National Apprenticeship Week 2019 – Choosing an apprenticeship in Customer Service

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 4 – 8 March and is a time to celebrate the legacy of apprenticeships, while also taking the opportunity to inform young people and businesses about the positive impacts apprenticeships could have for them.

Our team of educators and writers believe strongly in the importance of lifelong learning and apprenticeships. This is why we work hard to create the best possible online learning resources for colleges and training providers to use as part of their blended teaching and learning approach for their learners.

Why choose an apprenticeship in Customer Service?

Providing the best possible customer service is essential to every business. Whether it’s interacting with customers face-to-face, by phone, or by email and text, it’s integral that each customer feels valued and is treated with the upmost care.

Working in the customer service industry is a varied role and means working closely with members of the public, as well as other businesses. As a customer service representative, you are an ambassador for the company you work for and need to embody a positive attitude with an appetite to solve problems quickly.

You might consider starting an apprenticeship in customer service if you are enjoy working with people and like to bring a smile to people’s faces on a daily basis. If you’re a natural at conversation and putting people at ease, while also good at resolving problems, this is an ideal industry for you.

What will you learn?

An example of a qualification you might complete as part of an apprenticeship is the NCFE Level 2 Diploma in Customer Service, though our learning resources are relevant to the standards for a wide variety of awarding organisations.

Throughout your apprenticeship, your on the job learning will help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively communicate in the work environment, complete business and administration tasks such as collating data and creating reports, as well as helping you to effectively manage information, and build relationships with your colleagues.

How will you learn?

As an apprentice you learn ‘on the job’ which means you gain hands-on experience from day one. This gives you the advantage of gaining invaluable experience from colleagues and managers in a real work environment. It also means you earn a salary while working towards achieving your qualification, and in most cases your apprenticeship costs are covered by Government funding.

To achieve your qualification you will need to produce work to show you are competent in each of the qualification criteria, which means you will successfully pass each unit. You will also need to show you are competent in your work environment.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you are asked to produced a written piece of work for each of the criteria as there are many different ways to collect evidence for your portfolio. You may also take part in a professional discussion with your trainer, produce reflective accounts, take part in group discussions, produce videos to show your competence, and be assessed via observation in the workplace.

If you are completing a qualification with a training provider or college who use our Laser e-portfolio and/or Laser Lessons resources, you will be supported by a trainer who will guide you through your qualification, set your workplans, and mark your work. They are the person you can contact whenever you have a question about your coursework or need advice about your learning journey.

Your trainer will conduct teaching sessions with you and you can then use the Laser Lessons resources to continue your study during your allocated learning time.

Here’s an example a Think and Challenge created specifically for this qualification as part of our Laser Lessons resources.

CASE STUDY

James takes a call from a customer who is fairly irate as he has been expecting a phone call telling him a product he is waiting some time for is now in stock and will be delivered.

James informs the customer that he knows nothing about the issue, and it is not his fault no one has contacted him about it. At this point the customer got more annoyed and tells James that he wanted to speak to someone in a position of responsibility and would not be using the company again. James then put the call through to his manager.

  1. Do you think the situation could have been handled in a more appropriate manner?
  2. What do you think James should have done?
  3. What would your recommendations be for James to help him be more efficient?

As our resources are online you can access them with an internet connection anywhere and at any time. If you are using the Laser e-portfolio you can also upload work, read feedback comments, and email your trainer at any time.

What roles can you go on to work in?

You can go on to work as a customer service representative, or use your skills to move into other junior roles such as a personal assistant or secretary, as well as finding the perfect industry in which you feel passionate about delivering outstanding customer service representation.

There are also higher levels of qualification you can achieve at levels 4, 5, and 6 which can aid you to move into manager positions or to further specialise your knowledge and skills. You may wish to go on to develop your conflict resolution skills, or develop customer service skills for dealing with business customers rather than members of the public. Developing an outstanding set of skills in the industry could lead to working with exclusive customers in the future.

More about our Laser Lessons resources

Laser Lessons resources are written by subject specialists with vocational experience in their chosen area. Each lesson follows our unique Laser format, giving each learner:

If you’re considering applying for an apprenticeship, look for local apprenticeship vacancies on the Find an Apprenticeship website.

If you are a training provider, college, or business who would like to more about using the Laser e-portfolio and Laser Lessons resources to deliver apprenticeship teaching and learning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.