Focused, quality leadership is present in all professional settings, from the smallest startups to the largest multinational corporations. As a result, there are a variety of career paths associated with management and the business goals of customer satisfaction, fiscal success and professional development. This career profile series will explore job opportunities available to those looking to help make an impact through managerial stewardship.
Have you heard the saying that “the customer is always right”? This axiom is mentioned across nearly all industries, and the responsibility of ensuring that customers’ always-right requests are fulfilled falls on customer service teams. This department has a large role in forming customers’ overall opinions of the business. Receiving high customer satisfaction ratings can be a source of pride and a selling point in advertising, making the customer service manager role integral to a business’ success.
The size of customer service departments varies based on the company, but large or small, keeping customers happy and satisfied with your business is extremely important. Customer service associates are tasked with positively responding to customer issues. Managers take it one step further by training others to handle customer needs in addition to fielding service requests themselves.
A customer service career might begin in an entry-level position as an associate or representative. Starting at this level allows you to become an expert in properly fielding customer inquiries while gaining valuable work experience. Both effectively prepare you for a role in customer service management.
Equally important is the education you receive before beginning your management career. Aspiring to be a customer service manager requires management and leadership skills, and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in management offers you additional insight.
The W. P. Carey School of Business Bachelor of Science in Management degree program at Arizona State University explores a variety of customer-service related skills and subjects, such as communication, leadership, teamwork, problem-solving and more.
"W. P. Carey makes it so easy to learn entrepreneurial skills, and they really promote innovative ideas,” shared Ceren Kalyoncuoglu, a recent graduate of ASU.
A typical day in the life of a customer service manager
No two days will ever be the same for anyone working in customer service because different customers, with different inquiries, contact the department each day. Not only will there be an array of questions to resolve, but also diverse personality types to interact with calmly and effectively. Regardless of the situation, the customer is at the heart of a customer service manager’s daily schedule.
Communication between customer service managers and customers can take place in a variety of ways — in person, on the phone or virtually through email or live chat. It is important to be an effective communicator on all of these platforms.
In addition to working with customers, customer service managers also manage a group of agents or representatives. It is essential to supervise them to ensure they comply with company policy while providing a positive service experience. You’ll be responsible for giving these individuals performance feedback as well as arranging for training to keep them at the top of their game.
Between your team and customers, as a customer service manager, you can look forward to busy days. This can be a rewarding job if you enjoy a fast-paced environment and can withstand the pressure.
Developing the right skill set
Interpersonal skills may be critical as a customer service manager, but a variety of other skills are also needed to successfully navigate the role. Since time is divided between customers and co-workers, being an efficient and effective communicator is essential. Being proficient in multitasking and working in a fast-paced environment are also highly beneficial. A customer service manager should possess the following traits:
- Clear communicator
- Effective leader
- Composed under pressure
- Interpersonal skills
- Problem-solving abilities
Developing these traits and gaining work experience in the customer service field is only one factor for success. A college degree adds to an applicant’s appeal when interviewing for a customer service manager position. Earning a degree in management gives you the chance to practice and develop in-demand skills before entering the workplace. The W. P. Carey online BS in Management degree program encourages students to experience and test theories and concepts of management and ethical leadership in skill-based exercises, case discussions and real-world team projects. This experience provides a foundation for students to become successful managers during their careers.
A closer look at the professional landscape for customer service managers
The median salary for a customer service manager is $54,000, according to Payscale and the exact rate depends on the company.
This position opens the door to a varied career path in management based on where your interests lie. Some examples include:
- Customer Service Manager - Operations Manager - Director of Operations
- Customer Service Manager - Director, Customer Service - Vice President, Customer Service
Overall, opportunities in customer service are estimated to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, creating many opportunities for new managers. According to the BLS, telephone call centers are currently leading the way for job growth in customer service, but it is expected demand will increase overall for service representatives.
Customer service is likely to appeal to those who enjoy interacting with people. This role allows you to help people while learning how to be an effective and compassionate communicator. Becoming comfortable resolving customer concerns as well as teaching others to do the same can propel your career in management.
Learn more about your potential career as a customer service manager
Customers are the lifeline of any business, and customer service managers provide the crucial support to keep the entire operation steady. Pursuing such a career can help you join this management community. You can learn more about the associated skills in the W. P. Carey School of Business Bachelor of Science in Management program, as the right degree could make a difference for graduates. Request information to learn more about how this degree program covers many of the skills utilized by all managers.