If you are in the domain of customer service, you must be knowing that here you need to play different roles every day. It’s a crucial profession with huge responsibilities and requires many skills.
As a result, customer support agents have to wear many hats. They are like the face of your company, being on the frontline, always managing the customers. The way they handle, and communicate with the customers, always add major value to the organization as well as the customers.
There is a saying, “customer service is not only a department, it’s the job of everyone.” So, at least for the sake of your company, you must define the duties of customer service.
Sounds fascinating, right? Excellent!
Here’s the comprehensive guide to understanding in detail, the different customer service duties and roles, jobs, and qualifications that exist.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is all about providing assistance to existing as well as prospective consumers. The customer support team generally answer all customer queries through live chat, phone calls, emails, voice or video calls, and through social media channels.
The exact definition of customer service may vary from company to company depending on the manpower and the type of support they are providing.
Why Customer Service is So Important?
As per a survey done by Salesforce, “89% of consumers tend to make another purchase after experiencing positive customer service.”
Nowadays, you need more than a get idea and capital, to get your business running successfully. From day one, great customer service has to be an integral part of the company’s DNA.
Customer service created a bridge between the customers and your organization. It helps to make them happy and satisfied customers, thus boosting your sales conversions. With effective customer support, you can easily retrieve the cost of customer acquisition. The five main reasons why customer service should be important for your business are:
- Sales conversions
- Customer retention
- Chances for upselling and cross-selling
- Product development
- Helps to make better decisions for your company
The Basic Duties of Customer Service
Customer support agents deal with the customers on behalf of your company. For providing assistance, they use several customer service channels like live chat, phone & video calls, emails, and, so on. They always try to offer instant assistance and resolve customer issues as soon as possible.
Customer service duties may vary from company to company depending on the size of the businesses, company requirements, and types of products or offerings they have. Some of the basic customer service duties may include:
- Replying to customer queries
- Handling customer complaints
- Resolving issues as soon as possible
- Offering instant assistance
- Troubleshooting all technical issues
- Monitoring the effectiveness of customer support
- Arranging training programs for support agents on a regular basis
10 Responsibilities of a Customer Support Agent
What are the duties of a customer service agent look like? Well, a quick look at any customer service representative job description would give a fair bit of an idea. But I have mentioned below the 10 major duties of customer service agents ranging from the frontline and technical support representatives to the customer service managers of the company.
1. Replying to Product, Service, or Company-Related Queries
Replying to all product or company-related questions is one of the key responsibilities of a customer service agent. So, the agents have to be updated and knowledgeable enough before handling such queries.
Wrong information may lead to customer dissatisfaction and harm the company’s reputation. Knowing everything about the company and its services is crucial but they have to master it.
2. Resolving and Troubleshooting Technical Issues
For SaaS or tech organizations, resolving product-related issues, troubleshooting technical problems of customers, and offering technical assistance are some of the important duties of the help desk customer service team. It includes offering support for setting up, customization, upgradation, and maintenance of the service or product.
For such jobs, the team should possess deep knowledge of the product offerings and some hard skills.
Apart from assisting customers, many times, the help desk support representatives also closely work with the development team to ensure the optimization of service and improved user experience.
3. Processing Different Transactions & Orders from Customers
Handling all the orders and transactions is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a customer support executive. It also includes the cancellation of orders, returns, and product exchanges. They need to make sure that all the incoming orders and transactions are rightly processed efficiently and on time.
Generally, an entry-level customer support agent handles all the order processing-related stuff.
4. Providing Information About Special Offerings
Delivering information about the latest product offerings also comes under the umbrella of a customer service specialist. In some ways, they are also a part of the sales team you can say.
However, their basic job is to help customers with issues related to your company, products, or services. They are responsible to offer a positive experience and get you some satisfied and happy customers.
5. Offering Proactive Assistance to the Customers
“Always be proactive rather than reactive.”
This is the mantra that you should follow to make your customer service a great success. Customers nowadays want more personalized and proactive service from companies. So, those days are gone, when support agents used to wait for customers to poke them whenever they need some sort of assistance.
Proactive outreach has become a major responsibility of the support team. Now they are expected to reach the customers proactively and offer more personalized assistance.
Several customer support tools are available in the market which can help your support team to initiate a conversation with the customers proactively. REVE Chat is one of them.
As one of the best customer support solutions, REVE Chat’s ‘Proactive Chat’ feature allows the support agent to offer instant assistance to the customers much before they even ask for it.
You can use the proactive approach in some of the below-mentioned scenarios:
- Informing your customers about the latest product launch or upgrades
- Asking for customer feedback
- Assisting customers on various social media channels
6. Dealing with Customer Complaints
Handling unhappy customers is one of the toughest duties of many of your customer service specialists. Basically, for the front-line support agents, being the first point of contact is a real critical job.
The customers are already angry, and some may shout at them madly. But agents should handle such situations tactfully because of several reasons. One, once dissatisfied, chances are most of the customers will never come back to you for doing business. Secondly, it will hamper your company’s reputation.
Don’t forget, if customers can say good things about you, they can say completely opposite too. So, by any chance, they have to solve their issues as soon as possible.
To handle such situations, your customer service team needs to be trained in a varied range of customer service skills like how to be polite and soft-spoken, good listener, patient, empathetic, good communication skills, keeping calm, and so on.
7. Asking for Customer Feedback
Apart from assisting customers, getting feedback from them is also one of the important customer service duties. Collecting and analyzing the customer feedback is necessary for your company and there are several ways to automate the whole process.
The customer service team can directly engage with the customers for getting their feedback regarding the products, or during live chat sessions, they can ask customers to rate the service. After collecting feedback, they need to analyze and take notes of the suggestions if required, on what are the areas of further improvement.
Your customer service team will work directly with the marketing team for analyzing the feedback reports.
8. Handing the Customer Reviews
Whenever we plan to buy something, we always search for online reviews to understand what other people think of that specific product or service. No doubt reviews influence the purchase decision. If we get some good reviews, we tend to think positively about that product.
Customers are also no exception. Customers use several platforms like social media channels or various review websites to give their views. Responding to those product reviews is very important and has become an important duty of customer service.
So, the support team should thank the customers for their good reviews and should take the negative reviews very seriously. They should contact the unhappy customers to understand what went wrong and try to resolve the issues as soon as possible.
Don’t forget that a large audience is watching the negative reviews and it will not take much time to spread the bad words. Therefore, your support team should know how to handle unpleasant reviews and turn those into positive experiences.
9. Tracking Customer Service Metrics & Analytics
Monitoring all the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and analytics are one of the most important customer service duties to discuss. Those KPIs consist of
- NPS (Net promoter Score) to check how frequently customers are recommending your company or service to others.
- CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) to measure customer satisfaction.
- FCR (The First Contact Resolution Score) to measure the number of cases resolved at the very first attempt.
- ART (The Average Resolution Time) to observe how long on average the support agents take to solve the customer issues.
Apart from these metrics, several customer service solutions also provide information about your support representatives as well as the customers.
For example, as a live chat software, REVE Chat offers analytics and reports related to the support team where we can get information like the total number of handled chats, missed chats, chat transfers and offline messages, the login and logout times of agents to evaluate how they are performing.
Apart from that, REVE Chat also offers information about the customers who are on your website or mobile application like their geographic locations, pages they are eyeing, used browsers, etc to make your proactive chat invitations much more personalized.
10. Developing Well Documented Knowledgebase
Because of handling customers regularly, the customer service team is one of the most knowledgeable teams in your company. They actually know the ins and outs of the organization.
So, from their knowledge, they develop several useful documents for the customers. It may include installation manuals, FAQs, articles, blogs, troubleshooting documentaries, etc.
All these together allow customers to find information by themselves leading to providing a good customer experience in a much more efficient way.
How to Become the Best Customer Support Agent
To become the best customer service agent, you need to have a problem-solving mindset. You need to be patient, warm, empathetic, and a great teacher for others. Let me give you some tips here:
Be Empathetic with Your Customers
First make them comfortable with you so that they can easily share their concerns with you. It will help you to resolve the issues sooner and get good ratings from them.
Know Your Products in Detail
A thorough product knowledge is very important to provide the right information to your customers. You can also help them to choose the right product or service as per their requirements. Make sure you are also up to date about product upgrades, new launches, discounts, etc.
Always Respect Your Customers
No matter how upset they are, always be professional with them. If you can handle them with respect, you will also get the same in return. Apart from that, resolving their issues will be much easier.
You Must Have Great Communication Skills
You need to communicate with the customers on a regular basis. With good communication skills, you can make those interactions much more professional and effective which helps to create a positive impact on the customers. Be it live chat, emails or phone calls, no matter what the communication channel is, you have to make it professional.
Develop a Great Relationship with the Customer
Being a customer support agent, you need to help your company to build good relationships with the customers. So, relationship- building techniques are mandatory for support agents. It allows them to connect with the customers in a better way.
Be a Multi-Tasker
Nearly most of the customer service agents need some sort of multi-tasking skills. They often talk to customers over phone calls or live chat sessions, answer several queries, process orders and payments, ensuring that the consumers are happy and they do all these together. So, being a multi-tasker, they need to handle all the work successfully thus diverting their attention from one job to another.
The Different Customer Service Roles in the Company
Some organizations differentiate customer support from customer service, some don’t. This depends on how big your company is. Smaller businesses, generally combine the different roles of customer service with customer support.
Mostly, the basic responsibilities of these two are the same. Sometimes, we use these different terminologies to reflect the different values of different companies.
Let’s look into the different job roles for customer service that companies offer:
Customer Service Agent
A customer service agent is the face of the company. He works on the front line and directly handles the customers. The job of the customer service agents is basically much more proactive rather than reactive. They proactively engage with the customers to make them aware of the latest product launches, recent updates, upcoming sales, or company-related news.
The total number of handled calls, chats, or emails for them is pre-defined on per day basis.
Remote Customer Support Agent
These remote customer support agents do the same duties as CSRs but virtually. They are highly skilled to manage not only the customers but also other colleagues and managers.
They also have the duties of troubleshooting technical issues and replying to customer issues.
Customer Support Specialist
This position requires much more than only replying to customer queries. Apart from that, they need some kind of managerial and leadership skills as chances are sometimes they may need to fit into the roles of support managers or supervisors.
Customer Service Analyst
They generally handle different technical issues related to software, hardware, or different applications. Instead of waiting for customers to poke them for assistance, they deliberately reach out to them for offering tips or solutions much before they ask for help.
To become successful in this domain, one needs to have a degree in computer science or information technology and a strong educational background.
Customer Service Supervisor
Supervisors generally manage and control the juniors or a smaller part of the whole customer support department. They are mentored by a support manager. They also handle customer queries at different levels.
Excellent communication and leadership skills are really important to apply for this position.
Customer Support Manager
Managers can be called the anchor of the whole customer support department. Their key responsibilities include supervising, training, and tracking progress of the whole support team.
They mostly are the decision makers for customer complaints or any other employee-related issues. They have to be the best mentors and communicators.
It’s Time to Take Action!
Now, you have a better understanding of the different roles and duties that the customer service specialist team plays in your organization. It must be looking a lot, well actually it is! All these different duties and positions can be divided through out your customer service team.
For building the best support team, you need to invest. The returns are huge: you will get satisfied and happy customers who will come back to again for doing business, the employees will feel appreciated and valued and all these together will give you higher sales conversions and positive brand recognition.
Providing the best customer support and effective customer engagement are the two most important objectives of your company. Here at REVE Chat, we help you to achieve your goals. Want to give it a try? Start your FREE TRIAL today!