Client Service Manager Careers: Job Description & Salary

About this article
A client, or customer service manager earns a median annual salary of about $83,000, but is it worth the training and educational requirements? Read real job descriptions and see the truth about career prospects to decide if becoming a client service manager is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Client Service Manager Career

Client service managers, sometimes referred to as customer service managers, supervise the customer service operations of an organization or business. Learn about the pros and cons of being a client service manager in order to decide if it's right for you.

PROS of a Client Service Manager Career
High median salary for education level (compared to median salary of about $57,000 for bachelor's degree holders)*
Versatile arrays of businesses require customer service departments*
May be able to recommend changes to products or services after direct client contact**
Offer direction and motivation to a department**

CONS of a Client Service Manager Career
Extended hours may be required during busy times*
It can be difficult to deal with angry or dissatisfied customers*
Work environment may be noisy and stressful*
Many companies are outsourcing their customer and client service work*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **CareerBuilder.com job postings

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Companies hire client service managers to supervise and direct their client and customer service departments. Client service managers interact with unhappy customers who customer service representatives are unable to help. They also communicate with company management about the products and services they're handling, providing information they receive from customer service representatives and the customers themselves. In addition, they manage the schedule and day-to-day work of customer service departments. Client service managers are demanded in many types of businesses in a variety of fields, such as banking and retail.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), growth in the customer service field should continue, with companies offering customer support to consumers buying, especially new, products. Employment in call centers were projected to show the greatest increase. Salary.com reported that most customer service managers earned between approximately $63,000 and $114,000, as of February 2016.

What Are the Requirements?

Job postings showed that many employers prefer or require applicants to have a bachelor's degree, such as in business or a related subject. Client service managers should also have 3-5 years of experience in client relations. Those working in a specific industry, such as banking, may be called upon regularly to update their training and skills. Many client service managers advance into their positions from customer service representative jobs. Typically, customer service representatives are required to hold a minimum of a high school diploma; however companies typically seek out managers with an associate's or bachelor's degree. Companies that are looking for client service managers typically prefer candidates with leadership or management experience, customer service experience, sharp communication skills and the ability to provide direction to employees.

Real Job Listings

In addition to a bachelor's degree and general client service experience, most employers also require applicants to have some knowledge about their industry or field of service. You'll find that employers prefer candidates who pay attention to detail and can communicate effectively with customers, employees and management. These jobs were available and posted on Monster.com in April of 2012:

  • A New York City gemological institute is looking for a client service manager to supervise all client service tasks and manage service teams. The successful candidate will have at least five years of client service management experience and a bachelor's degree.
  • A Connecticut-based corporate relocation company is seeking a client service manager to oversee the business relationships with its clients. The company prefers a manager with a bachelor's degree in a business field, three to five years in the relocation field, an ability to get through a high volume of work and the ability to manage priorities.
  • A Georgia technology company is seeking a client service manager to communicate client needs, generate billing and resolve client issues. The company requires potential candidates to hold a bachelor's degree, demonstrate technical competence and have experience working with Microsoft Excel.

How to Stand Out in the Field

In addition to your educational background, employers often favor client service managers who have a wealth of experience in both customer service and a specific industry. For example, if you are interested in working for an insurance or financial services institution, you may need state licensing to help customers. Depending on your state, you can typically obtain these licenses by passing a state-administered written exam. Certain companies even offer training for these types of exams.

Obtaining certification in your profession can also make you stand out among the other prospective client and customer service managers. The Customer Service Institute of America, an organization for professionals in the customer service field, offers various certifications, including the Certified Customer Service Manager credential. A course is offered for those wishing to apply who meet the qualifications.

Career Alternatives

If you decide that management doesn't appeal to you after all, or you're not sure you want to earn a bachelor's degree, you may want to look into another occupation that requires similar skills and professional experience.

Bill and Account Collector

Bill and account collectors work with customers to obtain overdue payments on accounts. They negotiate payment plans and act as a liaison between their employer and the customer. Having a high school diploma is usually enough to work in this field. The BLS expected this field to grow by 14% between 2010 and 2020, and collectors earned a median salary approaching $32,000, as of May 2011.

Computer Support Specialist

Computer support specialists offer technical support to computer users working in a particular company or organization. They're called upon to install hardware and software, troubleshoot problems and resolve them in a timely fashion. An associate's or bachelor's degree in a field such as computer science or information science is usually required for this position. The BLS reported that computer support specialists earned a median salary of close to $48,000, as of May 2011. Additionally, the bureau projected job growth of 18% between 2010 and 2020.

Financial Clerk

Financial clerks perform administrative duties for financial institutions like banks, credit unions or insurance companies. They work with customers, handle transactions and maintain administrative records. Only a high school diploma is typically required to perform this job. The BLS reported that financial clerks earned a median salary of about $34,000 as of May 2010. The BLS also projected an 11% increase in jobs in the field between 2010 and 2020.

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Featured Schools

George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization
  • Business Analytics Certificate

What is your highest level of education?

American University

  • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
  • Master of Science in Measurement and Evaluation
  • Graduate Certificate in Agile Project Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation

What is your highest level of education?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

What is your highest level of education?

University of Delaware

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Custom/General
  • Master of Business Administration - Multiple Concentrations

What is your highest level of education completed?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Marketing
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Management
  • MBA - Marketing
  • Master of Business Administration - Strategic Management

What is your highest level of education?

Saint John's University

  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Project Management
  • BS in Applied Management

What is your highest level of education?

American InterContinental University

  • Master of Business Admin: Management
  • Bachelor of Business Admin: Management
  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration

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