Customer Service Manager
Education and Training: Bachelor’s preferred
Average Salary: $70,500
Job Outlook: Poor
Customer service management positions vary from one company to the next, but in general, they’re responsible for overseeing both employees and the customer service department. Managers must often deal directly with customers, helping to keep them happy by solving their problems. Often, they supervise a team of customer service representatives, who deal directly with the customer until things become volatile or tricky enough to call the customer service manager to deal with the problem.
Typically, a customer service manager will be responsible for training customer service employees and for overseeing their activities and evaluating their performances. They may also help the company develop policies and standards for customer service and for maintaining their own continuing education on best practices in customer service at the time.
Besides this, customer service managers often communicate with customers in person, over the phone, or through letters, which means they must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Many times, companies will keep statistics and records on customer service performance, and the customer service manager is responsible for maintaining these records and analyzing them in order to improve the overall performance of a company’s customer service department.
Education and Training Requirements
Most companies right now require that their customer service managers have bachelor’s degrees in consumer studies, business, management, or related fields. Smaller companies may hire customer service managers based on their experience alone, particularly if those managers have been with their respective companies for long periods of time.
Most of the time, on-the-job training is required, and customer service managers must have experience working at the lower levels of a customer service department before being promoted to a managerial position. Many companies also require continuing education through conference attendance, etc.
Getting the Job
To get a customer service management position, one may need to apply for lower level customer service positions first. These positions include part-time associates positions. However, some with the right training and background in customer service may be able to apply directly for a customer service position within a new company.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Because of the slow growth of new retail stores and a low turnover rate in customer service management positions, there are not many customer service manager positions to be had at the moment. Career area growth is expected to be slow, and competition for available jobs is expected to be somewhat fierce. Customer service managers who have extra experience in the area are most likely to get management positions.
Customer service managers can often go into higher management level positions, particularly within large companies. Very large companies may have managers positioned at each store with regional and national management positions available for the most experienced candidates.
Working Conditions and Environment
A customer service manager typically works out of an office in a company’s customer service center, but they may also work behind a counter where they have experience face-to-face with customers. Because this job often involves dealing with upset or angry customers, it can be somewhat stressful. Work hours, however, are usually normal and are not often more than forty hours in a week.
Salary and Benefits
The average salary for a customer service manager is $70,500, but they can make anywhere from $51,900 to $93,000 per year, depending on their level of experience and the company they work for.
This full-time position normally comes with health benefits, which may include dental and vision, and it also comes with paid vacation and sick leave. Customer service managers in some industries may be eligible for bonuses depending on personal performance and the performance of the customer service department in general.
Where to Go for More Information
American Management Association
International Customer Service Association
1110 South Ave., Ste. 50
Staten Island, NY 10314
National Retail Federation
325 7th St. NW., Ste. 1100
Washington, D.C. 20004