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Top tips on launching your customer service career path

A customer service career is an exciting, constantly evolving path; with so much competition between companies, staff who go the extra mile for exceptional customer experience are critical for business success.

Whether you are just starting your career and wondering, why be a customer service advisor? Or simply seeking a new career challenge, there are many aspects to customer service that can suit many different kinds of people. Unlike some careers, a customer service career path can be nonlinear and can lead to places you might never have imagined.

As part of National Customer Service Week, we are celebrating our incredible On Verve and HelpPoint customer service teams. In this blog, we explain what a career path in customer service could look like, the skills needed and the opportunities available.

What does a career path in customer service look like?

A customer service career path has evolved far beyond call centres and help desks. It now spans across industries and sectors, offering diverse roles and opportunities.

You may start with a role involving direct contact with customers. As you gain more experience, you may progress into more of a team leader role that could include coaching and managing other customer service advisors. Your experience could eventually lead you to a more strategic position in a company, such as senior management or director roles.

The evolving opportunities are just one reason to consider being a customer service representative. See some examples below.

Entry-level customer service career roles:

  • Customer Service Advisor: Initial point of contact for internal and external customer inquiries and support. This could be in person, email, phone or through social media
  • Day Maker/Receptionist: Welcoming customers or clients in a front-of-house setting, being the face of the brand
  • Hospitality Assistant: Logistical assistance, setting up venues for events, delivering a high quality service to guests

Mid-level customer service roles:

  • Team Lead: Responsible for overseeing a team of customer service advisors, ensuring quality service delivery, and focusing on the daily leadership of a team
  • Complaints Handler/Subject Specialist: Deals with complex customer complaints and disputes and has expertise in specific areas of the business, e.g. waste management
  • Customer Experience Analyst: Analyses customer data to improve processes and enhance overall experience and creates reporting to support enhanced service delivery

Progression in a customer service career could include:

  • Customer Service Manager: Manages the entire customer service department, sets strategies, and ensures customer satisfaction
  • Account Manager: Focuses on building and maintaining relationships with key clients
  • Finance Coordinator: Delivers bespoke reporting and finance tools to improve service delivery
  • Procurement Assistant: Develops service focused supplier relationships and engages with new products and services for clients

Skills and Qualifications

Top quality customer service is essential for a company’s reputation and customer satisfaction, especially as it is now so easy for people to give reviews of companies online. Crucial core competencies and personal qualities include:

Communication: Clear, concise communication ensures customers feel understood and valued

Empathy: Understanding and listening to customers’ needs builds trust and rapport – having the ability to make someone’s day creates customer loyalty

Problem-Solving: Swift resolution of issues demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction, with a can do attitude to get to a win for the client

Adaptability: Flexibility in response to diverse customer demands and a changing environment ensures a positive experience

Technical expertise: An additional asset if working in an area that requires technical knowledge of a product. For example, having a background in IT could be an advantage in the tech industry

Desired qualifications vary from role to role, but may include a background in customer service, qualifications such as NVQs, strong computer skills, and GCSEs in English and Maths.

Training and Development

Pursuing a customer service career path can lead to many opportunities to learn and grow through formal training – such as workshops, online courses and additional qualifications, and informally, through peer mentoring and on-the-job learning.

At Churchill, we offer progressive and supportive employment opportunities, including apprenticeships. Whether you are a school leaver seeking to start your career as a customer service representative or are experienced and looking to take on a new career challenge, we provide you with learning and progression opportunities – so you can develop a successful career that suits you. We ensure that working with us is welcoming and supportive.

Get in touch

Everyone is welcome at Churchill. We are inclusive, and value colleagues who might have had diverse life experiences and bring a different perspective to the role.

We have many exciting opportunities available in our fabulous customer service teams who use their energy and passion to deliver high quality customer support.

Have a look at our opportunities to get started on your customer services career path.