CHOOSING A CAREER / JAN. 11, 2015
version 4, draft 4

How to Become a Customer Services Manager in UK

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Customer services managers are responsible for making sure that the needs of their customers are being satisfied by effectively managing a customer service team. While there are many possible roles for customer services managers all of them have a common goal which is to understand and satisfy their customers’ requirements and exceed expectations.

What Do Customer Services Managers Do

Customer Services Managers perform the following duties:

  • Providing help and advice to customers using the organisation’s products or services.
  • Issuing refunds or compensation to customers.
  • Leading a team of customer services staff.
  • Helping to develop or update customer service policies.
  • Handing complex enquiries and complaints.
  • Analysing management information to see how well customers are being served.
  • Training staff to deliver a high standard of customer service staff.
  • Keeping up to date with customer service developments such as data protection.
  • Making reports to senior managers on how well the team is performing, and key targets being met.

Work Environment

Full-time customer services managers usually work between 35 and 40 hours a week. Depending on the field or industry e.g. retail and leisure; part time is also available, and shift work might involve working during evenings or on weekends. Also depending on the role of the customer services manager, the work environment will be different. So if you are a corporate services manager or customer relationship manager you might be based in an office where much of your work will be done using a computer and telephone.

Salary

Although salaries for customer service managers vary according to the industry, the majority earn:

 

Customer Services Managers

 

£19,000 - £25,000

 

Experienced Customer Services Managers with extra responsibilities

 

 

Up to £30,000

Source: nationalcareersservice

For example, customer service managers working in retail, sales, finance or banking could be earning bonuses or a salary via commission.  

Entry Requirements

Most employers are more likely to prefer candidates from disciplines that are relevant to their university degree subject or Higher National Diploma (HND). Although, people from different backgrounds can work in customer services management the following degree subjects will definitely improve their chances of finding work:

  • Business Studies
  • Management Studies
  • Consumer Studies
  • Marketing

If you don’t have a degree or an HND in these subjects you could also enter the field by working your way up the ranks. Starting from being a customer services assistant and gaining relevant qualifications and experience to become a manager. Alternatively, you could start as a trainee holding a Level 3 Certificate or an NVQ Diploma in the area you are interested in.

Important Skills and Abilities

To be a successful customer services manager you need the following:

  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Good listening skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Have patience and diplomacy.
  • A friendly and polite attitude.
  • Good planning and motivational skills.
  • Creativity and commitment.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Good personal presentation.

Career Development

A customer services manager has many opportunities for professional development. If the organisation you work for provides training, you can work towards obtaining the Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Customer Service to develop your knowledge on more specific areas such as quality assurance or service improvement. In addition, you could obtain management qualifications from various UK professional bodies including:

Furthermore, you could progress with your career by obtaining various continuing professional development (CPD) awards from the Institute of Customer Service (ICS).

Job Opportunities

Customer service managers can work at:

  • Call Centres
  • Retail Stores
  • Service Departments/Offices
  • Credit and Insurance agencies
  • Banks

If you have good people skills and would like to work in management then this might just be the career for you.

 

Image Source: iStock

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