OR

Where will this course lead?

This course is ideal for you if you wish to become a Customer Service Specialist and you are progressing from the Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship, or have previous qualifications/experience and are working in an associated supervisory role, which provides support for qualified professionals.

The main purpose of a Customer Service Specialist is to be a professional point of contact for direct customer support and within all sectors and organisation types. You are an advocate of customer service, who acts as a referral point for dealing with more complex or technical customer requests, complaints, and queries. You are often an escalation point for complicated or ongoing customer problems. As an expert in your organisation's products and/or services, you share knowledge with your wider team and colleagues. You will gather and analyse data and customer information that influences change and potential improvements to the service. Apprentices will use both organisational and generic IT systems to carry out their role, with an awareness of other digital technologies. This could be in many types of environment including contact centres, retail, webchat, service industry or any customer service point.

This apprenticeship is suitable for currently working in, or progressing into the following roles:

Customer Support Specialist, Tourism Officer, Business Development/Sales Executive, Personal Banker, Legal Secretary, Hotel Receptionist, Careers Advisor, Service Administrator, Public Relations Representative.

What will I study?

You will study the knowledge, skills and behaviours as set out within the apprenticeship standard, which will include the following subjects…

· Professionalism, confidentiality and discretion

· Continuous improvement techniques and the impact of change

· Your organisation's business strategy and future recommendations

· Leaderships styles, change management and service-related decisions

· Evaluating the end-to-end customer journey and experience

· Commercial factors, authority limits and overcoming challenges

· Market research, data analysis and the effective use of intelligence

· Customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention, including emotions

· Target audiences, cultures, ages and social profiles

· Departmental structures and delivery

How will this course be delivered?

The apprenticeship programme consists of 'on-the-job' and 'off-the-job' training. You will receive on-the-job training from your employer and will also be allowed 20% off-the job training, which will involve independent study.

Your independent study will be recorded in a learning journal, to capture evidence of your experiences, reflections and achievements. An assessor coach will be allocated to you and will visit your workplace on a regular basis, liaising with your work-based mentor, but you will also receive master-class workshops from college tutors.

This will give you the opportunity to do real work, developing work-based skills that employers' value and helping you to progress in your chosen career.

What qualifications will I get?

· Level 3 Customer Service Specialist Apprenticeship Standard

· Level 2 Functional Skills Maths and English (if required)

How will I be assessed?

The apprentice's progress and development will be assessed at regular stages - this is likely to be a combination of assignments, activities, exams, reflective discussions and observations in the workplace.

The employer and training provider will formally sign-off the apprentice's readiness for the independent End Point Assessment (EPA) at 'gateway'. Gateway is the point at which the apprentice has met and can confidently apply the minimum knowledge, skills and behaviours required, as detailed within the apprenticeship standard.

The End-Point Assessment (EPA) will consist of 3 distinct components:

· Practical observation with questions and answers

· Work-based project supported by an interview

· Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence

Performance in the EPA will determine your overall apprenticeship grade i.e. pass or distinction.

How do I get a place on the course?

In order to gain a place on this course, applicants must meet the entry criteria and attend a formal interview. All applications are to be submitted via the college website:

https://www.solihull.ac.uk/apprentice/how-do-i-apply

If you have a learning difficulty or disability, please let us know when you apply. If you need help with completing your application and at interview, we can provide support:

https://www.solihull.ac.uk/uni-level-learner/student-services

What are the entry requirements?

To secure a place of study on the Level 3 Customer Service Specialist programme, the minimum entry requirements are as follows:

· English GCSE Grade 4/C, Level 2 Functional Skills, or equivalent

· Mathematics GCSE Grade 4/C, Level 2 Functional Skills, or equivalent

· Demonstrate a passion for customer service

· Be at least 16 years of age

You must also be employed in a relevant field (as indicated above) for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

What else do I need to know?

As part of the national apprenticeship guidance, you will also undergo Equality and Diversity, British values and Prevent Training, which will prepare you with the necessary behaviour needed to work within the construction industry. Furthermore, you will also be required to complete 20% 'off-the-job' training as a minimum requirement for the apprenticeship course, which may require self-directed study, where will be supported by your assessor coach and work-based mentor.

There are no direct additional costs for this course, but you may want to purchase some text books for further reading. A suggested reading list will be supplied at the beginning of your course; however, we also have a wide selection of library books and electronic books for you to use too. You will be expected to supply your own stationery, such as folders, pens and paper. Connection to the internet is expected, but facilities are available at college to do this if necessary. Please contact the Employer Services Team for more information regarding funding and costs: apprenticeships@solihull.ac.uk

What can I do after this course?

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, you can:

· Continue your employment in the industry

OR

· Progress onto higher level qualifications through the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to become a Team Leader or Operations / Departmental Manager.