Customer service specialist (level 3) apprenticeship

Overview

Customer service specialists are at the heart of a company. They are the organisation’s point of contact with the customer and the voice for who they are and what they stand for.

As a customer service specialist you will provide professional direct customer support within all sectors and organisation types. You will become an advocate of Customer Service who acts as a referral point for dealing with more complex or technical customer requests, complaints, and queries.

Course Description

Upon completion of your apprenticeship, you will be confident in acting as an escalation point for complicated or ongoing customer problems. You will be an expert in your organisation’s products and/or services; sharing knowledge with your wider team and colleagues.

Included in your responsibilities will be gathering and analysing data and customer information that influences change and improvements in service. You will utilise both organisational and generic IT systems to carry out your role with an awareness of other digital technologies. This could be in many types of environment including contact centres, retail, webchat, service industry or any customer service point.

Why choose Training Now as your education apprenticeship provider?

We make sure that all our apprenticeships are designed to help you learn and progress towards long-term career goals.

You’ll be allocated a Teaching and Learning Coach, who is a specialist in the field. They’ll support you on a one-to-one basis, with additional online tutorial support.

Read all about our apprenticeship standards and framework.

Entry criteria

You’ll need to:

  • have the right to work in the UK.
  • be 16 years or older after the last Friday in June of the academic year.
  • not be enrolled on another apprenticeship, or another funded FE/HE programme at the same time as the apprenticeship.
  • have a contract of employment with your employer and be paid at least the apprenticeship wage in your first year.
What you will learn

Knowledge

Business Knowledge and Understanding

  • Understand what continuous improvement means in a service environment and how your recommendations for change impact your organisation
  • Understand the impact your service provision has on the wider organisation and the value it adds
  • Understand your organisation’s current business strategy in relation to customers and make recommendations for its future
  • Understand the principles and benefits of being able to think about the future when taking action or making service related decisions
  • Understand a range of leadership styles and apply them successfully in a customer service environment

Customer Journey knowledge

  • Understand and critically evaluate the possible journeys of your customers, including challenges and the end-to-end experience
  • Understand the reasons why customer issues and complex situations sometimes need referral or escalation for specialist attention
  • Understand the underpinning business processes that support you in bringing about the best outcome for customers and your organisation
  • Understand commercial factors and authority limits for delivering the required customer experience

Knowing your customers and their needs/ Customer Insight

  • Know your internal and external customers and how their behaviour may require different approaches from you
  • Understand how to analyse, use and present a range of information to provide customer insight
  • Understand what drives loyalty, retention and satisfaction and how they impact on your organisation
  • Understand different customer types and the role of emotions in bringing about a successful outcome
  • Understand how customer expectations can differ between cultures, ages and social profiles

Customer service culture and environment awareness

  • Keep current, knowledge and understanding of regulatory considerations, drivers and impacts in relation to how you deliver for customers
  • Understand your business environment and culture and the position of customer service within it
  • Understand your organisation structure and what role each department needs to play in delivering Customer Service and what the consequences are should things go wrong
  • Understand how to find and use industry best practice to enhance your own knowledge

Skills

Business-focused service delivery

  • Demonstrate a continuous improvement and future focussed approach to customer service delivery including decision making and providing recommendations or advice
  • Resolve complex issues by being able to choose from and successfully apply a wide range of approaches
  • Find solutions that meet your organisations needs as well as the customer requirements

Providing a positive customer experience

  • Through advanced questioning, listening and summarising negotiate mutually beneficial outcomes

– Providing a positive customer experience (cont.)

  • Manage challenging and complicated situations within your level of authority and make recommendations to enable and deliver change to service or strategy
  • Use clear explanations, provide options and solutions to influence and help customers make choices and agree next steps
  • Explore and interpret the customer experience to inform and influence achieving a positive result for customer satisfaction
  • Demonstrate a cost conscious mind-set when meeting customer and the business needs
  • Identifying where highs and lows of the customer journey produce a range of emotions in the customer
  • Use written and verbal communication to simplify and provide complex information in a way that supports positive customer outcome in the relevant format

Working with your customers / customer insights

  • Proactively gather customer feedback, through a variety of methods. Critically analyse, and evaluate the meaning, implication and facts and act upon it
  • Analyse your customer types, to identify or anticipate their potential needs and expectations when providing your service

Customer service performance

  • Maintain a positive relationship even when you are unable to deliver the customer’s expected outcome
  • When managing referrals or escalations take into account historical interactions and challenges to determine next steps

Service improvement

  • Analyse the end to end service experience, seeking input from others where required, supporting development of solutions
  • Make recommendations based on your findings to enable improvement
  • Make recommendations and implement where possible, changes in line with new and relevant legislation, regulations and industry best practice
How will you learn

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with an accompanying assessment and skills development programme. You’ll gain valuable work experience and earn as you learn on the job.

Our e-learning platform brings the subject to life through interactive learning tools and access to complementary online resources.

As well as learning on the job, you will be allocated a Teaching and Learning Coach, who is a specialist in the field. They will support you on a one-to-one basis, with additional online tutorial support.

Qualifications

Level 3 qualification

Progression

Completion of this apprenticeship will lead to eligibility to join the Institute of Customer Service as an Individual member at Professional level. Should you choose to progress on a customer service career path, you may be eligible for further professional membership including management.