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Graduate Customer Service Jobs

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          Helping you find a career in the customer service industry

          If you like the idea of keeping customers happy and solving problems at the same time, a career in customer service could be for you.

          Customer service jobs might involve answering queries, helping with purchases or providing the little extras that make customers come back for more. It's about providing customers and members of the public with the best experience possible, so they stay loyal to your product, brand or service - and hopefully recommend it to others!

          Most businesses employ customer service professionals as a first point of contact for consumers and other companies, so there is a wide selection of employers to choose from. As the face of an organisation, customer service professionals ensure consumers have a positive experience, whether that's in person, over the phone or online. Often there is an element of sales in a customer services role, so it helps if you have strong powers of persuasion, as well as diplomacy and tact.

          Customer service can sometimes be a nine-to-five job, but many companies employ staff around the clock - so shift and part-time work is common.

          The skills you'll build from a customer service job involve using particular systems or computer programs, as well as handling sometimes lengthy or complex queries whilst remaining friendly and professional. Your employer will give you the training that you need.

          Types of jobs within customer service

          Regardless of the exact nature of the job, customer service is all about making sure the customer is happy and that their needs have been addressed by the time their interaction with you comes to an end. This is true for all jobs across the sector, and for all types of industry - whether you're working in a call centre for a telecommunications company, a fashion giant, a high street bank, or something else entirely.

          Sectors that heavily rely on their customer service staff include:

          • Telecommunications
          • Retail
          • Banking
          • Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)
          • Food & Drink
          • Travel & tourism
          • Sports & recreation

          Some larger companies will have entire customer service departments which will regularly take on new staff. You can start your career at a very basic level, before moving into roles in customer relations or customer complaints. Eventually, as your career progresses, you are likely to have the opportunity to move into roles as a team leader or a manager.

          Examples of roles within customer service include:

          • Customer adviser
          • Customer service assistant
          • Team leader
          • Customer service supervisor
          • Complaints manager
          • Customer service manager
          Find out more
          • FAQs
          • Jobs by industry
          Skills & interests required for a career in Customer service

          The skills you need from one job in customer service to the next are basically the same, but to be good at your role you will need to understand how your specific industry works and how it affects your customers. If you work in telecommunications at a big company, for example, you will need specific knowledge of the industry and of that company's particular processes, which might be different from those at other organisations.

          Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Customer service

          As a rule, you are likely to start out as a customer service representative before moving on to become a team leader and, eventually, a manager. This means you will be in charge of a team within your area of the customer service department.

          You may also have the opportunity to move into and specialise in a particular area of customer service, for example conflict resolution or complaints.

          Tips for getting into the field

          There are a large number of things that you can do to put yourself in a good position to start applying for jobs in customer service. These include:

          • Tailoring your CV for each specific role - making sure you focus on previous experience and relevant skills
          • Taking on similar roles - any experience in customer facing roles that you can demonstrate is a great start
          • Seeing what the top companies in the field require - start by looking for case studies, and finding out what backgrounds and skills their current employees have
          • Getting the relevant accreditation - in this case, an NVQ or similar in contact centre management might be helpful
          • Using your contacts - university professors, those you met on work experience, people you can approach through social media or LinkedIn - they're all potentially the stepping stone to your next role, and they might very well be happy to help you

          Whatever job you go to and whatever part of the customer service industry you start your career in, there is one thing that will help you beyond measure - work experience.

          Many people who currently work in customer service didn't know they wanted to work in the industry until they experienced it. Many companies provide work experience while you are at school - you can approach companies directly to see if you can come in to shadow a member of staff. This should give you an insight into whether a career in this highly rewarding area is for you.

          How much can graduates earn in Customer service?

          You will gain pay rises and potentially bonuses as you move into team leader and management positions. Customer service is also an industry which needs employees available around the clock, so there will often be the opportunity for overtime.

          Customer service adviser - £16,794 Customer service representative - £17,674 Team leader - £22,784 Customer service supervisor - £18,651 Customer service manager - £27,684

          Senior customer service managers with many years of experience could earn more than £60,000.

          What qualifications do I need for a career in Customer service?

          Most jobs in customer service don't require you to have studied particular subjects, with your personality and communication skills being the main things that employers will initially look at.

          It might be helpful to take on a professional qualification, for example a certificate or diploma, to give yourself the practical skills you need for a career in this sector.

          Customer service industry bodies

          The International Customer Services Institute

          Institute of Customer Services