If you have a helpful nature and you enjoy talking to people, you might like to consider embarking on a career as a customer service advisor. There are a large number of businesses from a wide variety of sectors in the United Kingdom that employ customer service advisors. It should therefore be fairly easy to find a job in a sector you’re interested in if you decide this profession is for you. In this role, you’ll be dealing with customers directly. You will provide information about products and services, sell products and services and handle customer complaints, as well as perform a number of other daily duties. If you’re passionate about customer service, this could be your perfect job.

Discover whether you’re cut out for this profession by reading the following insightful guide. In fact, The Course Mix offers tutor support and help on over 200 online courses. You will find out exactly what a customer service advisor does, what key skills and attributes you need, what experience and qualifications are required, how much you can expect to earn, how you can progress in your career and much more.

What is a customer service advisor?

Companies in all types of sectors employ customer service advisors to ensure their customers receive the best possible service. You could work in places like an office, a shop or a call centre. Whether you’re communicating with customers via telephone, email or on the shop floor, you’ll usually be the first point of contact for customers who are looking for information or have complaints. You could assist customers who are confused about specific products or services, or you could give out general information about your company’s products or services.

Also known as customer service assistants, call centre advisors and retail advisors, customer service advisors provide first-class service to every customer they deal with. Full-time customer service advisors generally work around forty hours a week. The job can include shift-work that includes evening and weekend work.

What do customer service advisors actually do?

Whatever business sector you work in, the job of a customer service advisor involves helping customers with their queries, concerns and complaints. It’s a fast-paced job in which you’ll be dealing with different people and different issues each day. Whether your work involves email, telephone or face-to-face customer service, it’s your job to have a positive and professional manner to offer informative advice to customers. This job is all about ensuring customer satisfaction.

Customer Service Advisor Job Description

You’ll need to have an excellent knowledge of your company’s products and services and be able to confidently handle transactions for those products and services. Other daily activities of a customer service advisor include:

  • Answering customer queries via telephone, email, webchat or face-to-face.
  • Calmly and effectively dealing with customer complaints via telephone, email, webchat or face-to-face.
  • Giving quotes for products and services.
  • Checking product availability.
  • Selling products.
  • Taking payments.
  • Tracking orders.
  • Issuing refunds.
  • Entering information into computer databases.
  • Working as part of a team.

Key Skills for a Customer Service Advisor

If you don’t enjoy talking to different people and helping them, this job isn’t for you. You’ll need to have excellent interpersonal skills to do this job effectively. You will also need to be able to remain calm and professional when handling customer complaints. It’s not easy to deal with complaints on a daily basis, so you must be able to not let others’ negativity affect you emotionally. You’ll have to be both thick-skinned and empathic. Other key skills and attributes required for the position of customer service advisor include:

  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills.
  • Active listening skills.
  • The ability to pay attention to detail.
  • The ability to work well with others.
  • The ability to work well under pressure.
  • The ability to tactfully manage difficult situations.
  • The ability to use computers and software packages.
  • The ability to think on your feet.
  • Sensitivity and understanding.

Useful Work Experience

Whatever industry you work in, having experience allows you to have the upper hand at job interviews. However, you can usually begin a career as a customer service advisor without needing any previous experience. As long as you can demonstrate you have the skills needed to do this job well, like being a great communicator and having a professional attitude, you stand a good chance of landing the job.

Average Salaries for a Customer Service Advisor

The amount you can earn as a customer service advisor depends on the specific company you work for, but the average salary in the United Kingdom is around £20,000 per year. Typically, full-time new starters begin on salaries of between £12,000 and £17,000 per year. With experience, you could see your salary rise to around £22,000 per year. The good news is: many employers also offer commissions and bonuses for employees who do their jobs well and reach targets. With commissions and bonuses on top of your fixed yearly salary, experienced customer service advisors could potentially earn up to £30,000 per year.

Qualifications for a Customer Service Advisor

It is not compulsory to hold any qualifications to get a job as a customer service advisor, but most employers prefer you to have GCSEs in English and maths. Although you don’t need to have higher education qualifications to enter this profession, there are courses you can enrol with. By having a formal qualification under your belt, you’ll have the edge over another candidate at a job interview. Available college courses include:

  • Level One Certificate in Customer Service.
  • Level Two Certificate in Customer Service.
  • Level Two Certificate in Contact Centre Operations.
  • Level Three Certificate in Customer Service.

To be accepted onto a level one course, you will usually need to have one or two GCSEs at grades D to G or three to one, or equivalent qualifications. For a level two course, you will usually need to have two or more GCSEs at grade A* to D or nine to three, or equivalent qualifications. Once you have completed a level two course, you can apply for a level three course.

Another way of earning a qualification is by doing an apprenticeship. As an apprentice, you would train on the job while studying for a formal college-level qualification. The good thing about this is: you will also receive a basic wage while you study. Intermediate and advanced apprenticeships in customer service are available. To be accepted onto an intermediate apprenticeship, you will usually need some GCSEs including maths and English, or equivalent qualifications. For an advanced apprenticeship, you will usually need five GCSEs at grades A* to C or nine to four, including maths and English; or equivalent qualifications.

Career Progression

There are a variety of jobs available in customer services, so working as a customer services advisor is a great first stepping stone to climbing the career ladder. With experience, you could grow your career by becoming a team leader. You could then progress to a supervisory position. Eventually, you could work your way up to a managerial position; in which you would have the opportunity to manage a whole department. You could also move to a different company that offers better pay or you could move into different areas of customer service like sales or account handling.

In Conclusion

If you enjoy talking to people and you have a friendly and professional demeanour, you may want to consider becoming a customer service advisor. In this role, you would deal with customers’ queries, concerns and complaints on a daily basis, via email, telephone, webchat or face-to-face. The job role can also include selling products and services, inputting data into computer systems and taking payments. It’s a fast-paced job, so you’ll need to be able to deal with a variety of tasks efficiently and confidently.

One of the good things about this job is there are lots of career opportunities available. Many different industries need customer service advisors, so you can also somewhat pick and choose a sector you’re interested in. For instance, you could work as a customer service advisor for a company that provides insurance, electronic devices or home security. In addition, if you get bored working for one sector, you could always move into another.

This job does have its drawbacks though. You won’t get much exercise, as you’ll usually be sitting in one place for long periods of time. You’ll also need to deal with dissatisfied or unfriendly customers on a daily basis, so you need to be able to not let the negativity affect you. Having a friendly, understanding and professional approach at all times is a must.

If you’re not put off with the negative aspects of this job, you can either apply directly to employers or enrol with a college course or apprenticeship. Most employers prefer you to have some GCSEs, but if you have a college qualification as well, you’ll certainly be seen more favourably than another job candidate. You’ll usually be able to rise up in your career quicker if you have a higher education qualification too.

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