In a broad sense, customer service employees are supposed to interact with customers on behalf of an organization through various support channels available to them and resolve their issues quickly and effectively. Depending on the position and company requirements, however, customer service duties, functions and responsibilities may greatly vary – from responding to customer inquiries, troubleshooting tech problems and handling complaints to building strategies for improving the overall customer experience and fostering loyalty.
10 Responsibilities and Duties of Customer Service Employees
What exactly are the day-to-day activities and tasks of customer service representatives? Below is the list of 10 major duties and responsibilities of employees working in customer-facing roles – ranging from frontline agents and tech support reps to those in managerial customer service positions:
1. Answering questions about a company’s products or services
Answering both general and specific customer questions about all the aspects of the products or services offered by a company is a key responsibility of many service agents. In fact, dealing with knowledgeable employees is considered by consumers as one of the most important aspects of a good customer service experience. Knowing the ins and outs of a company’s offerings is critical for frontline service reps as it allows them to provide quick, accurate and comprehensive responses to customers and prospects.
2. Processing orders and transactions
Some of the basic customer service job duties may involve receiving and processing incoming orders and transactions as well and handling order cancellations, product returns or exchanges. It means ensuring that customer orders and transactions are processed in an efficient and timely manner. Order processing is often associated with entry-level customer service jobs and is seen as a prime opportunity for those looking to launch their career in customer service.
3. Resolving issues and troubleshooting technical problems
Resolving product or service issues, troubleshooting problems and providing ongoing technical assistance to customers are the typical duties of help desk support teams in SaaS and tech companies. That includes providing help and support with installation, customization, maintenance and upgrading of the product, and requires agents to have deep product/ service knowledge, as well as certain hard skills. Tech support reps very often work closely with product development teams to ensure product optimization and improvement of end-user experience.
4. Delivering information about a company’s offerings
Apart from answering questions and resolving issues, the duties of a help desk support specialist may include providing information about a company’s special offerings and upselling related products or services, if appropriate, when engaging with customers. However, while service reps may be partially involved in sales, in some capacity – their primary responsibility is assisting customers with product or service inquiries, ensuring a positive service experience and customer satisfaction.
5. Providing proactive customer outreach
According to numerous studies, today’s consumers highly expect customer service to be more proactive and personalized. Therefore customer service representatives are not just required to reactively respond to requests – proactive customer outreach is also becoming a common duty of service employees. It may include offering support before customers even ask for help through proactive chat, informing customers about real or potential product or service issues, monitoring brand mentions and engaging in customer conversations on social media or proactively asking customers for feedback.
6. Handling customer complaints
Dealing with unhappy customers and handling complaints is an almost inescapable duty of many customer service employees, especially frontline reps who are usually the first point of contact for customers. Those agents need to be trained for a wide range of customer service soft skills (such as good listening, clear communication, empathy, ability to use positive language etc.) to be able to diffuse frustrated customers and ensure effective and successful complaint resolution. When facing conflicts that are beyond the scope what agents can handle, they are responsible for escalating them to the appropriate internal teams.
7. Collecting and analyzing customer feedback
The duties of customer service representative do not end at just responding to customers and resolving their issues. Collecting and analyzing customer feedback can also be a part of their job tasks. While there are numerous ways to automate feedback collection, service agents may also personally follow up with customers to find out how the solution worked for them and take notes of their suggestions on what can be potentially improved. Service teams usually collaborate closely with marketing teams on feedback collection and analysis.
8. Responding to customer reviews
As review platforms are growing in popularity and more consumers are relying on other people’s opinions and experiences when making purchasing decisions, responding to product or company reviews written by customers is becoming an increasingly important responsibility of customer service employees. Every negative online review can easily reach a large audience and affect potential sales – therefore service agents should know how to handle negative reviews and turn those unpleasant situations into positive experiences and reduce possible brand reputation damage.
9. Developing and documenting knowledge into helpful content
Since customer service employees naturally have a deep knowledge of a company’s products or services and a solid understanding of how to use them to get the maximum value, they are usually involved in the development and creation of helpful content for customers and prospects. That may include writing knowledge base articles, FAQs, help manuals, how-to guides, troubleshooting documentation, blog posts – anything that can help customers find answers, resolve issues on their own and use the company’s products in the most efficient way.
10. Tracking customer service KPIs and metrics
Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics is another responsibility of customer service teams. Those may include CSAT score to track customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure how likely customers are to recommend a company, product or service to their friends or colleagues, Customer Effort Score (CES) to evaluate the ease of service experience with an organization, First Contact Resolution (FCR) to find out how effectively service issues are dealt with on the first customer contact, Average Resolution Time (ART) to see how long it takes agents on average to resolve issues, and other metrics.