10 important customer service responsibilities (plus skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Customer service is crucial for businesses as great customer service can help businesses achieve success and build a positive reputation. Customer service roles can be diverse, with many responsibilities and duties. Providing excellent customer service requires a clear understanding of the key responsibilities the role entails. In this article, we explore the 10 most important customer service responsibilities, why they're so crucial and how you can develop them for your next customer service role.

Related: Customer service skills: examples, definition and how to demonstrate

Customer service responsibilities

Although customer service responsibilities may differ across organisations, there are some responsibilities that apply to the role in any organisation. These roles may include customer-facing agents, tech support agents to customer support managers. Discover the following 10 important customer service responsibilities to help you succeed in this field:

1. Delivering information about a company's products and services

A service agent is usually the first point of actual contact between a customer and business, so your ability to provide general information to customers is key. This may be general information about a product or service the customer already has. It could also be information about the company's other related products or services. As a customer service representative, your job is to do what's best for your customers. Being able to identify where a customer may get better value with your company is a crucial duty of an effective agent.

Related: 10 ways to consistently offer good customer service

2. Answering queries and concerns about a company's products or services

One of the most important responsibilities of a service agent is to answer simple issues, queries or concerns a customer may have about the products or services provided by the company. Helping customers solve queries quickly and easily can avoid further complications, escalation or the need for more specialised resources.

Being able to provide reactive support in a quick, accurate and comprehensive way is important for all customer service agents. To develop the skills needed to accomplish this kind of support, becoming knowledgeable about the intricacies of the company's products or services is a great first step. By helping customers overcome queries and achieve what they want to do, you're assisting customers and helping the business to grow and prosper.

Related: What is customer satisfaction?

3. Processing orders and transactions

Whether by phone, email, social media or in-person, as a service agent, your employer may ask you to receive and process incoming orders for products or services. Part of your role may also be to process returns and refunds, exchanges or cancellations. This responsibility entails that you process customer orders and transactions in an efficient and timely manner, to ensure customers stay satisfied with the service the company is providing to them.

4. Resolving issues and handling customer complaints

When customers experience issues with a product/service, it's your responsibility as a service agent to resolve common issues and handle or escalate customer complaints. The key to resolving issues and handling complaints is to provide as much help and support to your customers as possible and effectively manage their expectations. Again, this requires developing a good working knowledge of the products and services offered, an understanding of how to troubleshoot common issues and a clear idea of the correct escalation processes necessary to handle more in-depth concerns or complaints.

To become successful at this responsibility, you may go through training for a wide range of customer service soft skills. Good listening, clear communication, empathy and responding in a timely manner are all key skills needed for this responsibility. Your ability to diffuse frustrated customers and ensure successful complaint resolution or escalation can improve the overall reputation of the company you represent.

5. Collecting customer feedback

As a primary responsibility of all service agents is to help customers, your role may also include collecting customer feedback and passing it along appropriate channels. Customers get in touch with businesses to speak their minds, and first-contact customer service agents allow them to be heard. You can grow your ability to gather quality customer feedback by developing soft skills such as patience, empathy and positivity. This can help customers feel more at ease and help them feel assured you take their feedback seriously.

As a service agent, you're in a great position to understand the processes that work and those needing improvement. By collecting feedback, you may prompt a positive process change that can help streamline your role. Beyond simply collecting this feedback, you may help analyse customer responses to improve overall customer experiences or process flows.

Related: Interview question: 'what is good customer service to you?'

6. Tracking customer service metrics

Overall, customer satisfaction and loyalty are both essential to growing any business. Your customer service role may include tracking key performance indicators (KPI). As a service representative, you may maintain and track KPI metrics by keeping a log of the queries and complaints you hear most often from customers. These reports can help businesses see patterns and trends, which can then help them respond proactively to increase customer satisfaction.

As a service representative, you may track specific KPIs, including the company's Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure the likelihood that a customer may recommend a product or service. You can also track the company's Average Resolution Time (ART) to measure how long it takes for a customer service representative to solve a customer's issue or query.

7. Responding to customer reviews

A crucial responsibility of customer service is responding when customers leave feedback or reviews about your company's products or services. Customers are now able to engage directly with companies through the use of social media and online review platforms, and this has increased the need for direct response in return. As the first point of contact, it's important for you to respond to product, service or company reviews in a way that represents the core values of your company.

As more consumers rely on the opinions of other customers to help them make purchasing decisions, responding to reviews quickly, efficiently and positively is becoming an even more important responsibility for customer service agents. As part of your role, you can develop conflict resolution skills to turn negative reviews into positive experiences.

8. Working as part of a team

As a customer service representative, teamwork is an important responsibility for you to develop. Because customer service focuses on improving the customer journey, communication with your colleagues and the larger team can help you and your organisation proactively achieve this. Being able to work with your larger team to agree on customer process changes and provide an effective service is the main tenant of great customer service.

You may also find it helpful to collaborate and communicate with team members, colleagues, service partners, sales representatives, managers or team leads. Teamwork is effective at helping everyone in the team to work more effectively to solve customer service issues. Your skills in this area can directly affect the company's overall customer service performance.

9. Handling customer administrative tasks

Customer service roles require appropriately handling and managing customer administrative needs. Part of your role may be to file paperwork, such as service orders, or log and respond to paper-based customer correspondence. As many businesses become increasingly paperless, customer service administration requires more and more technical skills. You can also work with your company's CMS to maintain customer communications or log customer concerns. This responsibility requires strong organisational skills, the ability to use common office technologies such as printers or fax machines and strong IT skills to take advantage of CMS databases.

10. Providing proactive customer outreach

You can also engage with customers through a proactive chat platform on your company's website to help assess their overall impression, rather than waiting for them to leave a review. As customer service becomes more proactive and personalised, customer service representatives are becoming more responsible for proactively offering support even before customers ask for help. You may be responsible for proactively reaching out to customers through proactive chat, but also through informing them of potential issues to products or services, engaging with them on social media or proactively asking for feedback.

What is customer service?

Customer service is the ability to provide service and support to customers on behalf of an organisation. Customer service agents resolve customer issues or queries quickly and effectively through various support channels. They provide support to both prospective and existing customers by answering customer questions through in-person, phone, email or chat mediums, including social media interactions. Representatives may also provide information to customers about where they can find self-support materials. Here are a few examples of common customer service tasks:

  • responding to customer queries

  • processing customer orders

  • resolving customer complaints

  • troubleshooting tech problems

  • building strategies for improving the overall customer experience

  • representing the values of the company

Explore more articles