We know it can be useful to get on-the-ground knowledge of what a job is really like before considering it, so we chatted to Claire Donnelly about working as a Customer Services Manager, a role that’s in high demand amongst office support jobs in London. Claire has been in her current position at a large utilities company for nearly three years.
Overall, what is it like working in customer services at your current company?
“I enjoy the buzz of working in customer service. The last few years, with the pandemic, have been particularly challenging and incredibly busy. It has involved large system changes with remote working. Overall, however, I enjoy what I do and feel it plays to my strengths.”
What does an average day involve?
“There are some common elements to each day. I always spend a fair amount of my day managing my teams. As such, I am often in meetings which now usually take place online. I also deal with the more complex cases and I am the main contact for regulators. Lastly, part of every day is devoted to analysis and looking at figures and building reports.”
What do you enjoy about your role?
“I enjoy motivating others and bringing out the best in them. It’s really satisfying seeing teams meet their targets. I love building good relationships, especially with our suppliers. It’s rewarding to be seen as the central point and the fount of all knowledge! I like getting stuck in with creating new processes and systems, too. There’s also a lot of satisfaction working with data and information and being able to see improvements.”
What time do you start work?
“Our customer service lines are open for 12 hours a day. As such, my teams work shifts. I am generally at work, or online, by 8 am. This means I can keep the handover between shifts within my working day.”
You say you spend a lot of the day in meetings, what are your meetings about?
“My meetings are quite varied. Some are with my team leaders. We talk about successes and any problems, as well as implementation of targets and new systems. These meetings are also opportunities to discuss common teething issues with new service lines. I also have many one-to-ones, both with my manager, the team leaders, and individual members of staff. These may be about corporate objectives or personal wellbeing support. I also have various other meetings—with regulators, suppliers, sales, and Employee Resource Groups.”
Which skills are most important for your role?
“Being an active listener is essential. Organisational skills and reporting are important. I rely on critical thinking skills a lot. You need to be an excellent communicator and always have a service-orientated attitude.”
What advice would you give others?
“Being a customer services manager is rewarding, but it is a busy job! You need to be very energised, capable of focusing on strategy and business objectives, and able to build morale. Gain experience in customer service roles and reach your targets. Alongside this, put yourself forward to be in focus groups and show that you are interested in the management side of the role.”
Are you interested in a career in customer services? We often have vacancies in customer support. Take a look at our job listings in London.
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