Customer Service Practitioner (Level 2)
Who is this Apprenticeship for?
This course is for any eligible candidates, who wish to earn a wage while developing their knowledge, skills and behaviours in a customer service focused role within any industry.
The role of a customer service practitioner is to deliver high quality products and services to the customers of their organisation. Your core responsibility will be to provide a high-quality service to customers which will be delivered from the workplace, digitally, or through going out into the customer’s own locality. These may be one-off or routine contacts and include dealing with orders, payments, offering advice, guidance and support, meet-and-greet, sales, fixing problems, after care, service recovery or gaining insight through measuring customer satisfaction. You may be the first point of contact and work in any sector or organisation type.
Your actions will influence the customer experience and their satisfaction with your organisation. You will demonstrate excellent customer service skills and behaviours as well as product and/or service knowledge when delivering to your customers. You provide service in line with the organisation’s customer service standards and strategy and within appropriate regulatory requirements. Your customer interactions may cover a wide range of situations and can include face-to-face, telephone, post, email, text and social media.
Are there any entry requirements?
Must be a UK citizen, or have the right of abode in the UK, or is a citizen of a country that is within the EEA and have been ordinarily resident in the UK, the EU or the EEA continuously for the previous three years before the start of learning.
Candidates will have achieved a minimum of GCSE Grade 3-2 (D-E) or equivalent in English and Maths. We also offer Functional Skills English and maths at Level 1 and Level 2 for those needing to gain these qualifications prior to enrolment.
Apprentices must be employed, for a minimum of 30 hours, in a role that suits the skills requirements of this apprenticeship.
New applicants will be contacted by a vocational delivery tutor to determine suitability/eligibility prior, give information and advice on the next steps.
Shortlisted applicants will be sent to the employer, to then follow their recruitment procedure. Unsuitable applicants will be sign-posted to other areas of our service to develop transferable/employability skills, with a view to ensuring they are suitable for other apprenticeship positions in the future.
What is the curriculum intent of this Apprenticeship?
The structure and delivery of the course curriculum will enable you to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours to reflect the needs of local and regional employers, gain qualifications and be successful in this area.
The curriculum is planned and sequenced to enable learners with previous knowledge and experience to develop the new skills needed to progress to the next stage of their career, training, education or employment. The curriculum is flexible and responsive to learner demands and can be tailored to suit individual needs, arising from any current and dynamic issues affecting their role, which can be addressed during workshop sessions.
As an apprentice you will need to be able to demonstrate knowledge and practical skills at the end of your apprenticeship training programme and understand how this reflects the needs of the local, regional and national economy.
What will the Apprenticeship cover?
The Customer Service Practitioner Level 2 Apprenticeship will develop the knowledge and understanding of:
Knowing your customers
- Understand who customers are
- Understand the difference between internal and external customers
- Understand the different needs and priorities of your customers and the best way to manage their expectations, recognising and knowing how to adapt style to be highly effective
Understanding the organisation
- Know the purpose of the business and what ‘brand promise' means
- Know your organisation’s core values and how they link to the service culture
- Know the internal policies and procedures, including any complaints processes and digital media policies that are relevant to you and your organisation
Meeting regulations and legislation
- Know the appropriate legislation and regulatory requirements that affect your business
- Know your responsibility in relation to this and how to apply it when delivering service
Systems and resources
- Know how to use systems, equipment and technology to meet the needs of your customers
- Understand types of measurement and evaluation tools available to monitor customer service levels
Your role and responsibility
- Understand your role and responsibility within your organisation and the impact of your actions on others
- Know the targets and goals you need to deliver against
- Understand how establishing the facts enable you to create a customer focused experience and appropriate response
- Understand how to build trust with a customer and why this is important
Product and service knowledge
- Understand the products or services that are available from your organisation and keep up to date
Develop the skills in:
- Use a range of questioning skills, including listening and responding in a way that builds rapport, determines customer needs and expectations and achieves positive engagement and delivery
- Depending on your job role and work environment:
- Use appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills, along with summarising language during face-to-face communications; and/or
- Use appropriate communication skills, along with reinforcement techniques (to confirm understanding) during non-facing customer interactions
- Use an appropriate ‘tone of voice’ in all communications, including written and digital, that reflect the organisation’s brand
- Provide clear explanations and offer options in order to help customers make choices that are mutually beneficial to both the customer and your organisation
- Be able to organise yourself, prioritise your own workload/activity and work to meet deadlines
Dealing with customer conflict and challenge
- Demonstrate patience and calmness
- Show you understand the customer’s point of view
- Use appropriate signposting or resolution to meet your customers’ needs and manage expectations
- Maintain informative communication during service recovery
Develop the behaviours around:
- Take ownership for keeping your service knowledge and skills up to date
- Consider personal goals and propose development that would help achieve them
Being open to feedback
- Act on and seek feedback from others to develop or maintain personal service skills and knowledge
- Frequently and consistently communicate and work with others in the interest of helping customers efficiently
- Share personal learning and case studies with others, presenting recommendations, and improvement to support good practice
Equality – treating all customers as individuals
- Treat customers as individuals to provide a personalised customer service experience
- Uphold the organisations core values and service culture through your actions
Presentation – dress code, professional language
- Demonstrate personal pride in the job through appropriate dress and positive and confident language
“Right first time”
- Use communication behaviours that establish clearly what each customer requires and manage their expectations
- Take ownership from the first contact and then take responsibility for fulfilling your promise
End Point Assessment Methods
To trigger the End Point Assessment, you must have:
- English & maths GCSE minimum grade 2+ (E+) or equivalent level 2 qualification proof
- Completed a showcase portfolio, demonstrating how you have met the knowledge, skills and behaviours
The End Point Assessment consists of:
- Workplace Observation: A pre-planned observation, in your normal place of work and independently assessed
- Professional Discussion: A structured discussion with the Independent Assessor, following the observation, to establish the apprentice’s understanding and application of knowledge, skills and behaviours
This standard will be graded as Distinction, Pass or Fail.
What could I do when I have finished this Apprenticeship?
The customer service role may be a gateway to further career opportunities, such as management or senior support roles.
You may gain employment with your employer to pursue a career in an office as a supervisor or team leader and / or decide to complete a Business Administrator Apprenticeship (Level 3), Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship (Level 3) or Team Leader/Supervisor Apprenticeship (Level 3).
Completion of this apprenticeship will lead to eligibility to join the Institute of Customer Service as an Individual member at Professional level.
Where and when will I learn?
During the course you will be expected to attend one of our Darlington based Training Centres (Coleridge Centre, DL1 5AJ / Bennett House DL1 5PT) twice per month to develop your knowledge and practical skills in a controlled environment. These sessions will allow you to complete coursework, receive instant feedback and ensure you are ready for the End Point Assessment. The remainder of the week will be spent working with your employer putting the theory into practice to further develop your knowledge, skills and behaviours in a real working environment.
This course will typically take 18 months, but this is based on a vocational initial assessment to determine prior learning in this area.
How much will the Apprenticeship cost?
There are no fees for this apprenticeship.
What do I do next?
Or you can:
- Apply for this apprenticeship area to be entered into a 'pool of candidates'. When a relevant vacancy becomes available we will contact you.
- If you are already employed in this area and wish to join the apprenticeship training, or have identified an employer wishing to start you as an apprentice in this area, please contact us