JOBS: Careers in Customer Services Management: At the Customer's Service; IF You Enjoy Working with People and Managing a Team, Customer Services Management May Be the Job for You. Sue Kelbrick Held a Meeting to Find out More

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Byline: Sue Kelbrick

What does a career in customer services management involve?

A customer services manager is responsible for all or part of a team working in a variety of jobs involving contact with customers, either as general information or sales staff or in a specific customer service department.

They are there to supervise and motivate their team to ensure customers' enquiries are dealt with in a positive and professional manner in line with employer's standards.

Duties may include building effective customer relations, staff recruitment and appraisals, staff meetings and training and development programmes.

They may also be responsible for dealing with more complex enquiries What personal skills do you need? To be a customer service manager you need to have a genuine interest in working with and helping customers, good communication skills and the ability to supervise and motivate staff in a team. It is important to understand the objectives and customer service policies of your employer. Diplomacy and tact are also vital skills to have in dealing with difficult situations What training do you need? There are two main routes into customer service management, either working your way up from a customer services assistant or direct entry as a graduate trainee manager.

To enter as a customer services assistant, you will have a good general educational background in GCSEs and possibly A Levels. To gain promotion it is useful to work towards qualifications such as NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3 in customer service and NVQ/SVQ Level 2 in team leading For those with a degree, some employers operate a fast track or direct entry management scheme, and it is particularly helpful to have a degree in management, business and/or marketing What is the potential for career advancement? …