Customer service means assisting and advising people who buy or use a company’s products or services. Employees in customer service roles, such as customer service advisors, represent the front line of a company. They’re the first point of contact for customers, so being able to form good relationships is essential, as the quality of relationships can make or break a business.
The main responsibility of anyone in a customer service advisor job is to take care of customer enquiries promptly and professionally. When a customer interacts with a company, they want to know that someone will be there to help if they have any questions or concerns about a product or service.
Customer services roles are integral to the success of any business, and customer service careers can branch off into many interesting sectors. If you’re considering a career in customer services, then this customer service advisor job description guide is for you.
- What are the responsibilities of a customer service advisor?
- Why become a customer service advisor?
- What’s the average customer service salary?
- What’s the career path for a customer service role?
- What qualifications do I need to become a customer service advisor?
- How do I get customer service experience?
What are the Responsibilities of a Customer Service Advisor?
The responsibilities of a customer service advisor job vary depending on the industry you work in. For example, if you work in the hospitality industry, you may be asked to make reservations over the phone or by email. Or, if you work in retail, you might be asked to serve customers at the till. Other customer service advisor jobs may handle calls on behalf of companies’ clients.
Other responsibilities may include assisting customers looking for a product or dealing with any issues a customer has with a product they’ve already bought. Whereas if you’re working in a call centre setting, you may be chasing up orders for customers, managing complaints and working closely with non-customer facing departments such as accounts to resolve background issues.
In short, the responsibilities of a customer service advisor can include:
- Raising support tickets with other departments to aid the resolution of customer requests
- Maintaining databases of customer information and complying with GDPR legislation
- Escalating queries and complaints with the team
- Checking whether a product or service is available
- Assisting customers in registering/creating an account with the company
- Passing customer feedback on to the relevant departments to improve future service
- Answering phone calls, emails, or social media enquiries, or taking part in live chat sessions
- Working on a till/checkout in a retail store
You’ll find customer service roles in almost every industry. From chemical engineering to finance, hospitality to central government, and from automotive to manufacturing. Whatever industry you work in, or want to work in, you’re bound to find a customer service advisor job to suit you.
Why Become a Customer Service Advisor?
If you’re currently looking for a new challenge, you may be wondering why you should consider a customer service advisor job.
Being a customer service advisor can give you a sense of satisfaction from being able to help others and resolve queries. Because ultimately, working in customer service is about finding the right solutions for people and creating a sense of trust and reliability around your company. Although it may be challenging, it’s also highly rewarding.
You may also deal with vulnerable customers, so learning soft skills and how to deal with customers in certain situations is really important. You might come across customers with disabilities or long-term illnesses, or ones who may be having financial difficulty. Being able to spot a vulnerable customer and then changing your way of providing them with help can be extremely rewarding. It may also leave you feeling like you’ve really made a difference in someone’s life.
Lois Barber, a Senior Commercial Consultant at Proactive Personnel’s Telford branch, says, “Customer Service is an incredibly rewarding job. Not only are you the face of a company, but you can genuinely make a huge impact on someone’s day.
Working in customer services really grows your confidence and improves your interpersonal skills, which are great attributes to have to excel in your future career.”
What’s the Average Salary for a Customer Service Advisor Job?
So, how much would you earn as a customer service advisor?
According to Indeed, the average annual salary in the UK for a customer service advisor role is £20,394. Another study by UK Talent confirms the average salary is between £20,000 and £22,000 for an entry-level role, but can be as much as £26,000 for more experienced employees. This means that you’re looking at between £10.75 and £13.33 per hour.
Generally, the average salary for a customer service advisor depends on where in the country you work, the type of industry you work in, and whether you’ve already got some experience. However, as good customer service advisors are in high demand, most companies will pay above minimum wage even for employees with no experience.
Many employers will also offer in-house training and sometimes may even put you through external training to help you gain recognised qualifications.
However, as you gain more experience and progress to roles such as customer service supervisor, or customer services manager, you can expect to earn an annual salary of around £25,000 – £35,000. For highly experienced people in senior roles such as customer success manager or client services director, salaries can be between £40,000 and £70,000.
Find customer services jobs in your area, by visiting the Proactive Personnel jobs board.
What is the Career Path for a Customer Service Role?
There are many opportunities for progression in most customer service roles, especially with larger employers that prefer to promote from within. In a larger company, working your way up the ladder can be quicker than you might think!
If you decide you’d prefer to come away from the front line, you could become a customer services supervisor or a team leader. Customer service supervisors often progress to managers or heads of departments or even director roles. If a management role doesn’t take your fancy, you could specialise in a particular product or service and become a technical customer advisor or even a specialist.
If working within a customer service department isn’t something you’d like to do long-term, there are many industries where your customer services experience will come in handy. Working in sales could also be a great option where you’ll not only use customer service skills, but become proficient in a certain product or service.
Lois Barber says, “A common career path is to start as a customer services advisor, move into a team leader role and further progress into a Customer Service Manager.”
What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Customer Service Advisor?
Entry-level customer service advisor roles usually don’t require much experience or qualifications beyond secondary school education. As long as you have good communication skills, you’re halfway there.
Going into a role like this without any formal customer service qualifications usually means you’ll be given training, which can provide you with many transferrable skills for future jobs. Even if working in customer service isn’t your lifelong dream, you’ll find that you become more confident in speaking to others and working as part of a team, whilst working in this role.
Typically, most companies require at least a grade 4 (the equivalent to the old grade C) in GCSE Maths and English for customer service advisor roles.
A formal qualification in customer service may be helpful to gain a more advanced role with a higher salary. For example, in the UK, you can complete an NVQ in customer service. NVQ’s are available from level one, which is a routine introduction to an area of study, all the way up to level six, which is the same as a bachelor’s degree. What level you start with will typically depend on your age and your level of experience in the subject area. These qualifications can be completed with multiple education companies and can either be a mix of online and college attendance, or they can be purely online based.
What Skills Do I Need to Work in a Customer Service Advisor Job?
Clear communication skills and a strong understanding of the English language are important skills that you’ll need to work in customer services. The ability to work as part of a team and remain calm under pressure is also a helpful skill if you’re hoping to secure a customer services role.
Jacob Gordon, Senior Recruitment Consultant for Proactive Personnel in Chester often recruits for these types of roles. He says, “If it’s an entry-level role, I’ll look for someone from a similar industry and I can often tell if someone has the confidence for the role during the first telephone interview. Communication is key within customer services, so if a candidate isn’t verbally active within the first phone call, I know they’re not going to be suitable. Transferable skills is always key, too. Someone who has worked within administration is often capable of customer service. More importantly, in order of relevance, I look for the right attitude, relevant experience (if applicable), transferable skills and then education or qualifications.”
Other skills you’ll need to work in customer services, include:
- Emotional Intelligence, sometimes referred to as EQ
- Strong writing skills
- Willingness to learn
- Ability to read a customer’s body language or tone of voice
- Listening skills
- Persuasion skills
How Do I Get Customer Service Experience?
Volunteering in a retail shop, such as a charity shop, is one of the easiest ways to get experience in customer service. Not only will this help the charity, but you’ll gain invaluable experience in talking to customers and resolving queries/complaints.
If you’re a student, you may have the opportunity to go into a part-time customer-facing to help you gain experience whilst you’re studying. For example, you could gain experience in the hospitality industry as a bartender or server/runner. Restaurants and bars can be flexible with hours, so with the right approach, you can find something that fits around your study schedule.
If you’re looking to change your career and gain customer service experience, look for opportunities in your current workplace to get involved in serving customers. Customers don’t have to be people outside of the company. Internal customers, such as your colleagues, managers, or other departments are equally as valuable. For example, you could volunteer to lead a charity event for your company, or you could request a transfer to another department that has more direct involvement with both internal and external customers.
Gaining experience through these methods will be attractive to employers as it will demonstrate your ability to communicate and solve problems, which are the most valuable skills in customer service roles.
In conclusion, customer service is a great career choice, whether you’re looking for a new challenge and don’t have much experience, or you want to progress your career.
- You’ll need an adaptive and resilient outlook to deal with multiple customer queries at once
- You don’t need anything more than a secondary school education to get started in a customer services career
- You’ll be paid an entry-level salary if you have no experience, but can quickly progress to more senior roles (and a much higher salary!) as you can more experience
- As you gain more experience, you can also choose to specialise in areas that require a deeper level of product or service understanding
- Most industries have a need for customer services employees, so there are many thousands of roles and companies to choose from
- No two days are the same in a customer services job; there is always something happening to keep you interested in the role.
If you’re looking for a role in customer service, we have 11 branches across Shropshire, the Midlands, and the North West that specialise in temporary and permanent recruitment. Visit our jobs board to find your next exciting role, or call into your nearest branch.