Online customer care management programs prepare students to work as liaisons between clients and customers, offering support, business and contact information and, when required, technical support for a service or product.
Online diplomas in customer care management are not commonly available, but schools offer a number of relevant options in this field, like certificates or associate's degrees in relevant fields such as sales and merchandising or business, which could allow students to complete a concentration in customer service. Students generally obtain a customer service specialist certificate, Associate of Science in Quality Customer Service or a Customer Service Representative Associate of Science.
Associate's degree programs tend to focus on specific aspects of customer care, while certificate programs give students a basic understanding of customer care practices. Both of these programs are typically offered online at community colleges, although some four-year institutions with sizable distance education departments may offer them too. They often can be completed totally online, although some schools may require on-site learning experiences such as an internship, cooperative work program or job shadowing. Students who enroll full-time can usually earn a degree in two years and a certificate in a year or less.
Like those on campus, students enrolled in a distance learning customer care management program take general business courses to become familiar with business operations and concepts. Building on this foundation, most programs offer customer service courses in a variety of specialty areas, including finance, property management and real estate, telecommunications, public administration and hospitality. An online customer care management program usually includes courses in:
- Business procedures
- Principles of salesmanship
- Managing customer service
- Credit and collection methods
- Developing team leadership skills
- Customer relations
- Advertising and sales promotions
Through online learning and textbook exercises, students learn the importance of clear and effective business communication methods. Many programs also provide downloadable video tutorials and virtual discussion forums.
In some cases, a school offering programs in this field may require students to apply their knowledge and skills in an approved business setting. This could take the form of an internship, cooperative work program or a job shadowing experience.
With a degree or certificate in customer care management, graduates can seek a number of customer service and sales-oriented positions. These may include entry-level positions in the following occupations:
- Customer service specialist
- Office administrative support worker
- Customer care representative
- Sales associate
- Administrative secretary
- Office supervisor
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of customer service representatives is expected to grow 10% in the 2014-2024 decade, which is considered faster than average compared to other fields (www.bls.gov). However, job opportunities are expected to increase at the much faster rate of 39% for those working in customer contact call centers. The BLS reports that individuals with solid computer and customer care skills will have the best chances when searching for a job in this field.
Online customer care management diploma programs are not common, however students can find several similar programs at the certificate and associate's levels. Students in these programs focus on customer care as well as understand business operations and concepts.