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How to Become a Customer Service Director

Do you have excellent interpersonal skills? Are you skilled in de-escalation tactics? You’ll need these skills as a customer service director! As a customer service director, you will be leading the customer service team to provide the best help to a business’s customers. You will be responsible for training new employees, meeting with existing employees, de-escalating difficult customers, and ensuring that all communications happen smoothly.

Because you may be dealing with frustrated customers on a daily basis, it’s important to know the best tactics for keeping both customers and employees calm. You will need to have excellent patience, and not let frustrating encounters get to you. Companies will be looking for a director who has experience in the field.

Sample job description

[Your company name] needs a dedicated customer service director who can operate efficiently under pressure and meet strict deadlines. You will be in a fast-paced work environment, working with other management team members to develop goals for our team of customer service representatives. Additional responsibilities will be training new customer service representatives, supervising existing customer service representatives, resolving customer issues, and occasionally giving presentations to your department. If you have excellent leadership skills, a desire to assist others, and an eye for detail, this job is for you. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Train new customer service representatives
  • Supervise existing team members 
  • Working with other management team members to create and implement customer service department goals
  • Resolve customer complaints 
  • Create and implement policies and procedures to facilitate a quality customer service experience
  • Recruit and interview new hires

Education and experience

  • B.S. in business administration or a related field
  • 10 year minimum of experience working in customer service
  • Minimum of 5 years in a supervisory position

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Comfortable working with upper management
  • Excellent organization skills
  • Ability to perform under pressure
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Superb listening skills
  • Ability to pay close attention to detail

Preferred qualifications

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or other software
  • B.S. degree in business administration or related field
  • Excellent supervisory and leadership skills
  • Prior management skills are highly preferred
  • Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at a time

Typical work environment

Customer service directors work in a variety of fields. Some will work in retail, where they’ll be overseeing the operations of returns, stocking, and more. Other directors will work in customer service call centers, where they’ll be helping their team respond to customer complaints and questions. Any business that deals with consumers will have a customer service director. These directors can expect to be managing their team, walking throughout the business floor, and speaking with customers.

Typical hours

A customer service director can expect to work the typical office hours of 9 AM to 5 PM. However, there may be times when they are required to work late, on weekends, or holidays, especially if they are a director of retail operations.

Available certifications

Certifications are a great way to increase your marketability and demonstrate your professional dedication. Here are just a few that customer service directors have to choose from:  

  • Certified Customer Service Specialist (CSS). The CSS covers topics like safety, ethics, respect, teamwork, communication, telephone and email techniques, problem-solving, interpersonal relationships, and sales and marketing. Candidates must pass an oral or written exam. 
  • Certified Customer Service Manager. CSIA’s Certified Customer Service Manager course can be earned by completing a 1,000 to a 1,500-word book review on any business book, an article on a current trend in customer experience (also between 1,000 and 1,500 words), completion of a CSIA webinar, and completion of an approved course. Recertification is required every 12 months and consists of a writing prompt assignment, an online exam, and a recertification fee. 
  • Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCEP). The priority of CCSP is focusing on customer interactions, the foundations of service, and other related topics like HR practices and coaching.
    Certified Customer Service Professional (CCSP). The CCSP requires 2 years of customer service experience. Candidates must pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is not required. 
  • Certified Client Service Specialist (CCSS). The CCSS course consists of four parts: membership, completion of an accredited program, exam, and upholding of designation. 25 hours of continuing education is required every three years.

Career path

Many customer service directors start out their career path by earning various customer service related certifications. Getting plenty of customer service experience hours under their belt is the next step. Most employers prefer their customer service directors to have a bare minimum of five years of customer service experience and a B.S. degree in a related field. A customer service director needs plenty of experience in order to efficiently manage a customer service department. 

Students who want to become a customer service director will benefit from working in customer service. Then, they can either hope to work their way up, or receive their degree and get into this higher-level position.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 43-4051

2020 Employment2,923,400
Projected Employment in 20302,888,800
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 1% Decrease
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift34,500 Decrease

Although the projections for the year 2030 show a 1% decrease in the number of candidates employed as customer service directors, this is a very insignificant decrease and should not discourage candidates from pursuing this field as a career choice. Customer service will always be a necessity.