Customer service advisers provide solutions to queries raised about a product or service. They are the first point of contact should a customer have any questions, queries or problems. Although many customer service advisers work in call centres, some are employed to answer queries via e-mail whilst others work face to face. Customer service advisers may also be required to give product advice and information, which enables customers to make purchase decisions.
There are no formal entry requirements for a career as a customer service adviser. Many employers will seek those who have a high school diploma. Employers offer on-the-job training to all new customer service advisers within a company. This usually involves role-playing typical customer questions, learning how to use computer software and telephone systems. Training typically lasts from a few days to several weeks.
Much of the day-to-day work life of a customer service adviser involves using computer programs. Basic computer skills are important, although organisations will offer training on specific systems used within the company. Because customer service advisers often deal with customer complaints, it is important advisers are patient, have good listening skills and be able to keep calm under pressure. Customer service advisers are expected to possess strong communication skills and have a professional manner at all times.
Many customer service advisers work in busy call centres. Advisor calls are usually monitored so that a company can assess if calls are being handled effectively and ensure customers are not left on hold for too long. This work can be repetitive with little time between phone calls. Some customer service advisers work in a store and therefore will deal with customers face-to-face. Most customer service advisers work shift hours, with call centres being open around the clock and stores opening until later in the evening.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for customer service adviser in May 2009 was £19,688.
Employment is expected to grow by 18 per cent up until 2018. Career opportunities for customer service advisers look positive as companies are placing greater importance on strong customer relations. This occupation is expected to produce over 400,000 new job opportunities in the next 10 years.