Customer Service Assistant

Job Description:

Customer service advisers work for companies such as retailers, banks or post offices providing advice and assistance either in person or from remote contact centres.

Job Category:
Professional Services

What you will do:

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • using computerised systems to access customer information and update account details
  • dealing with members of the public
  • answering customers’ questions
  • providing straightforward information or dealing with complex enquiries
  • keeping accurate records
  • handling complaints or referring them to a supervisor
  • referring customers to staff to sell products

If working in a bank, this could also include:

  • handling money securely and safely
  • running through security procedures and identity checks
  • handling cheque, cash and credit payments and withdrawals
  • helping customers with applications for loans

If working in a post office, this could also include:

  • selling stamps and dealing with letters and parcels
  • paying out pensions and benefits
  • accepting bill payments
  • dealing with vehicle registrations and car tax
  • checking passport and driving licence applications
  • selling travel insurance and foreign currency
  • making sure the books balance at the end of the day
  • selling financial products and services to meet targets


You’ll need:

  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • organisational skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Customer Service Assistant or a similar role in the customer service field, specific subjects are not typically required. However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial in preparing for a career in customer service, which involves assisting customers, addressing inquiries, and providing support. Here are some relevant subjects:

  1. English Language: Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential for interacting with customers and colleagues, as customer service often involves written and phone communication.
  2. Mathematics (Maths): Basic math skills are valuable for handling transactions, calculating totals, and providing accurate information to customers.
  3. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using computer applications, email, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems is important for managing customer interactions.

Post School

There are no set requirements, but employers will usually ask for:

  • School qualifications including English and maths or equivalent
  • IT and keyboard skills
  • experience of customer service, cash handling or office work

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You may need to pass a credit check and clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Working Hours and Environment:

If you’re full-time, you’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours over six or seven days a week, including evening and weekend shifts. Part-time roles are often available too.

You will usually work in the place of business itself, often in a large open-plan office. If you are based on telephone calls, you may work remotely, with a workstation and a telephone headset.

Career Path & Progression:

As you gain experience, training and qualifications, you may progress to leading a team of advisers, or eventually be in charge of the entire customer service department. In a bank or post office, you could become a branch manager.

Depending on the industry, you might be able to specialise in providing advice on a particular aspect of the business, e.g. mortgages or pensions in a bank, or laptops or cameras in an electronics retailer.