what is a service manager?

As a service manager, you foster a productive work environment for employees and ensure the team keeps pace with service demands. You improve clients' satisfaction levels and help the customer service team to retain customers. As well as managing staff, you interact with top clients and ensure they are happy with your products. You need an in-depth understanding of the company's products and specifications so you can manage or escalate customer complaints.

The primary responsibility of a service manager is to improve the customer experience. For instance, service managers in the healthcare sector improve efficiency and workflow to ensure facilities deliver high-quality services. They organise work schedules and hospital functions to ensure patients receive prompt care. Service managers in technology companies supervise the installation, maintenance and troubleshooting of technology products. Most service managers have exceptional people skills and are adept problem-solvers.

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average salary of a service manager

The median salary of a service manager is $91,000 per year. Service managers starting in the role earn about $74,000 per year. The remuneration package increases as you improve your skills. Experienced service managers earn over $110,000 annually for their expertise. Service managers' salaries also differ based on their area of specialism. For instance, a customer service manager receives a median salary of $66,300 annually. When you are an experienced customer service manager, your earnings increase to over $90,000 annually. Some employers also provide additional benefits in the remuneration packages like allowances and performance-based bonuses.

how to increase the salary of a service manager

As a service manager, the primary determinant of your remuneration package is the business sector you work in. Salaries in the public sector or health services attract a higher salary than those in commercial companies. The responsibilities of a health service manager are also complex, warranting a higher compensation than working in retail or financial services. Your educational qualifications also affect your earnings. Completing a degree should earn you a higher salary than completing vocational training or diploma courses.

Your location impacts your remuneration package. When you live in metro areas with a high cost of living, the salaries are higher to reflect living costs and a greater demand for service managers.


types of service managers

Service managers differ based on the business sectors and their roles. Some include:

  • customer service managers: as a service manager in the customer service department, you train employees to handle customers and deal with complaints. You also provide after-sale services to customers, like installation and organising delivery.
  • health service managers: you take up administrative roles, such as managing nurses and doctors, to ensure patients receive immediate care. You also handle patients' complaints and disputes.
  • civil service managers: your work is based in government departments and revolves around providing public services. You organise teams to make sure the public receives high-quality government services.
  • it service managers: when you work in technology companies, you assist customers with installation and maintenance procedures. You train support teams to provide technical support and help customers with troubleshooting procedures.
Two female walking outside while having a conversation, smiling.
Two female walking outside while having a conversation, smiling.

working as a service manager

Service managers run the service departments that deal with customer queries and product or service issues. Let's explore the tasks and career prospects of a service manager.


education and skills

It is possible to become a service manager without educational qualifications if you have extensive experience in customer service. However, it is crucial to have some qualifications to remain competitive. The qualifications of a service manager include:

  • education: service managers should complete a degree that covers theory on customer engagement. Alternatively, pursue a bachelor of commerce specialising in management or a diploma in leadership and management. Some companies prefer candidates with a degree in business management or marketing.
  • work experience: as a service manager, you require work experience to excel. You can gain experience from internships or entry-level positions in customer service roles and marketing or administration. Familiarity with the industry you work in is also important. For instance, to become a health service manager, you should be comfortable working in hospitals and healthcare environments. 

service manager skills and competencies

A service manager needs the following qualities to excel:

  • communication skills: as a service manager, you interact with various stakeholders in the company, from customers to employees and executives. It is important to have exceptional communication skills, which help you adjust your language to different target audiences. Written communication is essential when preparing reports or responding to email inquiries.
  • leadership skills: as a service manager, you lead teams of customer service agents or public servants. It is crucial to inspire workers to achieve targets and improve performance. Leadership skills help create an environment that promotes productivity and addresses employee concerns.
  • computer skills: a service manager uses computer software to manage customers and organisational tasks. For instance, most companies with a large pool of customers have customer relationship management (CRM) software. Computing skills help you use the software for data analysis and various work processes.
  • critical thinking: as a service manager, your job involves problem-solving and helping agitated customers. You need critical thinking skills to identify the best solutions.

FAQs about working as a service manager

Here are the most asked questions about working as a service manager:

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