A service supervisor in many businesses and corporations is a lower level or front-line supervisor who helps to lead operations and delegate responsibilities. People in this position are usually the first member of management to which an employee or customer would lodge a concern or complaint before going to higher-level management team members, because they would be first in the chain of command. They would normally have a working supervisory position, which means they would work and have tasks for which they were responsible while also overseeing the tasks of non-supervisory employees of whom they were in charge.
In a retail store, a service supervisor might work alongside non-supervisory employees and other members of management to keep the store profitable and operating in an optimal manner. He or she might have responsibilities such as ensuring that cashiers and workers who stock shelves complete their work in a timely and satisfactory manner. The service supervisor in a retail store might be responsible for training employees and overseeing operations and would have to report to the store's upper management, such as the assistant manager and general manager. A retail store service supervisor also would be responsible for handling customer complaints and concerns. This position would not require a formal education and usually is one to which the supervisor would be promoted from within lower-level employee ranks.
At a call center for customer service, such as one employed by a large corporation, a service supervisor might be responsible for overseeing the quality of customer service provided by phone operators. The operators, or customer service representatives, would handle incoming calls from customers about their accounts and also would handle taking and collecting payments. If a customer had a serious complaint, was unsatisfied with how the customer service representative tried to resolve his or her problem, or had a request that required a supervisor’s permission, the service supervisor would take over. A position such as this might or might not require formal education, depending on the nature of the company.
In a medical setting, such as a physician’s office or hospital department, a health service supervisor would have a different role. In this case, the service supervisor likely would have earned a master’s degree in a health field and would have wider responsibilities than the previously mentioned service supervisors would. A health service supervisor might have duties such as hiring and training — and firing, if necessary — office and nursing staff members. He or she also might be in charge of making sure that medical records were maintained properly and for streamlining communication between office staff, nurses, physician assistants and doctors so patients receive optimal care.