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Customer Service Specialist Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard


The main purpose of a customer service specialist is to be a ‘professional’ for direct customer support 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 gather and analyse data and customer information that influences change and improvements in service. This could be in many types of environment including contact centres, retail, webchat, service industry or any customer service point.



Customer Service Specialist


Level 3

Typical duration

15 months



Maximum Funding Value


Delivery model

Delivery is flexible to suit the individual apprentice and their employer. The apprentice will have a minimum of one tutorial per month either in person in the workplace or remotely via an online meeting. Group sessions may be available on some programmes.

Entry requirements

  • Organisations will set their own entry criteria and are more likely to select individuals with more advanced inter-personal skills and experience of working with customers in some capacity. 
  • Level 2 Functional Skills must be achieved prior to end point assessment (this content will be blended into the apprentice's study programme if it is required).
  • Apprentices must be employed in order to study for this qualification. Please see our Apprenticeship vacancies.
  • The apprentice must be at least 16 years of age.

Knowledge outcomes

  • Business Knowledge and understanding:
    • Understand what continuous improvement means in a service environment.
    • Know how your recommendations for change impact your organisation. Also, the impact your service provision has on the wider organisation and the value it adds.
    • Know your organisation’s current business strategy in relation to customers. Make recommendations for future strategy. Understand the principles and benefits of being able to think about the future when taking action or making service-related decisions.
    • Understand a range of leadership styles and apply them successfully in a customer service environment.
  • Customer journey knowledge: 
    • Understand and critically evaluate the customer journey. This should include challenges, the end-to-end experience and reasons why issues and complex situations sometimes need referral or escalation for specialist attention.
    • Understand the underpinning business processes that support the best outcomes for customers and the organisation.
    • Understand commercial factors and authority limits for delivering the required customer experience.
  • Knowing your customers and their needs/customer insight: 
    • Know your internal and external customers, different customer types and expectations (and how they can differ between cultures, ages and social profiles). Also, how customer behaviour may require different responses.
    • Know how to analyse, use and present a range of information to provide customer insight.
    • Understand what drives loyalty, retention and satisfaction and how they impact on your organisation. 
  • Customer service culture and environment awareness: 
    • Maintain current knowledge and understanding of regulatory considerations, drivers and impacts in relation to delivery.
    • Understand the business environment and culture, and the position of customer service within it.
    • Know the organisation structure and what role each department needs to play in delivering customer service. Be aware of the consequences should things go wrong.
    • Understand how to find and use industry best practice to enhance your own knowledge.

Skills Outcomes

  • Business-focused service delivery: 
    • Demonstrate a continuous improvement and forward thinking approach to customer service delivery. Be able to make sound and logical decisions and/or provide recommendations.
    • Resolve complex issues by successfully applying a wide range of approaches. Find solutions that meet your organisation's needs as well as customer requirements.
  • Providing a positive customer experience: 
    • Through advanced questioning, listening and summarising, negotiate mutually beneficial outcomes. Manage challenging and complicated situations within your level of authority and make recommendations to change service and/or strategy.
    • Use clear explanations, provide options and solutions to influence and help customers make choices and agree next steps.
    • Explore and interpret the customer experience to inform and influence achieving a positive result for customer satisfaction.
    • Demonstrate a cost-conscious mindset when meeting customers and business needs.
    • Identify where the highs and lows of the customer journey produce a range of emotions in the customer.
    • Use written and verbal communication to simplify and provide complex information in a way that supports positive customer outcome in the relevant format.
  • Working with your customers / customer insights: 
    • Proactively gather customer feedback, through a variety of methods.
    • Critically analyse and evaluate the meaning, implication and facts and act upon it.
    • Analyse your customer types to identify or anticipate their potential needs and expectations when providing your service.
  • Customer service performance: 
    • Maintain a positive relationship even when you are unable to deliver the customer’s expected outcome.
    • When managing referrals or escalations take into account historical interactions and challenges to determine the next steps.
  • Service improvement: 
    • Analyse the end to end service experience, seeking input from others where required.
    • Support the development of solutions, make recommendations based on your findings to enable improvement.
    • Make recommendations.
    • Implement, where possible, changes in line with new and relevant legislation, regulations and industry best practice.

Behaviour outcomes

  • Self-development: 
    • Proactively keep your service, industry and best practice knowledge and skills up-to-date
    • Consider personal goals related to service and take action towards achieving them.
  • Ownership/ Responsibility: 
    • Personally commit to, and take ownership for, actions to resolve customer issues to the satisfaction of the customer.
    • Exercise proactivity and creativity when identifying solutions to customer and organisational issues and make realistic promises and deliver on them. 
    • Commit to your organisation.
  • Team working: 
    • Work effectively and collaboratively with colleagues at all levels to achieve results.
    • Recognise colleagues as internal customers.
    • Share knowledge and experience with others to support colleague development.
  • Equality:
    • Adopt a positive and enthusiastic attitude, be open minded, tailor your service to each customer and be adaptable and flexible to your customer needs whilst continuing to work within the agreed customer service environment.
  • Presentation: 
    • Demonstrate brand advocacy, values and belief when dealing with customer requests to build trust, credibility and satisfaction.
    • Ensure your personal presentation, in all forms of communication, reflects positively on your organisation’s brand.

External qualifications

This apprenticeship does not feature any external qualifications.

End Point Assessment

  • Work-based project, supported with an interview
  • Practical observation with questions and answers
  • Professional discussion, supported by a portfolio of evidence

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For more information about this course please contact us.

Queens Court Regent Street Barnsley South Yorkshire S70 2EG
Tel: 01226 216760 | Email: |

These course details were downloaded on 20/04/2024

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