Sobhan Mohmand, Career Expert 28 Aug 2019
A Customer Service Advisor is responsible for communicating the organisation’s product and services to the customers and providing excellent customer service at all times.
Depending on the specific job role and industry, the candidate may be responsible for the whole customer service experience or specialise in a key part of customer service; such as returns, complaints or the organisation’s customer follow-up service.
This role ideally suits candidates that enjoy talking to and interacting with people from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Day-to-day activities and responsibilities
- Providing outstanding customer service at all times and to all clients
- Providing relevant information and recommendations to customers with regards to products, services and offers available
- Selling or promoting the organisation’s products or services
- Communicating with customers via telephone, email, online and face-to-face
- Answering queries from clients, colleagues, suppliers and manufacturers
- Directing customer calls to the correct department when required
- Updating customer accounts and correspondence
- Dealing with any complaints, suggestions and feedback on a daily basis and ensuring that they are processed and dealt with correctly
- Dealing with cancellations, refunds and replacements of products and services
- Training new members of staff and temporary workers
- Correctly documenting changes to customer accounts and plans
- Referring certain queries to senior managers to deal with it accordingly
- Performing general administrative duties as and when required
Workplace and working hours
The typical working hours are 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. This may vary slightly depending on the organisation. Some overtime may be required during busy times.
Customer Service Advisors will normally be working in a store, as the main purpose of the role is to communicate and deal with customer queries as and when they arise. Communication is usually done face-to-face although certain roles may only require a candidate to deal with customer queries via the telephone or email, in which case they will be working from an office.
The salary for this role will vary according to company or location; however, the average starting salary would be close to £15,000 per year.
Experienced Customer Service Officers could expect a salary of around £21,000.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
There are no formal entry requirements for this position.
Many employers expect that the candidates do hold entry-level qualifications such as GCSEs in English and Maths or level 2/3 vocational qualifications.
Relevant work experience, however, is considered more important for this role than education. Where the candidate lacks work experience, it is recommended for them to take up voluntary positions in the industry in order to improve their skills and strengthen their job application for this role.
Skills and personal attributes
- Excellent verbal communication skills as well as written communication, are essential as the main responsibility of the candidate will be interacting with customers, dealing with customer queries and promoting the company’s products and services.
- Delivering exceptional customer service to ensure that the customer is left with a good impression which will increase their loyalty to the company.
- Must be able to carry out your duties in a professional manner, ensuring they are flexible due to the unexpected events, issues that may arise during a working day or when dealing with difficult or abusive customers.
- The job holder must always be positive, motivated and driven even when times get stressful and the pressure is piling.
- Finally, the candidate must be friendly, tactful and have good people’s skills in order to increase sales and promote the company they are working for.
Job likes and benefits
- If you have a passion for working with people and love talking, then you will enjoy this job as you will constantly be around different people and interacting with them.
- There is no time for boredom in this role as you are always doing something! Whether it is talking to your team members, working on a new idea or dealing with customer enquiries; you will always have something to do.
- This role allows you to make use of your customer service skills and use your friendly personality to keep customers happy and at the same time contribute to the success of your organisation.
- You will gain valuable work experience and transferable skills that you can utilise in both your personal and professional life.
Job challenges and disadvantages
- Customer service staff are usually very busy and working under pressure in a fast-paced work environment.
- Stressful situations may arise, for example when dealing with difficult or abusive customers, meeting strict deadlines or working overtime.
Job progression and career prospects
This role enables one to gain many transferable skills that can be utilised in many other jobs regardless of industry. Depending on performance and experience, a Customer Service Advisor/Officer can progress to become a Team Leader, Customer Service Manager or Sales Manager. More broadly, they can work in different roles involving sales, finance and business.
According to government statistics, jobs in this role are projected to grow by 7.9% over the period to 2024 (Source: LMI for All).
The Institute of Customer Service