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The apprenticeship will take a minimum of 12 months to complete.
Apprentices will be required to have or achieve Level 1 English and Maths and to have taken Level 2 English and Maths tests prior to completion of their apprenticeship.
Link to professional registration:
Completion of this apprenticeship will lead to eligibility to join the Institute of Customer Service as an Individual member at Professional level.
This apprenticeship standard is set at Level 2.
Customer Service apprenticeship
The customer service apprenticeship trains you to provide excellent customer service, and can be applied to hundreds of job roles across many different sectors.
The role of a customer service practitioner is to deliver high-quality products and services to the customers of their organisation. Your core responsibility will be to provide a high-quality service to customers which will be delivered from the workplace, digitally, or through going out into the customer’s own locality. These may be one-off or routine contacts and include dealing with orders, payments, offering advice, guidance and support, meet-and-greets, sales, fixing problems, aftercare, service recovery or 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 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, e-mail, text and social media.
Knowing your customers
- Understand who your customers are.
- Understand the difference between internal and external customers.
- Understand 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
- Know the purpose of the business and what ‘brand promise’ means.
- Know your organisation’s core values and how they link to the service culture.
- Know 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
- Know the appropriate legislation and regulatory requirements that affect your business.
- Know your responsibility in relation to this and how to apply it when delivering service.
Systems and resources
- Know how to use systems, equipment and technology to meet the needs of your customers.
- Understand types of measurement and evaluation tools available to monitor customer service levels.
Your role and responsibility
- Understand your role and responsibility within your organisation and the impact of your actions on others.
- Know the targets and goals you need to deliver against.
- Understand how establishing the facts enables you to create a customer-focused experience and appropriate response.
- Understand how to build trust with a customer and why this is important.
Product and service knowledge
- Understand the products or services that are available from your organisation and keep up-to-date.
- Use 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.
- Depending on your job role and work environment:
- Use appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills, along with summarising language during face-to-face communications; and/or
- Use appropriate communication skills, along with reinforcement techniques (to confirm understanding) during non-facing customer interactions.
- Use an appropriate ‘tone of voice’ in all communications, including written and digital, that reflects the organisation’s brand.
- Provide clear explanations and offer options in order to help customers make choices that are mutually beneficial to both the customer and your organisation.
- Be able to organise yourself, prioritise your own workload/activity and work to meet deadlines.
Dealing with customer conflict and challenge
- Demonstrate patience and calmness.
- Show you understand the customer’s point of view.
- Use appropriate sign-posting or resolution to meet your customers’ needs and manage expectations.
- Maintain informative communication during service recovery.
- Take ownership for keeping your service knowledge and skills up-to-date.
- Consider personal goals and propose development that would help achieve them.
Being open to feedback
- Act on and seek feedback from others to develop or maintain personal service skills and knowledge.
- Frequently and consistently communicate and work with others in the interest of helping customers efficiently.
- Share personal learning and case studies with others, presenting recommendations and improvement to support good practice.
Equality – treating all customers as individuals
- Treat customers as individuals to provide a personalised customer service experience.
- Uphold the organisation’s core values and service culture through your actions.
Presentation – dress code, professional language
- Demonstrate personal pride in the job through appropriate dress and positive and confident language.
“Right first time”
- Use communication behaviours that establish clearly what each customer requires and manage their expectations.
- Take ownership from the first contact and then take responsibility for fulfilling your promise.