An Overview of the Different Jobs in the Customer Services Industry

There are several levels to the customer service department and if you are looking to enter the field the best thing to do is become informed on your options. This article is designed to help you with making that decision by breaking down the four main departments: customer service assistant (entry level); customer advisor; customer services supervisor and customer services manager.

Customer Service Assistant: This is an entry level position which quite simply involves ensuring that customers leave with a positive view of the company you work for. Almost all businesses employ customer service assistants, from banks to supermarkets so you should be able to find a business that you are sincerely interested in or passionate about. This should impact upon your performance in the role and help you to excel in your position. You will be conversing with customers, and colleagues, face-to-face, over the phone and via email so you must have an excellent grasp of the English language and confidence talking to people. If you are seeking a job with regular daytime hours this may not be position for you as it varies depending on the company. Many businesses are open over the weekend, in the evenings or even over night. The salaries are generally entry level oriented, as a trainee you can expect £8000-£10500pa and at a higher qualified level £9000-£13000pa, but it is all company-dependent. The biggest benefit of this position though is that you get a high level of job satisfaction because you spend the best part of the day helping customers with their enquiries. The only thing you have to remember is that customers can get fairly cross if they are complaining and you will be expected to not only take the brunt of this but also reach an amicable conclusion.

Customer Advisor: If you find yourself often described by others – or yourself – as a ‘chatterbox’ you may find that you also get into trouble at work for excessive talking to your colleagues and therefore a customer advisor position may be right up your street. In this position, generally speaking, the more you talk the better. Your position within the company is to help customers with their enquiries. This could range from informing customers of services that your company deliver, suggesting products they might be interested in, putting them in touch with a senior member of staff if necessary but also promoting your company. As with the customer service assistant position, you will be conversing with customers, and colleagues, face-to-face, over the phone and via email so you must have an excellent grasp of the English language and confidence talking to people. The range of areas that you can work in is slightly broader because you are more likely to work in a more specific industry such as hotels and banks; the level of service needs to be extremely high here. The salary is also a little higher for the same reason; you can expect to begin on £12000-£17000 and progress up to £22000 with more experience. Additionally a lot of businesses offer the chance to earn bonuses or commissions if you perform exceptionally well so the scope to earn well is there for the taking.

Customer Services Supervisor: Essentially this job entails managing a team of staff: making sure they deliver the best level of customer service possible, ensuring they turn up on time and ultimately just do their job correctly. The tasks then branch out and it becomes your responsibility to delegate within the team, monitor performance both of the team and individuals, help with training, development, recruitment and handle complaints from both customers and staff. The worst part about this role is that it is the supervisor’s responsibility to handle those horrible and sometimes serious complaints against your company that you once handed over to the management to deal with. This is significantly more than an entry level job and therefore you can expect the salary to reflect that, when you go in as a junior supervisor you would expect to earn between £15000-£25000pa but again, depending on the company, as you progress through the levels the salary can inflate to up to £40000pa. The good news is there will always be someone senior to you so if there whenever you need advice or help you have someone to call on.

Customer Services Manager: Finally the highest level, the person who takes all the complaints as well as the positives and has to provide the final answer to any query that is causing problems for those further down the ladder. The most important thing about your role is motivating and leading a team to ensure that their customer service skills are the absolute best and the service is being delivered in an efficient and professional manner. In order to fulfil your role the tasks you need to complete have more to do with your staff than the customers. While maintaining good customer relations you must also recruit staff, arrange meetings, training and carry out staff appraisals. The salary for this position is reflective of the experience you have gained throughout your career as well as all the options mentioned in the previous roles – location, department and business. If you know this position is where you ultimately aim to be and choose to start as a trainee in this area you will begin on £16000-£20000pa, more experience will lead to £20000-£40000pa but eventually you could find yourself earning as much as £60000pa. Of course these salaries reflect the responsibilities of the role and when you reach this level it is expected that you deal with the trickiest of situations and reach the most amicable end agreement.

Safe Nutrition Principles in Food Service Industry

Nutritionists and dietitians constantly send out alarming signals about the risks we assume when eating over processed food. Irrespective of health concerns, many cannot stop eating unhealthy food products. The threat is everywhere in supermarkets, fast-food lines, and even restaurants. No one in the business pays attention to this menace, ever since manufacturers have found the magic formula to raise profit. Moreover, the secret lies in tasty recipes based on an endless list of artificial ingredients that make food taste delicious, but, in the mean time, jeopardize our health, all this happening because food manufacturers have been gradually giving up safety and health principles.

Thus, over the years, this tendency has turned into a real threat, whose side effects are really hard to fight against. Ignoring many ethics-based principles in food service work, unfortunately, nowadays, we find it really difficult to combat obesity. Moreover, infant obesity is definitely one of the major national concerns, yet, we are still helpless when it comes to initiating major changes and directing eating habits towards a safer area. This national inability has so many causes, yet food additives abuse is one of the major factors. Implicitly, food manufacturers carry the guilt for having provoked the disaster, as the side effects did not emerge immediately afterwards. Even though food experts were very much aware of their impact on health, they still kept it a secret.

The same approach was obvious for all who performed various food industry jobs. Initially, this menace was taboo, yet when we all came to realize its dangers, no one was afraid to speak out. Nonetheless, this reaction was somehow late, considering that consequences had been registered on several plans. Besides high obesity risks, food additives, toxins and all chemical ingredients, used to make food products last longer and excessively tasty, are believed to considerably increase the risks of suffering from colon cancer and stomach cancer. And the dangers do not stop here.

Recent laboratory tests provide relevant evidence that many food additives might cause addiction, meaning that, you will no longer be able to control your eating habits and food consumption. The best example in this sense is definitely monosodium glutamate, also responsible for the Umani phenomenon. Even though this element has a natural origin, these days, food processing make use of synthetic MNSG. Actually, this chemical component can add savor even tough the food does not contain any natural flavor. So, it is highly recommended to pay attention to the way food is processed and mainly to all ingredients the food products contain.

Getting Started in the Computer Service Industry

When pursuing a career in computer services, you will find many different jobs to consider that place you with constant customer contact or behind-the-scenes managing the daily operations of a particular department. Today, computer repair services are also in high demand when it comes to computer service careers. With varying levels of education and experience, a person interested in computers can easily locate employment within the United States and Canada.

Common Computer Service Career and Jobs

For starters, a Computer Operations Manager is responsible for planning, directing, and managing the day-to-day business of a computer department. They are in charge of creating department policies and procedures. Usually, an associates degree in a related field and at least 8 years of experience are required for this position. Reporting to a senior manager is often expected. The typical salary for this job is seen between $65,880 and $96,211.

As a Computer Aided Design Drafter, one learns how to master the transformation of the beginning stages of a rough product design by using computer-aided design (CAD) to produce helpful documents. Some companies demand an associates degree in a related area and 0-2 years of experience to land a position as a CAD Drafter. While working under immediate supervision, a drafter typically reports to a supervisor or manager. The average annual salary for a Senior CAD Drafter is between $38,831 and $50,323.

With an average base salary of $36,062 to $44,738, a Level I Computer Technician will maintain, analyze, troubleshoot, and repair computer systems and other components. This type of job often requires an associates degree or its equivalent with 0-3 years of experience within the field. Sometimes, this job title is also referred to as a PC Maintenance Technician I.

There are also many positions available on the college or university level as professors apply for computer science jobs in the fields of computers and information sciences. Instructors often prepare and give lectures to filled classrooms, which then break into discussion regarding the material. Hands-on computer exercises and laboratories are led by professors to help students grasp the material. A professor must possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree in area of specialty, accompanied by 2-4 years of experience in the field of computers. An instructor in computer science usually receives an average annual salary between $36,811 and $68,932. Depending on the college or university, this figure may vary.

With all of the viruses, spyware, and malfunctions threatening computers, becoming a computer repairer can reap a decent salary. Many computer repairers also go on to own their own businesses, where they mend and maintain PCs and laptops, as well as audio and visual equipment. A high school diploma and 2-4 years of experience is needed to perform the duties of this job position. Usually, the completion of an apprenticeship and/or formal training is required. A Computer Equipment Repairer typically makes between $41,582 and $52,769.

Working in Computer Services: United States & Canada

When becoming a part of the Hewlett Packard family, employees receive a competitive base pay, as well as enter a satisfying performance-related pay program called Total Rewards. It is through this program that employees are offered the chance to share in the success of HP, which comes as a direct result of worker performance. Comprehensive benefits are offered through health plans, retirement and savings packages, as well as income protection. Stock ownership is given to HP employees through the Share Ownership Plan.

Microsoft is a well-known computer services company that has earned awards and rankings as one of the top 100 companies to work for, as well as earned high honors in the training department. A Software Developer at Microsoft earns an average annual salary of $118,500. They are also one of few companies that pay 100% of their employees’ health-care premiums.

As an employee at Intel, workers enjoy the Employee Cash Bonus Plan that offers a profit-sharing plan with cash rewards given to employees that takes place twice per year. These figures are based upon a percentage of net income or pretax margin (whichever number is greater). A wide-range of comprehensive medical plans is available to employees, providing cost-effective and flexible choices. Dental benefits come in the form of two different dental plans.

Best Buy is known for selling consumer electronics and other products dedicated to computer software, cell phones, and cameras. Computer-related majors may find a home as part of the “Geek Squad,” which is responsible for helping others with their computer problems. Common duties include performing system checkups and maintenance; hardware and software installation; crashed hard drive repair; virus and spyware removal; and setting up digital devices. Additional companies to seek decent employment in computer services include Dell and IBM.

Communication Skills in Any Service Industry Are Still Necessary for Success

Communicating well with the public is important for any business, but it is especially significant for service businesses. Instant text, voice and image communication technologies make it faster and easier to communicate with our customers than ever before. But the content and quality of communication still rely on good verbal and written communication skills. We can use the method of communication our customer prefers, but what we communicate to them remains much more important than how it was sent. It continues to be important for us to hone our verbal and written communication skills and make sure new hires also possess those skills. There are three general types of information that service industry professionals need to communicate to their customers.

Documentation:

Most documentation is required by law, industry standards or company policy and must be communicated to each customer. It usually describes the service performed and the limits of any guarantee or warranty. In addition there is usually some information the service company requires for the customer’s service record or file. Service reports are normally designed so the technician can communicate most of the required information by simply checking off appropriate boxes, but there must be space for the technician to relate specific information about his/her actions. Those comment sections require good written communication skills. As a trainer of new technicians I always warned them of the importance of what they write on those legal documents. They are not only communicating with the customer but also with their supervisor, a regulatory agency, or even a lawyer, judge or jury if there is ever litigation involving the service. Because customers seldom read the service report completely before signing it, it is important for technicians to verbally communicate the information to them to make sure they understand it. This adds value to the service and requires good verbal communication skills. Although documentation is necessary it has the drawback of being primarily one-way communication with little participation from the customer.

Education:

Communicating this type of information involves some customer participation because it is normally provided in response to a question from them. Educational communication should be professional and clearly understood. It requires that the technician have a thorough knowledge of service performance and techniques. Experience, training and third party reference materials help make this type of communication possible but it still requires good verbal communication skills. Educating customers about their particular problem and the solution provided for them will add much value and credibility to each service.

Expression:

This type of communication is often underused or completely overlooked because it is not required by law and is not technical or educational in nature. However, it just may be the most important and fruitful line of communication we can establish with our customers. It expresses our concern, empathy, appreciation and attentiveness. It adds a personal touch to the relationship with our customer. An attentive technician listening and responding to customer concerns; an administrative assistant dealing with customers in a pleasant, efficient and caring manner; a salesperson following up with each new customer after the sale to make sure the problem is being addressed to their satisfaction; or the owner or supervisor sending customers a thank you or holiday card with a brief personal message. These are all examples of expressive communication. We can express ourselves verbally, in writing or even implied by our body language or tone of voice, but we must be sincere. It is this type of communication that turns a customer into a friend and we all know how much harder it is to fire a friend than it is to fire a contractor.