An Overview of the Different Jobs in the Customer Services Industry

There are several levels to the customer service department and if you are looking to enter the field the best thing to do is become informed on your options. This article is designed to help you with making that decision by breaking down the four main departments: customer service assistant (entry level); customer advisor; customer services supervisor and customer services manager.

Customer Service Assistant: This is an entry level position which quite simply involves ensuring that customers leave with a positive view of the company you work for. Almost all businesses employ customer service assistants, from banks to supermarkets so you should be able to find a business that you are sincerely interested in or passionate about. This should impact upon your performance in the role and help you to excel in your position. You will be conversing with customers, and colleagues, face-to-face, over the phone and via email so you must have an excellent grasp of the English language and confidence talking to people. If you are seeking a job with regular daytime hours this may not be position for you as it varies depending on the company. Many businesses are open over the weekend, in the evenings or even over night. The salaries are generally entry level oriented, as a trainee you can expect £8000-£10500pa and at a higher qualified level £9000-£13000pa, but it is all company-dependent. The biggest benefit of this position though is that you get a high level of job satisfaction because you spend the best part of the day helping customers with their enquiries. The only thing you have to remember is that customers can get fairly cross if they are complaining and you will be expected to not only take the brunt of this but also reach an amicable conclusion.

Customer Advisor: If you find yourself often described by others – or yourself – as a ‘chatterbox’ you may find that you also get into trouble at work for excessive talking to your colleagues and therefore a customer advisor position may be right up your street. In this position, generally speaking, the more you talk the better. Your position within the company is to help customers with their enquiries. This could range from informing customers of services that your company deliver, suggesting products they might be interested in, putting them in touch with a senior member of staff if necessary but also promoting your company. As with the customer service assistant position, you will be conversing with customers, and colleagues, face-to-face, over the phone and via email so you must have an excellent grasp of the English language and confidence talking to people. The range of areas that you can work in is slightly broader because you are more likely to work in a more specific industry such as hotels and banks; the level of service needs to be extremely high here. The salary is also a little higher for the same reason; you can expect to begin on £12000-£17000 and progress up to £22000 with more experience. Additionally a lot of businesses offer the chance to earn bonuses or commissions if you perform exceptionally well so the scope to earn well is there for the taking.

Customer Services Supervisor: Essentially this job entails managing a team of staff: making sure they deliver the best level of customer service possible, ensuring they turn up on time and ultimately just do their job correctly. The tasks then branch out and it becomes your responsibility to delegate within the team, monitor performance both of the team and individuals, help with training, development, recruitment and handle complaints from both customers and staff. The worst part about this role is that it is the supervisor’s responsibility to handle those horrible and sometimes serious complaints against your company that you once handed over to the management to deal with. This is significantly more than an entry level job and therefore you can expect the salary to reflect that, when you go in as a junior supervisor you would expect to earn between £15000-£25000pa but again, depending on the company, as you progress through the levels the salary can inflate to up to £40000pa. The good news is there will always be someone senior to you so if there whenever you need advice or help you have someone to call on.

Customer Services Manager: Finally the highest level, the person who takes all the complaints as well as the positives and has to provide the final answer to any query that is causing problems for those further down the ladder. The most important thing about your role is motivating and leading a team to ensure that their customer service skills are the absolute best and the service is being delivered in an efficient and professional manner. In order to fulfil your role the tasks you need to complete have more to do with your staff than the customers. While maintaining good customer relations you must also recruit staff, arrange meetings, training and carry out staff appraisals. The salary for this position is reflective of the experience you have gained throughout your career as well as all the options mentioned in the previous roles – location, department and business. If you know this position is where you ultimately aim to be and choose to start as a trainee in this area you will begin on £16000-£20000pa, more experience will lead to £20000-£40000pa but eventually you could find yourself earning as much as £60000pa. Of course these salaries reflect the responsibilities of the role and when you reach this level it is expected that you deal with the trickiest of situations and reach the most amicable end agreement.

Understanding the Sales Relationship in the Service Industry

Our job as a salesperson is to find problems that a customer has that is both profitable for you and the customer. Solving this problem creates a win-win. Your job, as a salesperson, is to demonstrate clearly that the value of the solution by your product or service is worth more than the price that you are asking for. In other words, the benefits, results, and satisfaction that will come from purchasing that particular service will outweigh the price.

Almost every failure in selling is because you have been unable to demonstrate that what you are selling is worth more in benefits results and satisfaction than you are asking in money value. The reason for this could be as simple as the salesperson describing the features and technical details of the product or service, instead of showing how the customer will benefit from purchasing this particular service. This small difference can be huge in terms of winning business. The customer does not care about the features, they want to understand what it will do for them.

Another thing to think about is that the sale is not over once the client has decided to purchase the service. The conclusion of the sale is actually the beginning of the sale in the customers mind. When the customer buys from you, the customer goes from being independent to being dependent on you, your company and your services. The customer has handed over a check to your company on the promise that the services discussed will be completed and meet their expectations.

Building A Strong Relationship

No company can survive on one-off sales. And no company should take any sale for granted. The first sale will always cost the most up front. Continuing to offer solutions to that customer that solves more of their problems will allow them to keep coming back to you and your company. Asking for referrals will allow for easier selling as the prospects will be more interested in your product or service. There are always new problems that need solving. Being able to demonstrate how your company can provide those solutions is the key.

Service Industry Woes Will Affect Teenagers Seeking Jobs

Teenagers are going to have a difficult time in the coming year finding jobs for many reasons. As teens have little to no job experience, they will either be the first to get laid off or never hired. Teens are usually in the bracket of minimum wage earners and employers will have to cut more of that group first.

The service industry is where many teens get their first employment opportunities and that area is being hit just as hard or harder as any other sector. People are cutting back in all areas of their spending and especially so in areas such as eating out and entertainment. With fewer people willing to spend money, restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and other such service industry businesses are being hit hard. People are choosing and will continue to choose to stay in instead of go out for that evening on the town.

Other areas where teenagers traditionally get jobs are in a similar situation. Babysitting jobs will be fewer and more people will choose to mow their own lawns just because they don’t have the money they once did to have the teens in the neighborhood do it. Everybody will be holding back and unfortunately teens are going to find it rough going in the job finding departments.

If there was ever a time to get creative to find ways to make money and find a job it is now. It seems that those who work the hardest to get that job will have the upper hand. No one is going have a job handed to them as the demand for jobs is too high. Teens who are willing to do something extra and/or work a little harder than the next guy will be first in line to get hired. Those that are lazy in nature will be the losers and that may be one of the first life lessons they get.

Any business, large or small, can benefit from local internet marketing. But if there is one type of company that needs it the most, it is the service industry. These are companies who do their business not through walk-ins, but through appointments. These include many businesses such as dentists, chiropractors, lawyers and realtors.

A local internet marketing campaign is better than a phone book ad for several different reasons. With a phone book ad local marketers are limited in the information that you can give prospective customers. Even if a full page ad is paid for, only so much information will fit within that space. And much of that space is often taken up with logos or photographs. These might be eye-catching and will help secure phone calls, but they do not help build a relationship between the customer and the business. Space is not an issue online, so a company is able to include vital information, photographs, maps and build a relationship with the client before a phone call is made.

More and more individuals are doing searches online when they are looking for a new business rather than flipping through the phone book. While this does not mean that a company should ignore telephone book advertising completely, it does highlight the importance of developing a web presence. It will allow the company to advertise to more of the market, including the young and affluent that are more likely to search online.

Local marketing allows a relationship to be developed between the service provider and the client before the client even calls to make an appointment. By publishing articles on the webpage that give advice, the company becomes a trusted resource. A realtor may write about the local area which helps people who are relocating, or include a mortgage calculator that many potential home buyers would find useful. A lawyer might explain the state’s DUI laws and why a lawyer is necessary in these cases.

Specials can be offered and changed frequently on the internet. This saves businesses money because they don’t need to worry about printing costs or distribution costs. These coupons and special offers are targeted to the people who are looking for them. A coupon for a free consultation is one thing that can be offered. Tracking results from online ad campaigns is efficient and simple, especially with help from knowledgeable search engine optimization professionals that manage accounts and provide monthly reports.

Businesses in the service industry can survive without local internet marketing, but it is important that they learn to adapt to new technology and ways to advertise. If they do not, they are missing out on building relationships with prospective customers.