So, you’ve done everything possible and got every slice of professional experience that one can get as a customer support consultant. Now it’s time to consider your next step. The most obvious one would be trying your hand as a CS manager.
But what is the actual difference between a consultant (a.k.a. agent) and a manager? What does a customer care manager do? What skills and abilities does this position require? What are the main duties and responsibilities? What salary can you expect in this position? If those are the questions you don’t have answers to, then continue reading.
What is Customer Service Management?
Customer service management (CSM) allows a business to interact with customers via different means, as a result becoming the face of the business.
As a customer support consultant, you may think that you are the key element of the company-client relationship, and you would be right for the most part, as you are already a part of CSM.
But, let’s be honest, you didn’t just come to the company knowing from the very start what to do with each and every inquiry or case that comes in. Knowing the importance of the relationship with the customers, most of the successful companies increase their support teams. But we all know that relying blindly on quantity over quality is no good for business. So, what assures the quality of work of numerous consultants?
And here comes one of the key roles of a customer service manager
— overseeing the work of customer support consultants. But that’s just a peak of an iceberg of a customer service manager role and responsibilities. And we get to the next question:
What Does a Customer Service Manager Do?
While your duties as a customer service manager may vary depending on the company you work at and the type of business, they generally all come down to:
- developing and implementing internal policies;
- finding the means to measure the level of customers’ satisfaction;
- overseeing the work of the customer service team;
- making sure tough customers’ requests are escalated and handled in a proper manner.
Customer Service Manager Titles
Your responsibilities may also vary depending on your title. The title that you obtain depends on the company, but generally, they all come down to the following:
Customer Care Manager
In a nutshell, a Customer Care Manager ensures that the company’s customers are satisfied. You have to lead and motivate the customer support team in order to achieve this goal. Thus, your main duties include:
- supervising operations in a customer service department on a daily basis;
- handling customer service issues in a timely manner;
- developing effective policies and standards for your team;
- creating or/and implementing customer loyalty programs;
- developing customer satisfaction goals and coordinating them with your team;
- managing the budget of the customer support department;
- hiring and training new customer support consultants;
- monitoring statistics and preparing reports on the customer department’s work;
- investigating and solving customer problems that were mishandled by consultants;
- keeping accurate records of communication between consultants and customers;
- developing feedback and complaint forms for customers;
- joining management meetings to discuss possible improvements in department work;
Corporate Service Manager
Corporate Service Manager maintains the relationship between the company and its customers and monitors the satisfaction of the latter. The key difference is that a corporate service manager works closely with the HR and marketing departments. Corporate service manager responsibilities include:
- liaising with customers and companies;
- ensuring that lines between the customers and companies are open;
- monitoring the level of customers satisfaction;
- developing and implementing various monitoring strategies;
- analyzing the data;
- assigning different tasks to different departments;
Retail Customer Service Manager
The duties of a Retail Customer Service Manager have less in common with those of Corporate Service or Customer Care Manager. Basically, the similarities are limited to working with the team managing the company-customer relationship. The main tasks include:
- developing and enhancing customer relationships;
- executing sales;
- developing and executing strategies to achieve or surpass revenue;
- ensuring effective execution of customer agreements;
- maintaining an effective communication process within the company’s departments;
- overseeing the sales department work;
Customer Service Manager Skills and Abilities
Depending on the company that you work in the position may or may not require a specific university degree. For example, the position of corporate service manager in certain companies requires applicants to have a Masters in Business Administration. But let’s get to the general abilities and skills that you need if you want to become a customer service manager:
1. Communication Skills
You need to have perfect communication skills that will allow you to explain the team the main goals. You need to be qualified in both expressing yourself verbally and in written form, as you will have to compose emails that each member of your team will be able to understand. All emails must be perfect in terms of spelling and grammar to maintain respect among the team members.
2. The Ability to Remain Calm
Being a support consultant is hard, but being a customer service operations manager can be even harder. Most of the time you are caught in the cross-fire between the customers and the company. Add there your team members whose work you need to oversee. It’s not like that all the time, but there are days when you receive complaints from the customers, from the company, and from your team. That’s why it’s extremely important for you to be able to stay calm under pressure.
3. Leadership Skills
You will have to oversee and often supervise the work of a whole team or multiple teams. Even if you have a team supervisor to whom you may delegate certain tasks, you are still responsible for running those teams. That’s why you need those leadership skills. You need to be able to maintain a trustworthy relationship with your team, motivate members of your team, provide them with feedback for their work, and reinforce a positive spirit in your team.
4. Organizational Skills
If you want to become a customer service lead you won’t go far without organizational skills. You need to be able to plan everything beforehand, as this time you need not only to organize your work but the work of the whole team.
5. Good Personal Presentation
When you are a CS manager you need to have personal presentation skills. You will attend the meeting with both your team members and vendors. You need to take care of everything from what you’re going to say to how you’re going to be dressed.
6. Knowing the Customer Service Trends
It’s impossible to be a customer service manager without keeping up with the latest trends in your work. Thus, you need to constantly learn something new about your field to offer and implement new customer service strategies to your work.
7. Creative Thinking
You should have a creative approach in every aspect of your work. From organizing teamwork to self-presentation. Just like a customer support consultant may use a creative approach to handle specific cases, you may need it in developing and implementing certain strategies as a CS lead.
How Much Does a Customer Service Manager Make?
Well, the salary of a customer care manager varies from country to country. In the United Kingdom, it can be anything from £25,000 to £45,000 per year. In the United States, the salary ranges from $35,000 to $78,000 per year. In Ukraine, CS managers make from $12,000 to $16,500 per year.
Where Do You Go From Customer Service Manager Role?
The salary level is suggestive, but aside from it the CSM position offers you to get an immaculate working experience, which allows you to grow in various directions in management, development, marketing, finance and many more.
Your experience as a customer care manager provides you with a vast array of skills that you can apply almost in every field. You become a versatile professional, who can progress to different higher levels of management.