Job profile

Customer Service Manager

Customer Service Manager Job Profile

What is an Customer Service Manager?

As a Customer Service Manager, you will work across many industries and will be responsible for improving your service/product based on customer feedback and ensuring your customers are happy. You will most likely manage a team of Customer Service Advisors and will be liable for meeting targets. 

Your key focus will be the customer, making sure that you meet or exceed their needs or expectations. There are several levels you may work at, from head office to front of house but in short, you will be: 

  • Helping to develop and implement customer service policies in an organisation
  • Finding ways to measure customer satisfaction and improve services
  • Managing a team of customer service staff
  • Handling face-to-face enquiries from customers.

Responsibilities

As a customer service manager, you’ll need to:

  • Provide help to customers using your organisation’s products or services
  • Communicate courteously with customers by telephone, email, letter and face-to-face
  • Investigate and solve customers’ problems, which may be complex or long-standing, that have been passed on by customer service assistants
  • Handle customer complaints or any major incidents, such as a security issue or a customer being taken ill
  • Issue refunds or compensation to customers
  • Keep accurate records of discussions or correspondence with customers
  • Analyse statistics or other data to determine the level of customer service your organisation is providing
  • Produce written information for customers, often involving the use of computer packages and software
  • Write reports and analyse the customer service that your organisation provides
  • Develop feedback or complaints procedures for customers to use
  • Improve customer service procedures, policies and standards for your organisation or department
  • Meet with other managers to discuss possible improvements to customer service
  • Manage staff recruitment and appraisals – depending on the size of the organisation these tasks may be carried out by human resources
  • Train staff to deliver a high standard of customer service
  • Lead or supervise a team of customer service staff
  • Learn about your organisation’s products or services and keep up to date with changes
  • Keep ahead of developments in customer service by reading relevant journals, going to meetings and attending courses.

Salary

A typical starting salary for a Customer Service Manager is between £20,500 and £25,000. As an experienced Customer Service Manager, you can expect to earn between £30,000 to £45,000. In some cases, you may be able to exceed £60,000, but this will depend on various factors.

You may also be eligible for generous bonuses and perks. Retail, sales and banking tend to offer their employees an excellent benefits package. According to Glassdoor, the national annual salary for a Customer Service Manager is £31,153. 

Working hours and work location 

You should expect to work the typical 9am to 5pm. However, this will vary depending on the organisation and industry. For example, if you work in a call centre or a retail store your working hours may flex depending on shift work and store opening times, you may also be required to work at the weekend. 

 

You may also be able to find part-time employment as a Customer Service Manager.

What to expect

  • Work is usually carried out from an office or from a customer services desk in a public area, such as a shop or a train station. There are opportunities to work in all parts of the UK, particularly in large cities and towns.
  • Some organisations have relocated their call-centre provision overseas. There may be opportunities for UK customer service managers to work overseas in either permanent or temporary positions.
  • If you have face-to-face contact with customers, you must have a smart appearance and you may be required to wear a uniform.
  • Whatever the setting, you will need to behave in a calm, professional and responsible manner at all times.
  • Dealing with customers who are upset or angry may be stressful.
  • You’ll probably work from a single location but may spend time visiting customers or travelling to other sites within the organisation. Usually, these will be local so within a day but occasionally long-distance travel may be necessary, which could involve overnight stays.

Qualifications

You do not need any qualifications to become a Customer Service Manager. The most natural way is to work your way up. Most that make it into a managerial role will have progressed up the ladder from a Customer Service Assistant, gaining experience and qualifications where possible. However, if you are wanting to secure a Customer Service Manager role straight out of university, the following degrees may bolster your CV: 

  • Business studies 
  • Consumer studies 
  • Management studies 
  • Marketing

Some employers might prefer a degree that relates to their sector i.e retail, hospitality or financial services. A postgraduate qualification is not necessary or required.

Skills

must have skills:
  • Communication skills that allow you to inform, help and advise customers clearly and to liaise effectively with other professionals
  • Listening skills, to understand exactly what customers require
  • problem-solving skills
  • Confidence, patience, politeness, tact and diplomacy, when dealing with difficult situations
  • Motivational skills and an ability to supervise and lead a team of customer service assistants
  • Creative thinking, to be able to come up with new ideas to improve customer service standards
  • An ability to work well under pressure
  • Organisational and planning skills to develop customer service policies
  • Good personal presentation, especially when face-to-face with customers
  • A commitment to improving your customer service skills on an ongoing basis.

Work experience

Customer Service roles are sought after amongst graduates in addition to those who didn’t attend university therefore, having some experience or knowledge of the role and retrospective industry will help your CV stand out.

 If you are able to reflect on any customer service skills that you have gleaned such as working in a shop, call centre, office or bar may give you an advantage and allow you to demonstrate your capabilities.

If you do not have the experience to be able to discuss, you should consider arranging a period where you can shadow other customer service managers in different industries to help you identify what type of organisation you may be best suited to.

In regards to career prospects, after several years of working as a Customer Service Manager, you may want to move across to a larger organisation or another branch of your existing one where there may be more opportunities for progression. 

You should also keep your knowledge and skills up to date by adding to your qualifications, completing short courses, attending conferences and reading relevant books, reports, newsletters and magazines.

Employers

Customer service managers work in most industries, in a range of private and public employment sectors.

You could work for:

  • Retail companies, such as supermarkets, department stores and online retailers
  • Leisure and tourism organisations, such as tour operators and airlines
  • Banks and building societies
  • Insurance companies
  • Utility organisations, such as gas, electricity and water companies
  • Telecommunications organisations
  • Transport and logistics firms
  • Local government
  • Health service providers
  • Educational institutions.
 

The work will vary depending on the sector and the employer. For example, if you work on a customer service desk in a supermarket, you will mainly work with customers face-to-face, but if you work in a call centre for an insurance company, most of your contact with customers will be by telephone.

Specialist recruitment agencies such as Hays and Douglas Jackson handle vacancies.

Some organisations, such as retail companies, advertise vacancies on their websites or in-store, posting vacancies on notice boards or in shop windows. Speculative applications to employers of customer service staff may prove fruitful.

Related Courses

A degree is not necessary for a career in customer service. However, if you wish to go to university you may want to consider the following degrees if seeking a Customer Service Management role: 

  1. BA (Hons) Business

The BA Business course at UWS offers a broad-based and comprehensive understanding of business, from theory and strategy to operational issues.

Key elements of the course include talks from, and visits to, local and national employers and varied assessment formats, including case studies and portfolio building. Many of the course core module skills are in line with the requirements for graduate trainee programmes, helping you to prepare for a career in national and international organisations.

Other related courses
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