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What does a customer service representative do?

A customer service manager oversees a team of people who respond to inquiries from potential, current, and past customers.

A successful customer service manager uses both technical expertise and interpersonal skills to manage a contact center. The person is a manager and a leader.

Customer Service Manager Job Description

The job description is usually divided into two categories: duties and responsibilities, and qualifications and requirements.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Customer Service Manager

Here are some of the main duties and responsibilities of a customer service manager:

  • Supervise the customer service team. Supervisory duties include coaching, training and motivating staff to perform effectively. Customer service managers must also create an environment in which employees feel valuable to the organization.
  • Respond to customer requests. Customers contact customer service teams when they have questions about products or services. Staff can interact with customers through multiple channels, including phone, email, and chat. Customer service managers must ensure responses are accurate and delivered in a timely manner, regardless of channel.
  • Develop policies and procedures. Policies and Procedures are the playbook that customer service agents follow to resolve customer inquiries. Policies and procedures must strike a balance between meeting customer needs and supporting organizational goals. They require constant review and revision as customer needs change and the business evolves.
  • Focus on customer satisfaction. This means addressing customer “pain points”, adjusting policies and procedures, ensuring agents are properly trained, measuring customer satisfaction, and responding to customer feedback. Higher satisfaction can lead to higher spend, better customer retention, and favorable referrals. While customers don’t always get the response they want, managers need to make sure the message is delivered effectively. And if possible, alternative options should be offered to the client.
  • Hire staff. Customer service agents need the right personality and the right tools to interact with customers – and it’s up to the customer service manager to find qualified candidates. During the hiring process, managers should assess the skills required for this role, including technical skills, problem solving, and communication.
  • Train staff. Training is essential for new hires – and current employees – to be successful in their jobs. Training activities for new and veteran agents can include lectures, role-playing, and interactive videos. Continuing education is just as important as on-the-job training because it gives employees the opportunity to learn new skills and move up the career ladder.
  • Develop goals and report progress. There are many contact center metrics that could be monitored and reported on. But the key is determining which metrics are most important to the organization and creating goals and objectives around those. Progress towards these goals should also be reported regularly at the individual, team and departmental levels.
    Learn more about customer service key metrics to measure the success of the contact center.
  • Keep learning. The practices and tools that support a customer service organization are constantly evolving. Managers must constantly read articles, participate in webinars and attend conferences to keep up to date with technological changes and practices.

Qualifications and Requirements of a Customer Service Manager

Here are some of the main qualifications and requirements of a customer service manager:

  • Previous related work experience. The Customer Service Manager position is not an entry-level role, so previous experience interacting with customers and leading a team of employees is essential. But this does not mean that the individual must have worked in a customer service organization in the past. People with a retail background who regularly interact with customers likely have these foundational experiences, or related experiences.
  • Strong communication skills. Successful leaders can communicate with team members through a variety of media. Leaders must be able to share and receive information, which requires strong verbal and written communication skills. Communications can be both formal and informal, and the customer service manager must be able to tailor communications to their target audience.
  • Strong leadership skills. The customer service manager must be able to work with people with different needs. They also need to create an environment and a reward system that will motivate employees to perform at their best.
  • Control software. Much of the software used in customer service organizations helps provide structure, organization, and communication with staff. The customer service manager should have a minimum skill level and be comfortable with tools such as contact center software, workforce management software, email and messaging apps.

What are the salary expectations for customer service managers?

There is a range of salaries for customer service managers. Many factors can contribute to this manager’s salary, including organization size, location, previous experience, and industry.

The following are examples of salary ranges reported for Customer Service Managers:

  • shows a salary range of $70,727 to $123,708, with a median salary of $93,368.
  • The pay scale shows a salary range of $41,000 to $85,000, with an average salary of $58,987.
  • ZipRecruiter posts a salary range of $21,500 to $87,500 with an average salary of $52,449.

In addition to these base salaries, many positions may offer bonuses and other benefits and incentives.

What makes a good customer service manager?

Customer service managers must use technical expertise and interpersonal skills to successfully manage a contact center.

They need to know how to achieve key metrics like service levels and use tools like workforce management to manage productivity. They must also be able to make real-time adjustments to respond to unforeseen circumstances.

There is no optimal career path to becoming a successful customer service manager. In some cases, a successful manager can move up the ranks from rep to manager. In other cases, a manager may be brought in from another organization to provide an outside perspective.

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