Telephone order clerks, sometimes known as telesales operators, work for companies that sell goods through catalogues or advertisements. They answer enquiries from customers, take orders over the telephone and give advice and details about the company’s products, such as clothing or household furniture. Order clerks also check that items requested are in stock.
A keyboard, linked to a screen, is used to check stock, confirm or insert information about customers, and to record payments made over the telephone by credit card.
Telephone order clerks may need to record statistics, complete basic paperwork and work to set targets.
Telephone order clerks usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Part-time work is common. Companies providing an evening/weekend ordering service may operate a shift system.
Most telephone order clerks work in offices, often alongside many other clerks. Most of their time is spent sitting at desks or computer workstations. Some work from home.
To be a telephone order clerk you need:
It is usual for the well-established catalogue companies to offer a telephone ordering service. Smaller direct marketing companies which insert catalogues or advertisements in newspapers or magazines also employ telephone order clerks. Other opportunities arise with the many companies that supply goods to other businesses.
Opportunities for promotion may be limited, but it is possible to progress to team leader or supervisor posts.
Experience as a telephone order clerk is also a useful background for other jobs, e.g. telephone sales person or sales representative.
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Institute of Customer Service
2 Castle Court
St Peters' St
Tel. 01206 571716