions and events.
You’ll be expected to keep up-to-date with all the latest products and promotions so you can explain it to customers who may be interested.
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The finer details...
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 depending on what company you work for.
The plus side to this 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.
Unless your company is really casual, you’re normally expected to look smart and wear a uniform, although this is usually provided for you by the organisation you work for.
Money, money, money
The average salary for a customer service assistant change depending on your location, your employer and the company you’re working for, but as a trainee assistant you can earn between £8,000 and £10,500 a year.
As you become more experienced you’re looking to earn between £9.000 and £13,000, even more if you’re working for a large organisation.
In some companies, there’s also the possibility of earning bonuses or commissions to add onto your yearly salary.
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The good points...
This career has lots of job satisfaction on a daily basis, as you’ll be helping people with their needs and problems every day.
Working in this role can be a great way to learn about a company and receive training and experience. When it comes to promotion opportunities, you can go on to become a supervisor or manager of a department, or even an entire store.
Because the skills you learn in this job are often transferable, it’s also easier to get jobs in other industries if you decide to move on from your current job. So if one industry doesn’t suit you, then you can always try your hand at another.
...and the bad
When customers complain they can get really ranty, and although it probably wasn’t your fault, expect to hear about it anyway.
You’ll also be expected to sit (or stand) in the same place for long periods of time so customers can always find you, so make sure you wear some comfy shoes to work.
Is there study involved?
As an entry-level job, you won't need lots of qualifications, as personality is what counts in this job. Companies are looking for friendly people who show good customer service and have previous experience in the industry rather than pages of qualifications.
However, a good basic education (five GCSEs, grades A-C) will give you an advantage when applying for jobs, especially if you’ve got English and Maths under your belt. 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 as well.
Think your skills need some more work? Many companies now offer in-house training schemes which train you in new skills that you can use in the job, as well as improving on existing ones.
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 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? Yes? So far, so good. And don't forget: