The main purpose of a customer service specialist is to be a ‘professional’ for direct customer support within all sectors and organisation types. You are an advocate of customer service who acts as a referral point for dealing with more complex or technical customer requests, complaints, and queries. You are often an escalation point for complicated or ongoing 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. Utilising both organisational and generic IT systems to carry out your role with an awareness of other digital technologies.
This role could be in many types of environments including contact centres, retail, webchat, service industry, or any customer service point.
An apprenticeship is a job with training. You will be employed at least 30 hours a week, with 80% of your working hours in your day-to-day role, and the remaining 20% of your time engaged in training or study.
By inquiring about this apprenticeship you are not applying for a specific role. For current vacancies please take a look at the apprenticeship vacancies page.
What You'll Learn
In year one, you will understand the following key concepts:
1. What continuous improvement means in a service environment and how your recommendations for change impact your organisation
2. The impact your service provider has on the wider organisation and the value it adds
3. Your organisation’s current business strategy in relation to customers and how to make recommendations for its future
4. Principles and benefits of being able to think about the future when taking action or making service-related decisions
5. The range of leadership styles and how to apply them successfully in a customer service environment
Year two will extend your knowledge from year one and cover the following topics:
Customer journey knowledge:
1. You will understand and critically evaluate the possible journeys of your customers, including challenges and the end-to-end experience
2. Understand the reasons why customer issues and complex situations sometimes need referral or escalation for specialist attention
3. Understand the underpinning business processes that support you in delivering the best outcome for customers and your organisation
4. Understand commercial factors and authority limits for delivering the required customer experience
Knowing your customers and their needs/customer insight:
1. Know your internal and external customers and how their behaviour may require different approaches from you
2. Understand how to analyse, use and present a range of information to provide customer insight
3. Understand what drives loyalty, retention, and satisfaction and how they impact your organisation
4. Understand different customer types and the role of emotions in bringing about a successful outcome
5. Understand how customer expectations can differ between cultures, ages, and social profiles
Customer service culture and environment awareness:
1. Keep current knowledge and understanding of regulatory considerations, drivers and impacts in relation to how you deliver for customers
2. Understand your business environment and culture and the position of customer service within it
3. 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
4. Understand how to find and use industry best practices to enhance your own knowledge
Business-focused service delivery:
1. Demonstrate a continuous improvement and future-focused approach to customer service delivery including decision making and providing recommendations or advice
2. Resolve complex issues by being able to choose from and successfully apply a wide range of approaches
3. Find solutions that meet your organisation’s needs as well as the customer requirements
Providing a positive customer experience:
1. Through advanced questioning, listening and summarising, learn to negotiate mutually beneficial outcomes
2. Providing a positive customer experience
3. Manage challenging and complicated situations within your level of authority and make recommendations to enable and deliver change to service or strategy
4. Use clear explanations, provide options and solutions to influence and help customers make choices, and agree to the next steps
5. Explore and interpret the customer experience to inform and influence achieving a positive result for customer satisfaction
6. Demonstrate a cost-conscious mindset when meeting customer and the business needs
7. Identifying where highs and lows of the customer journey produce a range of emotions in the customer
8. Use written and verbal communication to simplify and provide complex information in a way that supports positive customer outcomes in the relevant format
English and maths GCSEs at grade 4/C or an equivalent qualification are required. You will also need to demonstrate commitment to learning while working and spend 20% of your working hours completing off-the-job training.
How you will be assessed
Your apprenticeship will be assessed through practical observations with questions and answers. You will complete a work-based project which will be supported by an interview. There will also be a professional discussion supported by a portfolio evidencing your learning.
If the course is longer than one year the total fees are for the first year only and further fees may apply in future years. All fees are based on a ‘home’ learner status. Please contact us for information on overseas fees.
For more information, please see our course fee disclaimers page.
Course and Career progression
Successful apprentices can progress to a range of qualifications, including Apprenticeship in Team Leading. Apprenticeship in Business Administration. Depending upon your role you may also consider the Higher National Certificate / Higher National Diploma route in management courses or ILM courses too where you may receive two years membership of in the Institute of Leadership and Management.
What Happens Next
You can express your interest in this apprenticeship by completing an application form or alternatively you can apply for one of our live apprenticeship vacancies via the College website. Our apprenticeships can also be found on the government’s apprenticeship site, gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship.