If you have great communication skills and love the feeling of making others happy, a career in customer service and sales could be the right move for you.

Over 40,000 people in the North-West currently work in customer services and it’s predicted there will be a 6% rise in customer service jobs by 2026. The work can be extremely rewarding with daily duties focused on helping people, using your specialist knowledge of a certain product or service, and playing a direct role in customer satisfaction and business growth.

You can start a career in customer service from any background and with any level of experience, and there’s plenty of Stockport employers keen to attract and develop new talent – from national and global brands to small and mid-sized organisations focused on delivering exceptional customer care. In addition to joining some fantastic call centre and office environments across the borough, don’t forget you could also work in a shop, museum, hotel, hospital or simply from home. Plus, a career in customer service and sales will set you off on a solid career path as many of the skills you develop are easily applied to sectors.

Labour Market Information

During the Covid-19 pandemic, living with national and regional restrictions had a big impact on how businesses could interact with customers. There were redundancies in some areas (such as hospitality, leisure and tourism) and a surge in demand in others (such as supermarket, online retail and food delivery services).

What this period has shown us, is how robust and adaptable businesses within customer service can be. Many have diversified their product range, moved part or all of their business online, adapted their opening hours or changed their marketing and promotions to reach customers in new ways and respond to the changes imposed. Many of these changes have had a positive effect will be kept by businesses in the months and years ahead.

Looking to the future, there is a positive outlook as the sector opens back up, shopper footfall returns and we see a rise in consumer spending. Longer-term, customer service will continue to be buoyant as organisations continue to look for new and innovative ways to promote their brands and connect with customers.

Starting Salary

£11.44 per hour or £18,000
per annum

Typical Salary Range

£19,000 – £65,000+
per annum

Working Hours

37 to 39 hours per week, including evenings and weekend

Working in Customer Service & Sales

  • Customer Service Assistant
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Customer Support Engineer
  • Sales Coordinator or Administrator
  • Market Researcher
  • Telesales or Telemarketing Executive
  • Internal Sales Executive
  • Business Development Executive
  • Field Sales Executive
  • Sales Manager
  • Technical Support Specialist
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Sales Director
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Confident and outgoing personality
  • Ability to understand customer needs
  • Listening and questioning skills
  • Negotiation and persuasion
  • Interpersonal skills and empathy
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet targets
  • Self-motivated and driven to succeed
  • Attention to detail and focus on high standards of delivery
  • Team player
  • Airline and travel industry
  • Banking and financial services
  • Hospitality
  • Call centre
  • Conferencing & events
  • E-commerce and marketing
  • Insurance
  • IT & Digital
  • Marketing
  • Retail
  • Sales
  • Tourism

There are lots of benefits to starting a career in customer service and retail. These include:

  • Job Satisfaction – working directly with customers can be incredibly satisfying, helping to solve their needs and promote a brand, product or service that you can be passionate about
  • Job Perks – jobs within customer service and retail often involve great staff benefits – from store discounts to social events to competitions or incentives for delivering great service
  • Variety – roles tend to involve lots of variety, with no two days being the same and the opportunity to work across different industries, product types and services
  • Progression – lots of jobs within customer service have structured career prospects and pathways to follow and these tend to be opened up once you have received training, gained experience or acquired expertise in a particular product, service or sector
  • Flexible hours – as a 24/7 always-on industry, online consumer needs and the gig economy offers the flexibility to work different shifts and locations to suit your own circumstances
  • Job Growth – as explained, there is likely to be a continued increase in new jobs created within the customer service and retail sectors in particular due to a rise in consumer spending and a continued move towards online shopping

With experience, you could become a team leader, training officer or customer services manager; a sales team leader, manager or director, or even start your own business.

Don’t forget that customer service and sales skills also transfer across lots of different jobs and industries. You could move into other business specialisms, for example marketing or leisure and tourism.

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