How to become a customer service advisor (with salary and skills)
Updated 11 August 2023
Customer service advisors are crucial to many customer-facing organisations. This is because they are usually the first employees that customers interact with at an organisation. Therefore, understanding what the role entails and the responsibilities of a customer service agent can help you determine if it's the right position for you. In this article, we discuss how to become a customer service advisor and review common responsibilities, skills and the average salary for a customer service agent.
How to become a customer service advisor
Knowing how to become a customer service advisor can help you when pursuing this role. Please see steps below to help in your search:
1. Get an education
It's possible to get a formal education to become a customer service advisor. Even though a bachelor's degree is not necessary to work in this position, having a basic education may be necessary to be hired for this role. Typically, companies hiring customer service advisors request at least GCSE results with average grades in English and maths.
2. Get relevant training
You can also become a customer service advisor through training and sometimes the organisation hiring for the role offers this training on-site. But it's possible to pursue such training independently through customer service apprenticeship programmes that are available online. For example, you may enrol in a supplemental training course provided by local agencies to help gain experience in this field. You may also complete short courses online that teach you the basics of the profession.
3. Apply for jobs
You can search for customer service advisor jobs on indeed jobs search. When applying for this role, make sure that you tailor your CV to match the requirements. For example, your professional summary can include relevant customer service training you have received. And in the skills section, be sure to detail the relevant skills you have that fit the role, such as communication and patience.
What is a customer service advisor?
A customer service advisor is a professional who helps customers with their complaints and questions about a company's products or services. They may also liaise with other departments to provide the correct information regarding those complaints. The national average salary of a customer service advisor is £18,996 per year. This can also depend on your location, experience and your employer.
Responsibilities of a customer service advisor
If you want to work as a customer service advisor, some responsibilities may include:
Responding to customer enquiries: As a customer service advisor, it's part of your job to respond to customer enquiries and complaints in a timely manner. This could either be in person, via email or over the phone.
Representing the company: A customer service advisor is usually the first person in an organisation that a customer comes in contact with. If you work in this role, you're also often expected to take advantage of opportunities to promote company products and services.
Sustaining customer satisfaction: As a customer service advisor, it's important that you carefully handle unhappy customers to sustain a high satisfaction level. You can maintain customer satisfaction by knowing the correct answers to their questions.
Advising customers: Sometimes you may involve influencing customer purchasing decisions. You can be more efficient in this role if you have an in-depth knowledge of the products and services that are available.
Collecting customer feedback: When you're a customer service advisor, it may be your responsibility to collect feedback from your organisation's customers by calling or emailing them. It's also possible that you're the one to create the surveys and analyse responses.
Skills required to become a customer service advisor
One of the most important skills to develop for this role is communication because you're constantly interacting with customers, and sometimes in difficult situations. You can develop these skills by taking short courses and practising regularly. Other important skills required to become a customer service advisor are:
adept at problem-solving
ability to empathise
capacity to remain patient
ability to remain calm
ability to multitask
proficient in time management
Customer service advisor interview questions with sample answers
Here are some interview questions you can expect to be asked by an interviewer and some sample answers you may give:
1. What does good customer service mean to you?
A hiring manager may ask this question to determine the extent of your knowledge of what the role entails. It's also a way for them to understand how you plan to do the job if given the role. When you answer this question, you want to ensure that you highlight the skills required and show that you have them.
Example: 'Good customer service is about ensuring that you meet your customer's needs. A company once sent me the wrong order and after complaining about it, they sent the right order and also issued a refund. The exchange between myself and the customer service representative made me feel calmer about an inconvenient situation. I believe I have enough empathy to do this for your customers if given this job'.
2. How would you respond to an angry customer complaining about a product or service?
With this question, a hiring manager is looking for how you are able to handle difficult situations. The best answer to give is one that demonstrates your ability to remain calm under pressure. If you don't have examples of how you have done this with a customer, you may give an example of how you have handled a similar situation.
Example: 'I would respond by actively listening to their complaints about the trouble they are facing. Then I would apologise first before offering a solution. When I volunteered as a local librarian, this was the approach that I took and I was able to increase customer satisfaction by twenty per cent'.
3. Describe a time you delivered excellent customer service
When an interviewer asks this question, it's because they want to have a better understanding of your skill-set. It's also because they want to know whether your skills match what the organisation requires. Therefore, this is one opportunity to demonstrate how your skills align with what they're looking for.
Example: 'In my previous role as a volunteer librarian, a lady came in to collect the book she had reserved. When I checked the system, there was no record of her reservation and the book was no longer available. I apologised to her and assured her that the error must have come from us. Then I confirmed with the senior librarian to know if it was okay to extend her lending time when the book became available for her to borrow. In the end, the lady was less upset about the situation and was happy about the compensation'.
4. What do you consider to be your greatest strength?
This is another interview question that a hiring manager is likely to ask to determine whether you have the right skills for the job. It's best if your answer to this question includes the strength that may help you be more efficient in the role. In preparing for this question, it's best if you have a minimum of three strengths available for your answer in case they ask for more than one.
Example: 'My greatest strength is my ability to communicate effectively. This is a skill that I have always practised and used in every role I've been in. Becoming a better communicator has helped me be more confident in myself and ability to provide assistance'.
5. Why do you want to work in this role?
A hiring manager may ask this question to see what you know about the company and the role. Thus, it's a good opportunity to demonstrate that you have done your research. The best answer may include why you want to work for the company and why you're the best candidate for the role.
Example: 'I understand that your company is one that prides itself in putting its customers first. I want to be part of helping the company continue to achieve this mission. And I know I have the right skills to be a good fit for the role'.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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