Attracting The Best Customer Service Talent

There are more jobs in London in the field of customer service than there have ever been before, and many of these are in hotels which are doing excellent business and showing strong growth.
Today there are three times as many people working in customer service than there were a decade ago and employers are having trouble recruiting suitable staff, which on the face of it is difficult to understand as never before have there been more young people who are not in employment, education or training, the so-called NEETs whose current number is around 450,000.

Customer service is the largest employer of young people, so one might wonder why there is such a huge discontinuity. The reason is, according to employers, because although many of the NEETs might be willing to work, it is difficult to find job applicants with the right set of skills.
One of the reasons why the customer service business in the UK is thriving is because we are extremely good at it. The UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) is a measure of the quality of customer service which is determined by carrying out consumer surveys. To determine the UKCSI for the customer service sector 26,000 customers were surveyed. In 2011 tourism overall scored 80 percent and the leisure industry, which includes restaurants, scored 79 percent. A similar picture is emerging for 2012. These are the highest UKCSI figures of any sector.
In order to maintain these excellent high standards and to keep the customers coming back it is essential that the sector recruits new talent and retains them for the future. The problem with this is that customer service tends not to be seen as a long term career option. Young people are willing to take temporary jobs in catering but only as a short term stop gap until they are able to find the kind of job that they consider proper.
It is important that employers address this problem while there is still time to do so. It is apparent that the image of a customer service career needs to be improved and its real benefits promoted. For instance a top class hotel manager in London can easily earn as much as a General Practitioner.
They should also ensure that there are adequate opportunities for training that will provide young people with the necessary skills to get onto at least the first rung of the customer service career ladder. Customer service is not a career for everyone, and only those with special talent are able to make it to the higher levels, but it is important that the industry does not let those talented individuals slip through their fingers.
This is a guest post by Adam a new Londoner, who has interests in recruitment, all things techy, a passion for travel and a love of fashion. He blogs about recruitment, travel and IT/technology as well as latest trends in mens and womens fashion. If you want Adam to write you specific content, feel free to message me on Twitter (@NewburyNewbie).