Many of the vacancies that our commercial department deal with are customer service roles. Customer service covers a vast range of jobs titles and skillsets and our teams place candidates into these jobs across a wide variety of industry sectors.
So could a customer service role be the right job for you? In this blog, we’ll cover what customer service roles often involve, the types of job titles you may come across and what the required skills are for these types of vacancies. Plus, we’ll share a few tips on honing your customer service skills.
What is Customer Service?
Customer Service is a blanket term for roles that support a business’ current or potential customer base. These customer bases can be either individuals or other businesses. While people often assume that Customer Service roles are related provide help in shops, the majority of customer service roles are office-based, with workers providing support to customers or service-users via phone, email, live chat or instant messages.
These roles are essential to the successful running of many businesses. Staff often provide the first port of call for any queries, questions or complaints a customer might have. Being able to resolve these issues is a crucial part of customer retention and ensuring that the good reputation of a company is maintained and improved.
Customer Service roles sometimes involve a sales element, as providing support and creating opportunities to increase the value of a sale or renewal, often go hand in hand. Roles can vary massively, with some having a large impetus on sales and others only requiring the member of staff to provide support or information to their customers.
Job Title Examples:
Roles to look out for that involve a strong Customer Service element include:
- Customer Service Agent
- Customer Service Advisor
- Customer Service Administrator
- Call Handler
- Telesales Advisor
- Call Centre Advisor
- Renewals Advisor
- Customer Care Manager
- Customer Operations Manager
- Customer Relationship Manager and many more…
It takes a certain skill set to be successful in a Customer Service role. If you would include many of the following in your CV, the Customer Service role could be your calling:
- An excellent phone manner – More often than, not, customer service is provided over the phone. Therefore, confidence when speaking on the phone with the ability to answer questions succinctly and clearly is essential, as well as a polite, professional and friendly tone.
- Good administrative skills – it is incredibly important for customer service staff to be organised, with the ability to multitask. Often when liaising with a customer, you will be required to enter and search for details on a CRM system. Recording details of customer contact accurately ensures that issues are dealt with correctly and as a result, customers are kept happy.
- Relationship Building – All customer service roles unsurprisingly include large amounts of customer contact. The ability to build relationships with key customers will increase the likelihood of a positive result – whether that’s customer satisfaction or a sale/renewal of a product or service.
- Computer Literacy – As with many roles, computers play a large part in many of these jobs. A good understanding of basic software such as Microsoft Office is often essential. It is also likely that you will have to get to grips with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management software), so you have to be confident that your level of computer skills will allow this to be possible.
- Good Grammar and Spelling – As well as good phone technique, you are likely to have to communicate with customers via email or even live chat. You should therefore have strong spelling and grammar and be able to type accurately and at a good speed.
- The ability to adapt and perform well under pressure – No two days will be the same in any customer service job. You are often faced with unexpected questions or even angry customers, so the ability to keep calm under pressure and think on your feet is absolutely key.
Employability Tips: Improve your Telephone Manner
As mentioned above, a great Telephone Manner is essential when it comes to landing a Customer Service role. When interviewing for jobs like this, many employers will run through a role-play scenario, to see how you would function in the role. Here are some tips for mastering your telephone manner, to help you become a Customer Service superstar!
- Don’t be a robot! A monotone voice, lacking spark from the get-go will lose a customer’s interest very quickly. Try to let your voice rise and fall when speaking to a customer – practice makes perfect, the more confident you become, the less you will need to rely on guide notes or scripts and you will naturally sound more dynamic and friendly.
- Don’t forget to smile: Although this might sound strange, occasionally smiling whilst on the phone will automatically inject your voice with positivity. That will translate to the customer and helps to get them on-side.
- Take your time: It is common to want to answer questions or explain something as quickly as possible – nerves can make this worse too! Taking your time means that you are likely to speak more clearly, meaning your customer won’t struggle to understand you and will feel confident in your presence. Listen to the customer carefully, take notes and don’t be afraid to pause and gather your thoughts before answering any questions or queries. You can use verbal cues such as “Okay, I’ll do my best to resolve this for you today” or “please bear with me while I look into that for you.” – that way, pauses while you gather your thoughts won’t seem awkward or off-putting.
Is a Customer Service Job for Me?
If you feel like you have any or all of the skills above, then a Customer Service job is likely to be a good choice for you. It is crucial that you are personable and enjoy working with and helping other people. You should be confident and driven – with a passion for representing your company well. Some but certainly not all customer service roles involve sales – so make sure you read any job descriptions carefully to see if it’s a good match to your skillset and experience.
The great thing about Customer Service roles is that many of the skills required are very transferrable. This means potential employers will often consider those who have worked in retail, hospitality and other customer-facing sectors such as leisure, beauty and care – experience in these roles will have set you up with great skills for a customer service job.
Start Your Search
You can start your search for your Customer Service job today – get in touch with your local branch to let the commercial team know you’re looking for work. Our dedicated consultants will help match you to your perfect job, as well as helping with CV and interview tips and much more.