Meet customer needs by providing a timely, attentive and upbeat service with customer service and retail apprenticeships

Customer service is at the heart of most business activity, so the skills gained from customer service and retail apprenticeships in this sector will prove valuable across a range of industries and roles.

In a small shop, customer service can be as simple—and important—as the person behind the counter giving a friendly greeting and helping shoppers find what they’re looking for. Larger retail businesses and other organisations might employ a dedicated team, whose job it is to answer questions, give advice and offer refunds on faulty products or services. They’re also the ones who have to sort out problems and deal with complaints.

Customer service often involves dealing with the public face-to-face, but as many companies now have clients all round the world, telephone call centres and computer help desks are becoming increasingly important.

Each customer service and retail apprenticeship in this sector is able to prepare you for one or more facets of working within customer service and retail. In particular, the butcher, retail, funeral services and fishmonger apprenticeships allow you to specialise in areas that are always in high demand.

As an assistant buyer and merchandiser apprentice you’ll cover two roles integral to retail in particular, but which are important to other industries, too. You’ll need a good understanding of the brand and customer in order to source, select, maintain and deliver the right products to meet demand and business objectives. Crucially, buyers identify and source the right products and services for the organisation to sell to customers, while merchandisers ensure that the right products are available to customers in the right place, at the right time and in the right quantities.

Offering a great service is important to keeping and finding new customers, for without them the company would go out of business.

To find your perfect customer service and retail apprenticeship, take a look at the options below.

The Apprenticeship Guide sector head

Assistant buyer/merchandiser apprenticeship

Source, select, maintain and deliver the right products to meet demand and business objectives An assistant buyer or merchandiser understands the brand and customer in order to source, select, maintain

Butcher apprenticeship

Produce the most cuts to make every carcass profitable A successful butcher must demonstrate dexterous knife skills, together with craft, to be able to produce the most cuts to make

Customer service practitioner apprenticeship

The first point of contact for a business and its customers As a customer service practitioner, your core responsibility will be to provide a high-quality service to customers, which could

Customer service specialist apprenticeship

Deal with customer queries, purchases and complaints The main purpose of a customer service specialist is to be a ‘professional’ for direct customer support. During the customer service specialist apprenticeship,

Fishmonger apprenticeship

Sell fish and seafood products, and advise customers on how to prepare them Fishmongers are responsible for preparing and selling fish, and shellfish products, to members of the public. On

Funeral director apprenticeship

Arrange, conduct and manage funerals A funeral director has overall responsibility for the client and the deceased by arranging, conducting and managing the funeral. During the funeral director apprenticeship, you’ll

Funeral team member apprenticeship

Create a good first impression, put clients at ease, take information and answer questions A funeral team member is the first point of contact for the business, so must create

Procurement and supply assistant apprenticeship

Procure or buy low value goods and services for an organisation You’ll be working for an organisation or sector where goods and services need to be sourced and purchased in

Retail leadership apprenticeship

Achieve excellence in customer service and profitability A retail leader demonstrates vision and drive to achieve excellence in customer service and profitability. During the retail leadership apprenticeship, you’ll act as

Retail manager apprenticeship

Supervise staff, their work and sales within a retail environment A retail manager is responsible for delivering sales targets and a positive experience to customers that will encourage repeat custom