Customer Service Apprenticeships (Level 2 & 3)

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“Excellent customer service matters because it delivers better financial results, helps improve productivity and creates trust.”

Institute of Customer Service

A customer service apprenticeship will be at the heart of a business. You’re the direct link between the business and its customers.

Why choose Training Now as your customer service apprenticeship provider?

The skills, behaviours and knowledge you develop through a customer service apprenticeship level 2 or customer service apprenticeship level 3 with Training Now will be invaluable in growing your customer service career.

What you learn can be applied to hundreds of job roles across a variety of sectors, from government to telecommunications.

Read all about apprenticeships, including our customer service apprenticeship standards and framework.

Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship (Level 2)

Overview

A customer service practitioner’s role is to deliver high-quality products and services to their organisation’s customers.

Your core responsibility will be to provide a high-quality service to customers, delivered in your workplace, digitally, or in a customer’s own locality.

These may be one-off or routine contacts. They could include:

  • dealing with orders
  • payments
  • offering advice
  • guidance and support
  • meet-and-greet
  • sales
  • fixing problems
  • after-care
  • service recovery
  • gaining insight through measuring customer satisfaction.

You may be the first point of contact and work in any sector or organisation type.

Your actions will influence the customer’s experience and their satisfaction with your organisation.

You will demonstrate excellent customer service skills and behaviours, as well as product and/or service knowledge, when delivering to your customers.  You provide service in line with the organisation’s customer service standards and strategy and within appropriate regulatory requirements.

Your customer interactions may cover a wide range of situations and can include; face-to-face, telephone, post, email, text and social media.

Duration

This apprenticeship will take a minimum of 12 months to complete.

Knowledge

Knowing your customers

  • Understanding who customers are
  • Understanding the difference between internal and external customers
  • Understanding the different needs and priorities of your customers and the best way to manage their expectations, recognising and knowing how to adapt style to be highly effective

Understanding the organisation

  • Knowing the purpose of the business and what ‘brand promise’ means
  • Knowing your organisation’s core values and how they link to the service culture
  • Knowing the internal policies and procedures, including any complaints processes and digital media policies that are relevant to you and your organisation

Meeting regulations and legislation

  • Knowing the appropriate legislation and regulatory requirements that affect your business
  • Knowing your responsibility in relation to this and how to apply it when delivering service

Systems and resources

  • Knowing how to use systems, equipment and technology to meet your customers’ needs
  • Understanding types of measurement and evaluation tools available to monitor customer service levels

Your role and responsibility

  • Understanding your role and responsibility within your organisation and the impact of your actions on others
  • Knowing the targets and goals you need to deliver against

Customer experience

  • Understanding how establishing the facts enables you to create a customer-focused experience and appropriate response
  • Understanding how to build trust with a customer and why this is important

Product and service knowledge

  • Understanding the products or services are available from your organisation and keeping up-to-date
Skills

Interpersonal

  • Using a range of questioning skills, including listening and responding in a way that builds rapport, determines customer needs and expectations and achieves positive engagement and delivery

Communication

  • Depending on your job role and work environment, using appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills, along with summarising language during face-to-face communications; and/or using appropriate communication skills, along with reinforcement techniques (to confirm understanding) during non-facing customer interactions.
  • Using an appropriate ‘tone of voice’ in all communications, including written and digital, reflecting the organisation’s brand.

Influencing

  • Providing clear explanations and offering options to help customers make choices that are mutually beneficial to both the customer and your organisation

Personal organisation

  • Being able to organise yourself, prioritise your own workload/activity and work to meet deadlines

Dealing with customer conflict and challenge

  • Demonstrating patience and calmness
  • Showing you understand the customer’s point of view
  • Using appropriate sign-posting or resolution to meet your customers needs and manage expectations
  • Maintaining informative communication during service recovery
Behaviours

Developing self

  • Taking ownership of keeping your service knowledge and skills up-to-date
  • Considering personal goals and proposing development that would help achieve them

Being open to feedback

  • Seeking and acting on feedback from others to develop or maintain personal service skills and knowledge

Team working

  • Communicating frequently and consistently and working with others to help customers efficiently
  • Sharing personal learning and case studies with others, presenting recommendations for improvement to support good practice

Equality

  • Treating all customers as individuals to provide a personalised customer service experience
  • Upholding the organisation’s core values and service culture through your actions

Presentation

  • Demonstrating personal pride in the job through appropriate dress and positive and confident language

“Right first time”

  • Using communication behaviours that establish clearly what each customer requires, and managing their expectations
  • Taking ownership from the first contact and then taking responsibility for fulfilling your promise

Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship (Level 3)

Overview

The main purpose of a customer service specialist is to be a ‘professional’ for direct customer support within all sectors and organisation types.

As an advocate of customer service you’re a referral point for dealing with more complex or technical customer requests, complaints, and queries.

You’re often an escalation point for complicated or on-going customer problems.

As an expert in your organisation’s products and/or services, you share knowledge with your wider team and colleagues.

You gather and analyse data and customer information that influences change and improvements in service.

You carry out your role with an awareness of digital technologies including contact centres, retail, webchat, service industry or any customer service point.

Duration

This apprenticeship will take a minimum of 15 months to complete, depending on experience.

Knowledge

Business knowledge and understanding

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

Customer journey knowledge

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

Knowing your customers and their needs (customer insight)

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

Customer service culture and environment awareness

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

Business-focussed service delivery

  • Demonstrating a continuous improvement and future-focussed approach to customer service delivery, including decision making and providing recommendations or advice
  • Resolving complex issues by being able to choose from – and successfully apply – a wide range of approaches
  • Finding solutions that meet your organisation’s and your customers’ needs

Providing a positive customer experience

  • Negotiating mutually-beneficial outcomes through advanced questioning, listening and summarising
  • Managing challenging and complicated situations within your level of authority and making recommendations to enable and deliver change to service or strategy
  • Using clear explanations, provide options and solutions to influence and help customers make choices and agree next steps
  • Exploring and interpreting the customer experience to inform and influence, achieving a positive result for customer satisfaction
  • Demonstrating a cost-conscious mind-set when meeting customer and business needs
  • Identifying where highs and lows of the customer journey produce a range of emotions in the customer
  • Using written and verbal communication to simplify and provide complex information in a way that supports positive customer outcomes

Working with your customers (customer insights)

  • Proactively gathering customer feedback, through a variety of methods. Critically analysing and evaluating the meaning, implication and facts and acting upon it
  • Analysing your customer types, to identify or anticipate their potential needs and expectations when providing your service

Customer service performance

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

Service improvement

  • Analysing the end-to-end service experience, seeking input from others where required, and supporting development of solutions
  • Making recommendations based on your findings to enable improvement
  • Making recommendations and implementing changes in line with new and relevant legislation, regulations and industry best practice where possible
Behaviours/attitude

Self-development

  • Proactively keeping your service, industry and best practice knowledge and skills up-to-date
  • Considering personal goals related to service and taking action towards achieving them

Ownership/responsibility

  • Personally committing to – and taking ownership of – actions to resolve customer issues to the satisfaction of the customer and your organisation
  • Exercising proactivity and creativity when identifying solutions to customer and organisational issues
  • Making realistic promises, and delivering on them

Team working

  • Working effectively and collaboratively with colleagues at all levels to achieve results
  • Recognising colleagues as internal customers
  • Sharing knowledge and experience with others to support colleague development

Equality

  • Adopting a positive and enthusiastic attitude, being open-minded and able to tailor your service to each customer
  • Being adaptable and flexible to your customers’ needs while continuing to work within the agreed customer service environment

Presentation

  • Demonstrating brand advocacy, values and belief when dealing with customer requests to build trust, credibility and satisfaction
  • Ensuring your personal presentation, in all forms of communication, reflects positively on your organisation’s brand

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou


Take your first step towards an apprenticeship today

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