CAREER GUIDE FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE FIRST-LINE SUPERVISOR/MANAGER

SOC Code: 43-1011.01

Pay Band(s): 4 and 5 (Salary Structure)

Standard Occupational Description: Supervise and coordinate activities of workers involved in providing customer service.

Customer Service First-Line Supervisor/Manager positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Program Administration Career Group:

Program Administration Specialist I

Program Administration Manager I

Program Administration Manager II

While Customer Service First-Line Supervisor/Managers within the Commonwealth are all located within the Program Administration Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.   

Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:

General Administration

Administration and Office Support

Retail Operations

Computer Operations

SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS

(Technical and Functional Expertise)

Skills
Note: The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Customer Service First-line Supervisor/Manager commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

  1. Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  2. Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  3. Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  4. Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  5. Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  6. Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  7. Actively looking for ways to help people.
  8. Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  9. Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  10. Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience

Knowledge
Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Customer Service First-line Supervisor/Manager commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Knowledge of:

  1. Business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  2. Principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  3. Administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  4. Principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  5. Principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  6. Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  7. Economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  8. Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications

Abilities
Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Customer Service First-line Supervisor/Manager commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Ability to:

  1. Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  2. Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  3. See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  4. Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  5. Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  6. Speak clearly so others can understand you.
  7. Add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  8. Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  9. Identify and understand the speech of another person.
  10. Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Tasks
Note:  The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Customer Service First-line Supervisor/Manager.  Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed. 

  1. Supervises and coordinates activities of workers engaged in customer service activities.
  2. Plans, prepares, and devises work schedules, according to budgets and workloads.
  3. Observes and evaluates workers' performance.
  4. Issues instructions and assigns duties to workers.
  5. Trains and instructs employees.
  6. Hires and discharges workers.
  7. Communicates with other departments and management to resolve problems and expedite work.
  8. Interprets and communicates work procedures and company policies to staff.
  9. Helps workers in resolving problems and completing work.
  10. Resolves complaints and answers questions of customers regarding services and procedures.

INTERESTED?

Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics.  These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation.  When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.

The occupation of Customer Service First-Line Supervisor/Manager has characteristics as described below:

Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Generally this is not required for Customer Service First-Line Supervisor/Manager positions in state government.

Managers with the Commonwealth of Virginia are eligible for the Virginia Certified Public Manager Program offered by the Department of Human Resource Management. Web site is http://www.dhrm.virginia.gov/training/cpm/cpmhome.htm. This certificate program offers practitioner-oriented course work that builds upon management training programs offered through agencies, colleges, and universities.

Attainment of the Certified Administrative Manager (CAM) designation offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers, through work experience and successful completion of examinations, can increase a manager's advancement potential. The Institute of Certified Professional Managers is a certifying organization and offers a management certification program. The Institute is located at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Web site is http://cob.jmu.edu/icpm. Management Skills is the theme of the program, which emphasizes the teaching and application of real-world, practical skills and techniques over theories, and critical-thinking skills over rote knowledge.

Certification may enhance professional growth and career progression.

EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES 

A high school diploma or the equivalent is the most common educational requirement for customer service representatives. Customer services representatives often become first-line supervisors of customer service staff.

However employers increasingly prefer customer service supervisors and managers who have education beyond high school, such as some college or even a college degree with course work in public administration, business administration or human resources management.

In the Commonwealth the customer service first-line supervisor and managers are provided with some training prior to beginning work and training continues once on the job. This training generally will cover these components: Training on services or common customer problems, training on the use of the telephone and/or computer systems, and training on company policies and regulations. In addition, the new supervisor or manager may attend in-house training or take courses in time management or interpersonal relations.

COMMONWEALTH COMPETENCIES

Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured.  When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work.  Competencies help lay out a road map to career success.  You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.

The Commonwealth Competencies are:

  1. Technical and Functional Expertise
  2. Understanding the Business     
  3. Achieving Results
  4. Serving the Customer
  5. Teamwork
  6. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  7. Leadership and Personal Effectiveness

The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job.  The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences. 

Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others.  Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!

For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.virginia.gov/cc_planningctr.htm.  For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each.  Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like. 

COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH

Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor.  That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills.  For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group.  The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)

For example: Customer Service First-Line Supervisor/Manager

PAY BAND

First-Line Supervisor

(PRACTITIONER ROLES)

 

PAY BAND

MANAGER ROLES

4

Program Administration Specialist I

 

4

Program Administration Manager I

     

5

Program Administration Manager II

Sample Career Path

Program Administration Specialist I

The Program Administration Specialist I role provides a career track for first-line supervisors of customer service staff. Employees' responsibilities require a specialized knowledge of the program area and the laws, regulations, policies and procedures relevant to the program.

Program Administration Manager I

The Program Administration Manager I role provides a career track for first-level managers who perform day-to-day program administration and service delivery within organizational unit(s). Responsibilities include management of administrative, budgeting, operational and programmatic activities.

Program Administration Manager II

The Program Administration Manager II role provides career tracks for managers who focus on immediate to long-range program issues affecting the management of a program. Typical responsibilities within this role include management of administrative, budgeting, planning, scheduling, operational, and programmatic activities.

ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: 

O*NET (Occupational Information Network) 

http://online.onetcenter.org/gen_search_page

Virginia Employment Commission 

http://www.alex.vec.state.va.us/

Career One Stop

  http://www.careeronestop.org/

Virginia Career Resource Network

 http://www.vacrn.net/

American Management Association

http://www.amanet.org

National Management Association

http://www.nma1.org

International Association of Administrative Professionals

http://www.iaap-hq.org