- What do customer service managers do?
- Customer service manager career path
- Customer service manager salaries
- Qualifications & training
- Customer service manager skills
- Pros and cons of being a customer service manager
- Work-life balance
- Typical employers hiring customer service managers
- Related jobs to customer service manager
- More information
Are you interested in working as a customer service manager? Explore the jobs in consumer, FMCG and retail available right now.
What does a customer service manager do?
Customer service managers exist in workplaces beyond shops. As a customer service advisor, you could work for an online chat service in a company or through phone support. Regardless of the workplace, the general aim of a customer service manager is the same: to make sure customers have the best experience when interacting with a company as possible. Here are the daily tasks that you do as a customer service manager:
- Helping customers by answering questions and dealing with any issues they might have
- Hiring new employees and going through the onboarding and training stages with them
- Analysing company accounts to understand sales and losses
- Helping colleagues with any problems they are facing including with rotas or other colleagues
- Looking into any IT or technological issues that could prevent you or your colleagues from working well
- Reviewing the customer ratings to see what you can improve on
Customer service manager career path
The customer service career path gives you room for progression and opportunities for sideways steps. If you enjoy the commercial side but don’t like customer interaction, you could move into a marketing role like a performance marketer. Similarly, if you like the customer interaction but don’t like the industry, you could become a sales representative or work in human resources. Here is the standard career path in customer service:
Many people begin their customer service careers as a customer service advisor. This primarily involves answering questions that customers ask. You may take payments or give refunds. You’re responsible for being the first representative of a company that the customer interacts with so being friendly and knowledgeable helps present the company well.
With experience, you progress to a customer service manager. As a customer service manager, you’re responsible for making sure your colleagues are giving customers the best help possible. You may monitor their work, giving advice when necessary and disciplining staff if you need to. Part of your job is often submitting your colleagues’ working hours and making sure they’ve been paid correctly.
Once you’ve gained a lot of experience, you could become a regional manager. This means being responsible for all the workplaces in a geographic area. This is most appropriate for customer service managers working in stores but can be applied to call centres and online support as well. In this role, you make sure the workplaces are up to a good standard and are providing the level of service that you expect. You may check that budgets are kept to and ratings are positive.
A senior job available for customer service managers is customer service director. In this role, you’re responsible for the best practices of customer service in the company. You run the team across the company and decide on the future direction of customer service.
Customer service manager salaries
The customer service manager career path is fairly linear and gives you scope for upward movement. Here are the salaries you could earn at the different levels of customer service:
- At entry level, you work as a customer service advisor. In this role, you earn an average of £20,000 per year which could extend to £24,000 depending on the industry and location.
- With experience, you become a customer service manager. In this role, you earn £30,000 per year on average.
- Regional managers earn £48,000 per year on average.
- A senior role like customer service director earns you £94,000 per year on average with the possibility of reaching over £130,000 per year depending on the industry.
Qualifications and training
Having the right experience helps you stand out to a hiring manager and progress in your career. Here is what you need to be successful in your job applications:
It is possible to progress to a customer service manager job through working your way up in a company. In this instance you don’t need any education beyond A-Levels. However, having an undergraduate degree in business, marketing or finance can help you when you reach more senior roles because you have a greater understanding of the internal structure of a company.
If you have a degree, you can go through graduate schemes which help you fast-track your career by training you in how to be a manager whilst you work in the sector. This does require a relevant degree which will help you in managerial jobs like business, finance or marketing. The same applies to customer service apprenticeships which are also available.
If you’re interested in graduate schemes and apprenticeships in customer service, explore the apprenticeships available with the government’s apprenticeship search tool.
Customer service manager skills
Whilst customer service is a career path open to most people, it does require you to have a range of skills to be successful. Other than basic maths skills and business understanding, here are the skills that you need to work well as a customer service advisor:
- Team work. Working as a customer service manager is all about working as a team. You need to collaborate well with your team members to give customers the best experience. This could mean delegating responsibility to other team members so they understand the work they need to do whilst you work on higher level tasks like the finances and organising the future of customer service in the company.
- Communication. You need great communication skills to work as a manager. You need to talk to your colleagues, delegating responsibilities and directing them. You also need to speak to customers. Some of the time you need to discuss the working practices with senior team members and managers outside of your workplace. Being able to communicate well means being able to adapt the way you speak to the person you’re talking to.
- Management. Having good management skills is more complex than delegating tasks. To your team members you need to be friendly, so they have a good working environment, and approachable so they can come to you if they have any problems. But you also need to have authority so your colleagues respect your judgment and complete the work you set for them. Striking a good balance between these traits sets up a great company culture where your team feels valued but understands that you are in charge.
- Data input. Part of your job is inputting your colleagues’ working hours. Being able to accurately input data means your colleagues will receive the correct pay on time.
Pros and cons of being a customer service manager
Whilst some people greatly enjoy working as a customer service manager, there are some negative parts of the career path. Here is what you need to consider before committing to a career in customer service:
- It’s really satisfying when you help someone and they are really appreciative of your work
- The more senior jobs could earn you a lot of money
- You have a stable job and pension
- It’s an easy sector to get into and you learn the skills you need to progress on the job
- There are many customer service jobs available
- Some of the customers that you deal with are difficult and make the job less enjoyable
- The pay at less senior roles is comparatively low
- Your shifts are sometimes unreliable and unpredictable, making planning social activities outside of work difficult
- The success of the company you work for, and therefore your job, may depend on outside factors that you can’t control - like the economy
The work-life balance of a customer service manager depends on the specific role and can be highly influenced by the hours you work. Some customer service lines have online chat systems that offer 24 hour support, meaning you have shift work which could extend into the night. Shift work often means having less control and certainty over your working hours. This can make maintaining a healthy work-life balance difficult. The good thing about customer service work, unlike other types of jobs, is that it’s very difficult to bring your work home with you which makes switching off from work easier.
Typical employers hiring customer service managers
Customer service is a wide industry meaning there are many jobs available. Many companies have a customer service department to help their customers receive the advice they need for the products available. Here are the typical companies that you might work for in customer service:
Related jobs to customer service manager
Are you interested in a career in customer service? Explore the customer service jobs available right now.
Do you want to know more? Learn about Bright Network member Alex and her work in customer service.