A customer service administrator answers customer enquiries about the goods or services an organisation provides and handles any complaints.
You could be:
- dealing with customers face to face at a reception desk, or by phone or email from a contact centre
- answering enquiries or complaints about services such as public transport, tourist attractions, accommodation or finance
- taking bookings or payment by credit card or cash for events, travel, goods or services
- describing products in detail – for example, financial packages, household appliances or gas and electric supply
- finding relevant information on the computer
- arranging to post out information or goods to customers
- passing enquiries on to a specialist who can take things further
- keeping accurate records of all enquiries
- helping to train new staff.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of company or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
Starting salaries are generally around £16,000 a year, rising to around £22,000 or more with experience. Some companies offer basic salary plus commission or bonuses for meeting targets.
- You would work in an office or customer service desk.
- You may spend a lot of time on the telephone using a headset, and a computer.
- You might have to deal with a constant queue of customers or phone calls.
- You might work shifts, if your organisation operates up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- You might get little time between calls to do the data entry.
- Part time work is common.
Workforce Employment Status
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- You may get in through a Modern Apprenticeship.
- A good general education is useful and, in addition, some employers may ask for up to 3 subjects at National 4 or 5 including English and Maths.
- Relevant experience can be more important than formal qualifications.
- Previous experience of dealing with the public is useful.
- Sometimes you need previous experience in a particular field, for example if you are advising about insurance or mortgages.
- Vacancies appear in newspapers, Jobcentre Plus offices and on the Find a Job website.
You could work for an organisation such as a bank, a hotel chain, an insurance firm, a local authority or utility company.
What Does it Take?
You should be:
- able to speak clearly and fluently
- polite and helpful
- patient and resilient
- able to do several things at once – for example, talk to the customer, find information on the computer and input data
- able to stay calm under pressure and to work to meet targets
- able to deal with complaints and difficult situations
- knowledgeable about computer software packages
- of smart appearance, especially if you are dealing with customers face to face.
- Training is normally on the job through the employer's training scheme.
- There are SVQs available in: Business and Administration at SCQF Levels 4 to 6; and Customer Service at SCQF Levels 4 to 8.
- The customer service sector has been growing in size in recent years.
- After suitable experience, you may be able to become a supervisor or a manager, particularly in larger organisations.
- Customer service skills are important in a wide range of organisations, and so it is possible to transfer to other industries or sectors.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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