Professional services is an occupation that focuses on helping business provide high-quality services to clients and partners. Professional services managers are responsible for developing and implementing the strategies a business requires to deliver excellent services. Although most of these managers work as resident employees in businesses in all sectors, others work for consultancy firms that provide professional services to other businesses.
Using the Necessary Skills
Effective professional services managers often possess superior analytical skills. They use these skills to assess the quality of the services a business offers and identify areas that need improvement. This may involve analyzing customer communication systems, records management systems and accounting procedures. Since these managers often head a team of specialists, they need strong leadership skills to supervise, motivate and delegate duties efficiently. Problem-solving skills are also useful to professional services managers, because their ultimate objective is to fix the service provision challenges a business faces.
The main role of a professional services manager is to develop strategies that can further a business’s goal of offering quality services. When supermarket customers often complain of slow response to questions or complaints, for example, the professional services manager aims at implementing strategies that can help the business improve communication with customers. She may oversee the creation of a telecommunication system, such as a 24-hour call center where customers can receive prompt responses to their questions. If the business already has a call center, and customers wait too long on the phone, she may oversee the hiring of more call agents.
To ensure organizations are well-informed about the progress they are making in providing quality services, professional services managers compile weekly, bi-weekly or monthly performance reports and submit to senior managers. They also coordinate the training of workers in the sales team to improve their customer-service skills, and advise senior managers on issues such as employee recruitment, brand reputation and regulatory compliance. Apart from helping business provide excellent services, these managers also manage the professional services department’s budget and attend industry conferences and seminars to stay abreast of current business trends.
Although you can get started in professional services management with vast administrative experience and at least a bachelor’s degree in business, some employers prefer holders of industry-specific degrees. For example, manufacturing and information technology firms may prefer engineering and computer science graduates, respectively. After landing this job, you can earn a master’s degree in business administration and a professional certification, such as Service Strategies Certified Support Manager, to enhance your competence and prospects of becoming the director of client services. You can also move into self-employment by establishing your own professional services consultancy firm.
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