What is good customer service in marketing?

When marketing products and services, you need to be prepared to engage with customers. Rather than send a one-way marketing message, good digital marketing campaigns should engage customers.

Campaigns should hook customers and entice them to find out more about your products and/or services.

When customers get in touch you need to be prepared to respond efficiently to their enquiries using a range of platforms. This could be on email, through your website, or using social media.

respond efficiently to their customer service enquiries

Any good sales or marketing team will be ready to handle customer enquiries and respond to these in a professional manner. Being prepared for this by having customer service and social media policies in place makes this so much easier.

As an apprentice on the digital marketer standard, you need to demonstrate that you can “respond efficiently to enquiries using online and social media platforms.”

So, what does good customer service look like?

To make sure your customers get what they need, it is important to have a clear plan in place to respond to every individual request. Here is a 6-step approach to make sure that every customer enquiry is managed effectively.

  1. Have clear policies in place to provide a consistent level of customer service
  2. Understand and categories the type of enquiry
  3. Know the individual customer
  4. Gather any information to provide the customer with everything that they need
  5. Respond as quickly as you can
  6. Provide follow up contact details and information

Now let’s have a look at each of these in more detail.

Have clear policies in place to provide a consistent level of customer service

Whilst it’s important to treat each customer as an individual, it is essential to also have a consistent and fair approach to make sure everyone gets the same level of service.

Ensuring that there are agreed customer service and social media policies to define how everyone in your organisation responds to customers is a great idea. These should outline things like the tone of voice and a clear strategy on how to approach each customer enquiry.

policies to provide a consistent level of customer service

Making sure that a high-level customer service approach is available, agreed on and regularly updated will make you maintain a consistent approach in the first instance.

Understand and categories the type of enquiry

To respond to customer enquiries as efficiently as possible, the first thing that you should do is categories the type of enquiry. Having defined types of customer service enquiries such as: request for information; complaint; advocate; common enquiry; etc. is an excellent starting point.

If your organisation is aware of the types of enquiries, it can further develop a strategy for dealing with these in the quickest and simplest way possible.

categories customer service enquiries

There can be some very quick turnarounds if you effectively categories enquiries and deal with the simple and common requests as quickly as possible. This can keep the caseload down and result in more and more customers that are satisfied with the quick turnaround.

Obviously a CRM system would be an effective tool to help achieve this and links into the next point.

Know the individual customer

As the first point mentions, having a high-level strategy and clear policies are important. Additionally, good customer service agents will use everything that they know about each individual customer to provide customised service.

customer service treating everyone as an individual

Think of a time when you got a copy/pasted reply to an enquiry compared to one where it was clear that the responder had taken the time to get to know you and your individual case. Was there a big difference? We’re sure that you’ll agree that there is normally a massive difference with this type of approach. That’s not to say that generic copy/paste or automated responses cannot be effective to provide an initial acknowledgement of the customer service request.

Building up a knowledge bank on each customer at every touchpoint and managing this information will allow you to tailor each response for the individual.

Gather any information to provide the customer with everything that they need

We’ve previously mentioned having high-level policies, categorising enquiries and getting to know the customer. The next step is to make sure that you gather the information that the customer needs to satisfy their request. You need to organise this information in a clear and concise manner so that it can be communicated effectively.

gathering information

For complaints, you might need more detailed investigation whereas you may also have a knowledge bank of custom responses that can help you deal with common requests. Using this information along with what you know about the customer, means that you will be able to provide the most effective response.

Respond as quickly as you can

It goes without saying really, that getting back to a customer service enquiry as quickly as possible will go a long way to keeping customers happy.

That being said, make sure that you cover everything that is needed before providing a hasty response. Those extra few minutes can make all the difference between a completely satisfied customer and someone that will come back with a further enquiry.

good customer service means responding quickly

One thing we mentioned previously was automated responses. These can be effective as an acknowledgement of receiving an enquiry but should be used sparingly so that your approach is personalised.

Provide follow up with contact details and information

When you have followed your customer service policy and formatted a response that will meet the customers need, you should not always leave it at that.

Provide clear and concise information on how they can take next steps to get them where they or you would like them to be can make all the difference.

Having a clear call to action that could push them to buy or even just provide an easier method to get in touch can be a much more effective approach that just trying to close off a customer service case.

following up

Being proactive and going out of your way to go the extra mile for the customer whether they have contacted you with a complaint or compliment really does add the personal touch.

Conclusion

Here we have look at what is good customer service and how you can use and effective strategy to deal with customer service requests. If there is anything that has worked well for you, please feel free to drop us a comment below.

If you found this article interesting, please feel free to share it. Thanks for reading.

Images credit to Unsplash.

Understanding the 4 Basic Principles of Marketing

Are you creating Marketing campaigns for your company? Do they fit your product and company’s goals? Read this blog to ensure you have a good understanding of the 4 Basic Principles of Marketing.

Introduction of the 4 Principles of Marketing

In this section I will help increase your understanding of the 4 Principles of Marketing (4P’s) also known as the marketing mix. The 4P’s are a set of actions a company will use in order to promote its brand, product or service to its targeted market. They key principles involve a framework that helps companies producing goods or services recognise the strategies and tactics they need to consider in order to succeed.

For a business to stand out in a highly crowded marketplace a great marketing strategy is vital. The four steps that marketing revolves around are Product, Price, Promotion and Place. All concepts are compatible and mix well together in different ways, which ultimately will drive product adoption within your targeted audience.

The market is constantly changing which can be unpredictable and overpowering at times. The strategies you build from sustainable marketing principles will ensure your company has long-term stability.

Product

The first component of the Marketing Mix.

Product is undoubtedly the core component of the marketing mix as the product or service you are advertising is the face of your brand. You need to do thorough long-term market research to ensure you are selling a product that is going to be profitable. Do customers really want it? Is there a need for it in the marketplace? Does it have a strong demand?

Using Market segmentation can help you identify key considerations allowing you to deliver a product that your target audience are engaged in. Your focus needs to be on solving the problem for your customers, addressing the key benefits the product has and persuading them that this is something they really need and want.

Price

The second component of the Marketing Mix

The pricing strategy for your business is critical to the success of your business therefore thorough market research needs to be actioned. Having the correct pricing strategy as well as focusing on quarterly or annual goals will help your company grow within the market. You will need to determine the market value and understand what your customers are willing to pay before setting a price. Marketers need to consider the product’s real and perceived value as well as supply costs and any discounts you may offer.

Pricing influences how customers perceive your product. If you assign a product higher or lower than the price that customers was expecting this will affect your overall number of sales and leave a negative impression.

Assign the price of the product too high, the potential customer may be off put and automatically go to your competitors to find a better deal. Assign the price of the product too low, potential customers may question why it’s so cheap compared to other competitors in the market e.g. Maybe it’s not good quality? Maybe it’s not good hence the low price in order to sell?

Place

The third component of the Marketing Mix

Place is more than just physical locations, it refers to anywhere you may sell, market, or distribute your product. This is where the product or service you are selling is available for people to purchase, either in a physical shop or online website. You will need to use your market research skills to find out what locations are the most convenient for your target audience.

In this modern age more individuals are using the internet including social media sites to find products that interest them. Social media is a great place to increase brand recognition and digital presence online as your posts are visible to a large scale of people. It is also a very effective way to target multiple audiences at once and link them straight to your company website. Engaging your audience online will make a huge difference to your overall success and increase sales.

Promotion

The fourth component of the Marketing Mix

Promotion raises awareness about your company and products or services you have to offer. It is every type of marketing communication that you have send out about a product to your targeted audience.

It allows you to hand out information about your products and reasons why our audience should use them. Communicating with your target audience is key to effectively promote your product and gain a higher engagement rate. You should take time to research the best ways to do so.

Here are some examples of ways to promote your business –

  • Social Media Marketing – Advertising through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Content Marketing – Blogs, Videos, E-books etc.
  • Email Marketing – Advertising through a mailing list of subscribers
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Boosts your search rankings online
  • Sales Promotions – Short term promotions or deals

I hope this article helped you increase your understanding of the 4 key marketing principles!If you want to learn more about Digital Marketing, why not take a look at the Digital Marketing Level 3 Apprenticeship, expand your knowledge now!

Alternatively read more of our interesting blogs about Digital Marketing here

Top social media trends for 2023

Social media trends

The rise of social media has also been fueled by the growing use of social media for marketing and advertising, with businesses now able to reach a wide range of consumers at a fraction of the cost of traditional media. Additionally, social media has allowed businesses to engage with their customers in more meaningful ways, enabling them to build relationships and loyalty.

Over the last 5 years, social media has grown at an unprecedented rate and is now a part of everyday life for millions of people around the world. According to Statistica, there are now over 3.8 billion active social media users worldwide, which is an increase of 9% compared to 2020.

In the last 5 years, many of the biggest social media platforms have seen exponential growth, with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all experiencing significant increases in their user bases. This growth has been driven by the increasing popularity of smartphones and mobile devices, which have made it easier than ever for people to access social media on the go.

In the last 5 years, social media has also become an increasingly important platform for businesses. Social media marketing is now an integral part of any company’s marketing strategy, and businesses are increasingly turning to social media to reach their target audience and promote their brand.

Overall, social media is bigger than ever and is continuing to grow with no signs of slowing down. As more and more people turn to social media for news, entertainment, connection, and communication, there is no doubt that it is here to stay and will continue to be an important part of our lives.

The top 10 Social Media Trends for 2023: 

1. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will continue to grow in popularity and be used in social media applications.

2. Chatbots: Chatbots will become increasingly useful in customer service, giving users the ability to find information quickly and efficiently. 

3. Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) will become more commonplace and be used to help with tasks such as sentiment analysis, content curation, and more.

4. Micro-Influencers: Micro-influencers have been growing in popularity in recent years and this trend is expected to continue.

5. Live Streaming: Live streaming will continue to be popular, with people using it for everything from live events to product demos.

6. User-Generated Content: User-generated content will become increasingly important in social media marketing, as it is seen as more authentic and trustworthy.

7. Social Commerce: Social commerce will grow in popularity, as more businesses use social media to drive sales.

8. Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing will remain popular, as brands look to influencers to help them reach new audiences.

9. Stories: Stories will continue to be popular, as they offer an engaging and immersive way for users to experience content.

10. Advertising: Advertising will continue to play a large role in social media, as companies look to reach users more effectively.

The predicted rise of social media in the next 5 years will be remarkable. Social networks will become more sophisticated in their user experience, better connected to AI and machine learning, and more integrated into everyday life. With the development of 5G, the ability for social media platforms to integrate new features and technologies will expand, leading to an even more immersive, interactive, and engaging user experience. We will also see an increased focus on personalization and privacy, as well as increased use of data to create more targeted and meaningful user experiences. Finally, we can expect to see a significant rise in the use of social media for marketing purposes as well as a continued rise in the use of influencers to help promote products and services. To keep up to date with the latest social media trends subscribe to our newsletter or follow our social media platforms.

Ever Thought About Becoming a Watchmaker?

Clock, Jewellers, Street View, Time, Watch

Creative and Design Watchmaker Apprenticeship: Level 3

Have you ever thought about watch making as a career? This Level 3 Creative and Design Watchmaker Apprenticeship will go over 24 months and give you all the key skills to make, service and repair watches.

This job is within an independent company servicing a large range of watch brands or a workshop maintained by a certain brand of watch. The company could be one of two things. Either a small business like a jewellers or furthermore, a watchmaker employed by a larger company. These larger companies focus on servicing watches directly for the public and for other businesses.

Within this apprenticeship, you will be required to use:

  • Test equipment to assess the functioning of the watch and determine faults.
  • Hand tools to dismantle, reassemble and adjust the watch.
  • Machine tools for cleaning watch components and case refurbishment.

Watchmaking is an exciting and rewarding job. In this occupation, you will service quartz and mechanical watches (automatic winders and manual winders). You will also replace components that are worn or damaged. An understanding of the principles involved in the functioning of both quartz and mechanical watch movements is important. Timekeeping, history, and industry knowledge are also beneficial. In your daily work, you might interact with clients or customers, as well as other watchmakers and managers. You are responsible for maintaining your hand tools and using test equipment according to health and safety guidelines.

The Watchmaker Apprenticeship offers a good opportunity to work with quartz and mechanical watches. It will give you the skills to service and repair timepieces, and gain a better understanding of how they work.

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Liaising with customers and/or colleagues to determine their requirements and provide clear feedback on work undertaken.
  • Assess the condition of quartz and mechanical watches and their components using test equipment, visual assessment and observation.
  • Refinish polished and grained surfaces of the watch case and bracelet; prepare and reassemble components (e.g., gaskets, glasses, pushers).
  • Service lubricate and adjust quartz and mechanical watch movements, to ensure the serviced movement meets the manufacturer’s specification and industry practice.
  • Complete documentation, detailing initial condition of watches, work undertaken, test results, components and estimated cost of components required.
Macro of metal gears, cogs and wheels from old watches

Skills included:

  • Complies with health, safety and environmental legislation (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, COSHH, PPE) relating to common hazards within the working environment for watch servicing.
  • Uses equipment safely in accordance with manufacturer’s technical information and industry practice.
  • Maintains tools in correct working order according to industry practice.
  • Ensures all watch case and bracelet/strap components are in a suitable condition for re-assembly (includes refinishing where necessary).
  • Services watches within agreed commercial time scales.

The Level 3 Creative and Design Watchmaker Apprenticeship is the next step on your journey to becoming a fully qualified watchmaker. You’ll receive on-the-job training, as well as lessons. These will be at college where you will learn the ins and outs of constructing and repairing watches.

Qualifications Needed for Creative and Design Watchmaker Apprenticeship

To join this Creative and Design Watchmaker Level 3 Apprenticeship, apprentices will need level 2 English and Maths. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and Maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

If you would like to work in a creative industry, this could be your dream job. If you enjoy working with your hands and have a strong interest in the industry, then this Apprenticeship may be for you.

Non-destructive testing engineering

Non destructive testing engineering

Ever heard of a Level 3 Non-destructive testing engineering technician apprenticeship before? Yes, Level 3 Non-destructive testing engineering technician apprenticeships are available. These apprenticeships provide individuals with the opportunity to learn the skills and techniques necessary to become a qualified Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Engineering Technician. Apprenticeship programs are designed to provide hands-on training in a variety of NDT techniques, as well as theoretical knowledge of the principles and practices of NDT.

Course Overview:

This is a level 3 apprenticeship and the duration of this apprenticeship is 36 months. In the non-destructive testing sector, Apprentices are required to achieve industry-recognized NDT Level 2 certification in three methods in accordance with national and international standards.

What is NDT?

Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a type of testing used to evaluate the properties of a material, component, or system without causing damage. NDT is often used to detect, characterize, or measure the presence of flaws or discrepancies. Common NDT methods include radiographic testing, ultrasonic testing, eddy current testing, magnetic particle testing, acoustic emission testing, and visual testing.

A Non-Destructive Testing Engineering Technician is responsible for performing a variety of non-destructive testing techniques to evaluate the integrity of metals and other materials. The technician is responsible for inspecting, testing, and evaluating the materials for any defects or flaws.

Typical Job titles for this role include – Testing Engineer and Test Technician.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Inspect and test materials for flaws and defects using a variety of non-destructive testing techniques such as eddy current, radiographic, ultrasonic, acoustic emission, and infrared thermography.
  • Perform routine and complex inspections of welds and other components using established procedures.
  • Analyse test results and evaluate defects to determine whether they are acceptable or require additional testing.
  • Interpret and analyse complex test results and recommend corrective actions.
  • Communicate results to customers and management.
  • Maintain records and prepare written reports of test results.
  • Maintain and calibrate non-destructive testing equipment.
  • Maintain a safe work environment in accordance with governmental regulations and company policies.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

NDT Skills:

  • Non-destructive testing engineering technicians must possess a variety of skills, including technical knowledge, problem-solving ability, and excellent communication. They must also be able to work with complex machinery and equipment, be detail-oriented, and can analyse data accurately and quickly.
  • In addition to these technical skills, non-destructive testing engineering technicians should also have strong interpersonal skills. They must be able to work effectively with other technicians and engineers, as well as with customers. They must also be able to work independently and be self-motivated. 
  • Non-destructive testing engineering technicians must also be able to follow strict safety protocols, as they will often be working with dangerous materials. They must also be able to keep accurate records of their work and be able to troubleshoot any problems that arise.

Entry Requirements: 

Employers will set their criteria; however, apprentices must have a minimum of three GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C or above, including English and mathematics. Those without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level before taking the end-point assessment. In addition, you must have good unaided or aided eyesight to pass the mandatory NDT eyesight test, and you must be physically fit for industrial work.

Please apply for this role if the information above appeals to you and you are interested in earning while you learn. In the engineering and manufacturing industry, there are plenty of opportunities for job progression after graduation.

To find out more information on the Non-Destructive Testing Engineering Technician or other apprenticeships, head to our home page and social channels below.

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Level 4 Fashion and Textiles Product Technologist Apprenticeship

If working in the production of a wide range of fashion products interests you, read on. You will learn more about the level 4 Fashion and Textiles Product Technologist apprenticeship in this blog. This course could help you start a new career in the Fashion and Textiles industry.

Meeting In Fashion Design Studio

About the apprenticeship

The Level 4 Fashion and Textiles Product Technologist apprenticeship is a 22-month course. During the course of this apprenticeship you will oversee the product development cycle at sewn product manufacturers, brands and retailers. You will provide technical support through the product development process and ensure brand samples with specifications are in place. This role is fast paced, you will have to ensure all technical and commercial elements of the product development cycle are up to a high standard. You will be interacting with designers, merchandisers, manager buyers, pattern cutters and quality control managers on a day-to-day basis.

The average Fashion and textiles product technologist salary with a few years of experience ranges from £25,000-£35,000. This proves that this role can be a great career choice, with many opportunities for apprentices after course completion. We will discuss progression opportunities in a later section of this blog.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for this apprenticeship course are typically 5 or more GCSE’s. Alternatively, a level 3 college course or apprenticeship will be applicable. This is completely up to the employer’s discretion if they feel you are a perfect fit for the company, they may decide to employ you with other industry experience. In many instances English and Math’s certificates are required, if you haven’t got this don’t worry, your employer may give you the opportunity to complete these if needed. This is why apprenticeships are a great route to start your career in a new industry as it gives everyone who want to the chance to succeed.

Skills you will develop

During the course of your Fashion and Textiles Product Technologist apprenticeship you will learn a number of durable skills. All skills learned will be essential for you to progress in the Fashion and Textiles Industry.

Examples of skills you will achieve:

  • Learning to evaluate and cost the production of given designs and identify possible constraints
  • Developing samples that meets design, end use and specifications.
  • Analyzing product samples with focus on quality, fit, risk and production processes
  • Confidently carry out product risk assessments
  • Approve samples and allocate sample seal if appropriate
  • Overseeing material and product tests be able to analyze test results
  • Analyse product returns and identify potential solutions
  • Manage quality problems and eradicate potential issues

Progression opportunities

In terms of progression opportunities, you could continue in your employment or progress to a university level. Once the apprenticeship is complete you can look at applying for higher level job roles such as Fashion Merchandiser, Buying manager, Designer etc.

Find more information on this apprenticeship on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website here. Alternatively if you are still interested in a Fashion apprenticeship but feel this role is not for you, check out other courses on our website. See our blog on the Level 3 Fashion Studio Apprenticeship.

A Fashion and Textiles product Technologist apprentice presenting work in a client meeting

Maintenance Technician (Light Vehicles) – Level 3

Mechanic And Male Trainee Working Underneath Car Together

Why choose this apprenticeship?

Taking part in a Maintenance Technician apprenticeship could answer all your burning motor-related questions. Do you have a growing interest in the mechanics of motor vehicles? Want to learn more about how they operate? Well, this could be the perfect career for you! With a need to work in high-pressure situations. A technician has the important job of repairing motor vehicles and delivering high-quality customer service.

What does a Motor Vehicle Technician do?

Motor Vehicle Technicians work an important role in offering services and reparations for light motor vehicles. These can include cars or vans. Working as a motor technician you will be situated either in a dealership with a heavy focus on a particular vehicle manufacturer, or an independent garage learning to repair a large variety of different vehicle makes.

A Motor Technician will engage in a variety of tasks depending on their work situation. If an apprentice is primarily focused on a dealership then they will have to cooperate with various other departments like the sales department which need to order new parts for repairs. In a small independent garage, you could be required to fulfil tasks another department would undertake. Perhaps if there aren’t enough staff in the garage one day. This could mean managing the delivery of parts that you need instead of asking another department for this order.

A Motor Repair Apprentice enjoying his work

Skills and Knowledge needed:

To become a Motor Technician, you’re going to need a wide range of effective skills to set yourself apart in the workplace and to help you deliver a great service. Just some of these will include:

  • Contributions to the maintenance of a safe and efficient workshop.
  • The ability to demonstrate regard for the safety of yourself and others around you
  • Use company procedures to report faults and recommend further actions
  • Testing functions of your repair and fitted components
  • The use of ICT to create emails, word documents and basic web searches.

As well as a range of skills, you will need to grow your knowledge of the industry and workplace you’re in. Some of these will include:

  • How Vehicle Servicing will be impacted by legislative, regulatory and ethical law and requirements.
  • How to develop positive working relationships and learn the ability to carry out self-evaluation to improve your own performance.
  • Common fault types and the causes of these faults, with the knowledge to service and repair these.
  • The legal requirements of vehicle emissions, along with alternative fuels and hybrid electric systems.

Required qualifications:

Apprentices looking to get started with a Motor Vehicle Service and Maintenance Technician apprenticeship will need to ensure they have a Level 2 English and Maths qualification. However, those with education, health and care plan or a legacy statement will need a minimum of a Level 3 English and Maths qualification. British Sign Language qualifications can be used as an alternative with apprentices for who it is the primary language.

Conclusion:

To conclude, if you love Motor vehicles and want to take that passion to the next level, a Motor Technician apprenticeship may be just the choice to kick-start your career.

If you like the sound of this course and want to find out more about becoming a Motor Vehicle Service and Maintenance Technician, then make sure to click here to send any questions directly to us at ApprenticeTips.

The benefits of hiring an apprentice

Hiring an Apprentice is an exciting opportunity for both apprentice and employers. Apprentices can now be recruited at different levels, from new school leavers and university graduates to people who want to further their career development or change careers. You can even hire someone new or upskill an existing team members skill. The skills experienced workers can pass on to an apprentice are endless. 

So take a deeper look into apprenticeships and the benefits of hiring an apprentice. We have broken down the benefits into five different benefits of hiring an apprentice:

1. A breath of fresh air

Injecting some youthful talent can add a whole new dimension to your workplace, bringing with it a fresh perspective and new ideas. This can excite existing employees and spark a boost in overall business productivity. The new youth audience are natural-born marketers, growing up surrounded by social media and learning the art of promotion from a young age due to their favourite social media influencer. Utilise this, social media is the biggest market in marketing, and you will have some social media wizards join your team when you hire an apprentice.

2. Increased productivity

Hiring an apprentice is highly cost-effective. Apprentices can increase your company’s workforce. Studies show that over 80% of businesses that employed apprentices found their productivity had increased. The average apprentice increases productivity by £214 a week, while the minimum wage is just £2.68 an hour for 16 to 18-year-olds. Utilise this productivity and push your apprentices to learn more about their career sector.

3. Positive long-term development

Taking on apprentices can help you improve the range of skills you have within your organisation. It also encourages you to look at the way you do things because you are passing on your knowledge and expertise to people keen to learn the trade or business, enhancing your skill development. Take a closer look at what you do and why this can lead to you making improvements and becoming more efficient.

4. Aid staff retention

As well as helping you to gain the correct kind of skills you need for your business, employing an apprentice can also aid staff retention, providing you with skilled staff for the future. In a recent survey, 74% of companies surveyed said that apprentices tended to be more loyal, than non-apprentices.

5. Tailored to your business

Apprenticeships can be tailored to specific job roles, making them flexible to the needs of your business. The added advantage is that you will effectively train new employees to think and act in the interests of your business from day one, knowing that they haven’t already picked up any bad practices from elsewhere.

Even with the countless benefits of hiring an apprentice, there can be some setbacks. The main one is the apprentice not being pushed to its max, limiting their learning to the absolute minimum. Motivating your apprentice to learn new sectors of their area and drive them to become masters in the platforms of their career areas. So take some notes and push your apprentice. Build a bond with your apprentice and be patient with their learning. They will show you why they were worth the hire. They will become a key member of your team and company and will allow you to learn from their experiences and push you to become a better manager in the process.

Eager to join the apprenticeship network? You can join now by following the link attached below or check out our Twitter account.

The apprenticeship network

Keen to read more about hiring an apprentice and what an apprentice can offer your company and be a part of your team. Visit this blog now as an Octopus Group apprentice. Mason Lucas discusses his thoughts about being an apprentice. Check it out now. Visit the blog now!

Software Development Technician Apprenticeships

Technology has taken over the world, especially in the professional world. Software development has become one of the most in-demand roles due to the high demand yet low supply of professionals in this space. One reason for such high demand is the occupation is found in every sector, ranging from large multinational public companies to government projects, to supporting projects for small firms.

The broad purpose of the software development is understanding a client’s requirements and building and testing high-quality code solutions to deliver the best outcome.

Those in this type of position are often entry-level software developers that assist the development team with all aspects of software design and coding. Their primary role is to learn the codebase, attend design meetings, write basic code, fix bugs, and assist the Development Manager in all design-related tasks. This is a great way to kickstart a career in the industry and learn new skills.

Whilst the apprenticeship is a “software development technician”, the skills build can be used in a variety of roles, such as:

  • Assistant programmer and automated test developer 
  • Junior application developer
  • Junior application support analyst 
  • Junior developer 
  • Junior games developer 
  • Junior mobile app developer 
  • Junior programmer 
  • Junior software developer 
  • Junior web developer 
  • Software development technician

Despite the glamour surrounding the tech industry, it’s important to choose a career in something you are interested in. Not only will this make work life more enjoyable, but it will make each day far more rewarding. Tech can be difficult to learn, particularly in a coding job. However, with commitment and interest, you’ll be there in no time.

A few ways you can improve your skills before or during your apprenticeship is to utilise the abundance of free resources on the internet today. Websites such as codecademy and w3schools let you learn and study for exams on many different coding topics.

If you’re still unsure about what your next step may be, it is always useful to hear what more experienced people have to say about the job. As I mentioned before, being enthusiastic about coding itself is a huge advantage to have in tech, as it makes each step all the more enjoyable and fulfilling. Here’s what the Head Software Lead at Apprentice Now had to say:

“Your passion for programming can be demonstrated by the projects you are working on in your spare time and your knowledge of different methodologies. 

Starting out is hard, particularly without any experience or qualifications. By its very nature technology is constantly evolving and it can be difficult to stay on top of developments if you have no solid framework to guide you.

Apprenticeships provide solutions to these problems. Bringing passionate learners on board not only benefits the business, but also the employee.”

How can employers run these apprenticeships?

It’s widely known how quickly apprenticeships are growing, and for good reason. However it can be quite a big task for employers to set these apprenticeships up quickly and effectively.

Delivering high-quality apprenticeships can be a make or break for the results of them.

Apprenticeships are often delivered through a mixture of regular workplace training, online or classroom workshops, and online resources for self-study. 

Delivery methods will make sure off-the-job training requirements are met and that the learner is fully supported throughout their programme.

There are often separate examinations or certifications for the apprentice to complete, ensuring they are learning and more importantly understanding the theoretical side of their work.

In the UK, as a registered provider, you will be:

  • Eligible to receive government funding to train apprentices
  • Accountable for the appropriate use of government funds
  • Expected to deliver high quality apprenticeship training
  • Expected to deliver training that complies with apprenticeship funding rules
  • Responsible for the safeguarding of apprentices

A Practical Guide To Paid Social – Digital Marketing Apprenticeships

Digital Marketing is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and covers a wide range of skills. One of the biggest channels within digital marketing is paid social (Paid social is the practice of displaying sponsored advertising content on third-party social networking platforms with the goal of targeting specific customers. Marketing leaders often use paid social media to increase marketing efficiency and capture new subsets of customers.)


After completing a L3 digital marketing apprenticeship myself, I received a job offer as a paid social executive. 

However, I never knew I wanted to be in digital marketing. It covers such a broad range of interests, that whether you prefer creative, analytical, or technical tasks, there’s always something for you.

Back to paid social – After being on a paid social team for awhile, I’ve built an understanding of how the process works, but also tips and systems that may seem minor, but can have a great impact. From split testing, to attribution tracking, a few small tweaks can turn a mediocre campaign into a star!

Split Testing

Split Testing, also known as A/B Testing, may be seen as a more scientific aspect of advertising. It is the process of making small adjustments between two nearly identical ads/audiences and using their results to see which performed better.

For example, say we have an ad for a brand new pair of football boots. The creative, the audience targeting, and the landing page are all identical, but we write two separate chunks of copy for each ad.

By then analysing the results of these two ads, we can see the incremental difference each set of copy had. A clear winner will usually appear, making us certain which copy to use for the future.

This process may then be repeated for the audience, the landing page, the ad image, pretty much any element of the campaign. This is an incredibly useful process and has the potential to grow wildly successful ads.

Attribution

A problem many advertisers face is effective attribution modelling.

Attribution models are a term for assigning value to interactions users have with you. It’s about identifying which touchpoint on the user journey led the customer to make a purchase. More often than not, the customer had multiple touchpoints before making the purchase.

Without knowing which touchpoints or channels are having the most effective returns, how will you know which channels to invest more money into?

With attribution models, you hold your advertising accountable for particular conversions.

Ultimately, this gives you the data to see what is and isn’t working. It gives you a clear insight of your customer journeys and identifies which touchpoints lead to conversion and which ones may need improvement.

As shown below, there are many different types of attribution models.

They all have different pros and cons, however a lot of advertisers go with last-click attribution models, as this provides data on which touchpoint caused a conversion rather than just nourishing the prospect.

Whilst these are fairly normal terms in digital marketing, they can be complex to learn. The concepts themselves are straightforward, but it’s possible to go deep into data science and advertising psychology to complete effective split tests or build functional attribution models.

A digital marketing apprenticeship is an excellent way to break into one of the fastest growing industries in the world whilst learning a range of very valuable skill-sets. Whether you enjoy graphic design or writing (Content Creation), data and advertising (Campaign Management) or building brands and effective marketing strategies (Strategy) the possibilities are endless. 

Get in touch with us today to learn more about digital marketing apprenticeships and how you can get a role in the field! Click here to contact us

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Food and Drink Process Operator [Level 2]

Image from Level 2 Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship

Does working for one of the largest, most dynamic and fastest growing industries sound good to you? If so, read on to find out more about the occupational duties and KSB’s (knowledge, skills and behaviours) for the Level 2 Food and Drink Process Operator Apprenticeship. This role can help you start a new career that has lots of progression options. Or you could change roles in your current position and complete apprenticeship training.

What is a Food and Drink Process Operator?

This apprenticeship is a Level 2 standard and is found in the food and drink manufacturing sector. A process operator will usually work on production lines in food and drink manufacturing businesses.
The companies in this industry range sizes. They can produce anywhere from just one type of food to a range of products. Products include things that we enjoy to eat every day! Examples like cakes, confectionary, read-to-eat-food, salads and soft drinks, are all products you would work with on this apprenticeship.

What is the purpose of a Food and Drink Process Operator?

Broadly speaking, the purpose of this role is to complete food and drink processing procedures. This role is important as it will contribute to the manufacture of safe and compliant products. In your day-to-day role, you would also support technical operators to complete food and drink lines and operate machinery. This role relies on teamwork and means that you have to prepare for upcoming shifts and provide handovers. The technical operators you work with also monitor product quality against key performance indicators. This is something your role would provide support with.

Who will you be working with as a Food and Drink Process Operator?

In your everyday work you would interact with many people across the business, depending on its size and structure. For example, you could work with process operatives, technical operators and maintenance teams. In this apprenticeship, you would normally report to an Operational Manager, you would work under their direct supervision to ensure quality control.

What will you be responsible for?

  • Following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Ensure food safety
  • Environment and sustainability targets
  • Quality of output
  • Customer requirements and expectations
    This will be done whilst working in a team, that will strive to meet deadlines, efficiency, and productivity goals.

What are the occupational duties of a Food and Drink Process Operator ?

As a Food and Drink Process Operator apprentice, you will work by the 10 key duties
1. Completing food and drink processing procedures with the best KSBs possible.
2. Supporting the food and drink production line and machinery. This includes many aspects like: start up, set up, line changeovers and shut down of machinery.
3. Monitor you work to make sure product quality is to the best standard
4. Similar to duty 3, monitor the product output against KPI’s (key performance indicators)
5. Prepare for your teammates who are coming onto a later shift. This could include providing a machine handover. It’s recommended that you do this by verbal briefing or written communication
6. A big part of this apprenticeship is working with a team, this means contributing to team briefings. For example, you could prepare notes on health and safety issues.
7. As an apprentice in this role, there are 5S’s you have to go by: Sort, Set In order, Shine, Standardise and Sustain. Duty 7, includes contributing to continuous improvement using the 5S’s. This could be in the format of data collection to justify any improvement activity you see fit.
8. Particularly, in a post-pandemic world, completing workplace hygiene activities has never been so important. These activities should be done in line with the standards of the company you are completing the apprenticeship with.
9. This is an important duty to keep in mind, as it can impact the production line if not done correctly. You have to contribute to stock control.
10. Similar to duty 9, Duty 10, focuses on your role as an apprentice to contribute to audits. This includes both internal and external audits.

Image from Food Process Operator Apprenticeship

What are the KSB’s of a Food and Drink Process Operator Apprentice?

There are many Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours aspects that need to be taken into consideration. This part of the blog will outline the key factors to consider for each section.

Knowledge
There are 19 different knowledge aspects that you will be expected to understand on the apprenticeship. The key ones include:
Understanding the food and drink sector and more specifically the type of organisations you work with. As well as this, you will be expected to know the types of food and drink products for your company. This should help you understand the product origin and supply chain.
Part of your knowledge understanding will also be to have a comprehension of your position in the business and how it adds value to the customer/consumer.
In recent years, a key knowledge part of this role is to understand the environmental and sustainability aspects of your position. Its key to understand the types of pollution and the way you can control this. There are 4 control measures: noise, smells, spills, and waste. Also, understanding the benefits of recycling and how to use resources efficiently.

Skills
There are 16 key skill areas, but I have outlined the main ones that you will most likely learn at the start of the apprenticeship.
You need to be able to follow food and drink and apply quality assurance SOPs (standard operating procedures).
As well as this, having an understanding of stock management is key. This means being able to scan control, monitor and rotate stock effectively.
Part of your role as an apprentice will be to check and use the tools for any faults and health and safety issues. This leads into a key skill of being able to operate the correct equipment and machinery.
One of the most important skills you will be continually learning and developing on is your ability to comply with food safety regulations and procedures. This is complimented by the skill of complying with health and safety regulations and procedures as you will most likely be operating heavy machinery that you will need training on.

Behaviours
The behaviours for this apprenticeship follow the format of the skills and knowledge. This should work seamlessly together to make your apprenticeship experience successful.
One of the main behaviours expected of you is to put health, safety and food safety first. And in conjunction with this put the environment and sustainability first.
Throughout the apprenticeship you should seek learning and development opportunities that help you both professionally and personally. This will help you adapt to changing work requests.
Learning to work independently and take ownership of given work is an important behaviour for this apprenticeship. As is, learning how to take a team-focused approach to meet goals.

What qualifications do I need to do a Level 2 Food and Drink Process Operation Apprenticeship?

Having GCSE’s in English and Maths form a vital part of all apprenticeships. However, you can start this apprenticeship without these qualifications but you must have completed them before you pass through gateway (i.e. finishing the apprenticeship).

Want more information on apprenticeships?

Find out more about the apprenticeships available and extra information click here
Here are some other apprenticeships you might be interested in:
Level 3 Gas Network Craftsperson Apprenticeship
Building Services Engineering Technician Apprenticeship
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