Customer service assistant

Customer service adviser

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Customer service assistants deal with customers’ queries, purchases and complaints.

Salary range: £12,500 to £30,000

How to become a customer service assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College

You can take a college course before applying for a job. Courses are widely available and include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Customer Service
  • Level 2 Certificate in Contact Centre Operations

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can do an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in customer service.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You can apply for jobs if you have customer service experience, for example from working in a shop, hotel or contact centre.

Employers may expect you to have some GCSEs, or equivalent qualifications, but also good communication skills and a friendly personality.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day activities may include:

  • answering customers’ questions by phone, email, webchat or face-to-face
  • giving quotations and checking product availability
  • selling and taking payment
  • handling complaints or passing them to a manager
  • entering customer information onto a computer database
  • tracking orders and giving refunds

Working environment

You could work at a store, in a contact centre or in an office.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to team leader or customer services manager.

You could also move into sales or account handling.

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