From maintaining a company's positive reputation with customers to evaluating employees, customer service supervisors have many jobs throughout their workday. Good people skills and a knack for keeping calm and collected helps a supervisor succeed. Most employers have minimal educational requirements to qualify for the position.
Customer service supervisors oversee interaction between customers and a company. They're typically responsible for training customer service employees and evaluating their performance. Supervisors are also expected to help integrate new customer service-oriented strategies into the workplace. During times when a company may be short-handed or experiencing an influx of business, supervisors may need to shuffle around their workers to different positions or perform duties typically assigned to employees. Supervisors are expected to do their best within company policy to smooth over customer concerns and deal with any problems that arise. Supervisors usually schedule employees and may play a large part in the hiring and discharge process. Other duties include processing and authorizing returns, voiding transactions, approving large purchases and retrieving valuable purchases, such as tablets and laptops.
Effective communication is one of the most vital skills a customer service supervisor needs to possess. Much of a supervisor's day consists of communicating -- both listening and talking -- to employees, managers and customers. A supervisor needs to convey his ideas clearly and often quickly. Beyond solid communication, customer service supervisors must take an even-keel approach to their work, never allowing themselves to get caught up in an emotion, especially while dealing with upset customers. Multitasking and the ability to think on the fly enables supervisors to make snap decisions and handle many tasks while in hectic situations. During frantic moments -- which can be common in certain businesses -- supervisors rarely have the luxury of taking their time to lay out the pros and cons of a decision.
Many employers choose customer service supervisors from within, opting to promote customer service representatives. In many cases, companies require supervisors to possess a high school diploma or GED, but the Commonwealth of Virginia's Employment and Resource Center notes more employers are on the lookout for candidates who have completed at least some college courses. The Employment and Resource Center highlights public administration, business administration and human resources management as the key areas of study employers prefer.
Customer service supervisors work in a very social-oriented atmosphere. Most duties require supervisors to interact with either customers or employees on a constant basis. Certain fields, such as retail, see supervisors standing for most of their workday, while other fields offer an office setting, such as call centers. Most supervisors work indoors. A 40-hour work week is the norm, although for fields that experience an influx of business during certain times of the year, such as retail during the holiday season, supervisors may work more.
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