What is a customer service advisor?
In the food and hospitality industry customer services is the key factor that accompanies every other element of the business. Without it the other elements of the product or service will not be enough to ensure customers are happy, and more importantly, return to or recommend the business. One of the main roles within the food and hospitality industry which is based around customer service is front of house or reception.
What is the work like?
Working in customer service within the hospitality sector you will usually be the first point of contact for any customer. You will have a lot of responsibility as you have access to customer’s personal details and their specific requirements and will be dealing with their payments. The customers may also require you to provide general information such as travel and local attractions. Customers will also come to you if they have any problems or complaints. Duties can vary depending on your employer but they typically include;
- Greeting customers and booking them into rooms
- Selling products and service provided by the business
- Booking guests into facilities and restaurants
- Advising guests on the local area and amenities
- Liaising with guests about questions and complaints
- Dealing with cash and payment methods
- Maintaining the booking systems and databases
- Arranging bookings, payments and departures through calls, email and in person
How will the training take place?
Typically this course will take a year and on completion you will gain an NVQ level 2 but there may be the option for you to progress and gain a NVQ level 3. To complete this qualification you won’t need to go to a further education (FE) college or training centre. Your time will be spent in a place of employment where you will get to learn practical skills from seeing a real working environment. You will shadow qualified members of staff so that you are able to learn first-hand how to perform the role. You will also get the opportunity to assist in activities, once you pass your assessments and progress through the course you will be able to start completing tasks on your own. To ensure you are competent in completing tasks a Remit assessor will visit you periodically at your work place to complete assessment testing with you.
What skills are required to gain this apprenticeship?
To be a customer service advisor/receptionist you will need to be able to demonstrate:
- Competency with IT and office equipment including phone switchboards
- Confident, outgoing and helpful personality
- Good standard of personal appearance
- Excellent communication skills
- The ability to remain calm in pressurised situations
- Confidence to effectively deal with difficult or unhappy customers
- Good organisational skills
- To be familiar with health and safety, first aid skills and fire evacuation procedures
What qualifications are required to gain this apprenticeship?
The qualification requirements will differ dependent on the requests of the employer. Some employers may require higher grades at G.C.S.E level than others.
At Remit we recommend you apply and register with us irrelevant of what grades you gained at G.C.S.E level. We will then be able to contact you and advise you of the requirements of the employer and when other vacancies become available in your area. If you need any additional support whilst gaining your qualifications Remit can help you. We can also support you in completing your Functional/Key Skills (Core Skills in Scotland) which is a mandatory requirement needed for all apprenticeships and courses if you have not gained a G.C.S.E C or above in Maths and English.
What can you expect once you are qualified?
Customer service and reception within hospitality will need someone on site 24/7 in most hotels. Other customer service and reception roles may differ. Shift patterns are essential to ensure there is always a member of staff available.
From 1st October 2015 an apprentice will earn a minimum of £3.30 per hour. This is the minimum salary and some employers may choose to pay more. Once you are qualified you could expect to earn between £10,000 to £18,000 a year.
As you gain more experience and complete further training during you career you can expect this salary to rise. There will also be opportunities for shift and overtime pay dependant on your employer. You may also be eligible for holiday entitlement and other benefits such as company pension and private healthcare schemes.
Please Note: The figures used are meant as a guide only and can vary from employer to employer and may be dependent on the geographical area.
How do I apply to be a customer service advisor?
If you are interested in becoming a customer service advisor apprentice you will need to register your interest with Remit by completing the online application form here.
Remit will be able to place you on an apprenticeship all year round. However it is important that you register your details as soon as you start year 11 and have decided that an apprenticeship is the option for you; this will give us the best chance of finding the employers in time for you finishing school.
To register your details please click here and fill in the online application.