What Does A Customer Support Agent Do? 10 Roles & Responsibilities

From updating help articles to resolving tickets to cobrowsing with users, the job of a customer support agent is varied and rewarding.
Published on: Jan 12, 2024
Last updated: Feb 26, 2024

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Customer service representatives are the foundation of successful businesses. But what exactly does a customer service representative do?

They symbolize a company's values and dedication to customer care, skillfully handling problem-solving, communication, and technical aspects to create positive customer experiences.

A study by Mobiquity showed that companies that focus on customer service outperform others by 80%. According to PwC, one in three customers leave a company after one bad experience, while 92% switch companies after two or three bad experiences.

These numbers clearly show that customer service representatives are essential for any thriving business.

Join us as we explore what customer service representatives do. You might be surprised at the depth of their impact and their vital role in your company.

What is a customer service representative?

Customer service representatives are an important link between a company and its customers, serving as the initial contact for inquiries, complaints, and requests. They combine roles of problem-solving, information provision, and brand representation.

Customer service representatives are the company's voice, ensuring customer satisfaction with effective communication, empathy, and thorough knowledge of its products or services. They are key in shaping positive brand perception and fostering loyalty in a customer-centric world.

If you’re curious about customer satisfaction and how it relates to customer recommendations, learn about the differences between CSAT vs NPS and how to improve CSAT here.

Customer service representative job description and main responsibilities

While the specifics may vary depending on the industry and company, the core responsibilities of a customer service representative remain remarkably consistent.

Let's delve into the 10 main responsibilities:

  • Answer customer inquiries: Customer service representatives must be able to address customer questions accurately and efficiently. This includes providing information about products, services, policies, and procedures through mail or live chat.
  • Resolve customer complaints and issues: A customer service representative needs strong problem-solving skills and a knack for de-escalating situations.
  • Process orders and returns: Entry-level customer service jobs require them to process incoming orders and handle order cancellations, product returns, or exchanges. This requires accuracy and attention to detail to ensure correct processing and timely delivery or refunds.
  • Generate sales leads: Some customer service representative roles involve identifying potential leads and converting them into paying customers. This requires excellent communication and persuasive skills.
  • Provide technical assistance: This might involve troubleshooting product issues, guiding customers through setup processes, and offering technical support. Sometimes they need to provide on-hand help through cobrowsing apps. This is common in SaaS and tech companies.
  • Manage customer accounts: Customer service duties involve updating account information, processing payments, and resolving billing disputes.
  • Maintain positive relationships with customers: Customer service duties also involve building rapport, resolving issues with empathy and respect, and exceeding customer expectations.
  • Collect customer feedback: This involves gathering information about customer experiences, both positive and negative, to improve products, services, and processes.
  • Follow company policies and procedures: This ensures consistent and professional customer service.
  • Document interactions: This involves recording all customer interactions accurately and consistently. This information is vital for future reference and improving customer service practices.

Customer support agent skills

Thriving as a customer service representative requires technical know-how and interpersonal skills.

Let's explore the essential hard skills and soft skills that empower customer service representatives to excel in their roles:

Hard skills

Hard skills are specific technical skills you learn through training and experience.

  • Technical proficiency: The customer service landscape is heavily reliant on technology. Customer service representatives must be comfortable navigating various software and tools like cobrowsing, session replays, ticketing platforms, customer-relationship management (CRM) software, and helpdesk software to assist customers.
  • Communication skills: Written and verbal communication must be clear, concise, and professional. Strong grammar and proper punctuation are crucial for effective communication.
  • Problem-solving skills: They must actively listen to identify the root cause of the problem and work towards a satisfactory solution.
  • Data analysis: Understanding basic data analysis techniques to interpret data collected to improve response time and resolution rates.

Soft skills

Soft skills are interpersonal skills that are especially necessary for customer-facing roles.

  • Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of others. This is essential for building rapport with customers and resolving their concerns effectively.
  • Patience: Customer service representatives often deal with frustrated or angry customers. Patience and composure are crucial for managing difficult situations and maintaining professionalism.
  • Active listening: This involves paying close attention to verbal and non-verbal cues. This allows customer service representatives to understand the core issue and respond appropriately.
  • Adaptability: The ability to adjust communication styles and approaches to different personality types and customer situations.
  • Cultural competency: Understanding and appreciating diverse cultural contexts and customer backgrounds to provide inclusive and respectful service.
  • Teamwork: Collaborating effectively with colleagues and other departments to ensure seamless customer service delivery.

Software you need to master as a CSR (customer support representative)

As a customer service representative, mastering various software tools is important. Here's an overview of key software types and their functionalities:

Technical support software

Session replays software allows you to auto-record user sessions to see behavior and product issues in context.
  • Co browsing software: Fullview and similar software enable representatives to view a customer's screen in real-time, greatly aiding in troubleshooting technical issues. These cobrowsing tools provide a virtual window into the user's screen, allowing agents to guide customers through solutions and even remotely control their screen for direct problem-solving.
  • Session replay tools: Session replay software records customer interactions on webpages, offering insights into user behavior and interaction patterns. By analyzing these recordings, you can identify issues like dead clicks or rage clicks, helping to pinpoint areas for service delivery and agent training improvements.
  • Console logs: Learning to read and interpret console logs is crucial for diagnosing technical issues efficiently. Although initially daunting, these logs provide valuable information, allowing you to decipher technical errors, pinpoint problematic code, and speed up issue resolution.

Help desk software

Help desk software is a central platform for managing customer tickets, tracking resolutions, and prioritizing inquiries. It enables tracking ticket submissions, prioritizing urgent cases, collaborating with team members, and monitoring resolution progress. Popular options include Zendesk, Freshdesk, and HubSpot Service Hub.

CRM software

CRM software organizes and analyzes customer data, such as customer profiles, past interactions, purchase history, and preferences, enhancing personalized interactions and anticipating customer needs for exceptional service experiences. Examples are Salesforce, Zoho CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service.

Live chat software

Live chat software enables real-time support, allowing immediate conversations with customers to answer questions and resolve issues promptly. It enhances accessibility and responsiveness in customer service. Popular options include Drift, Intercom, and Olark.

Here are 50 live chat examples you can use for inspiration.

Knowledge base software

A knowledge base is a database containing articles and FAQs for customer self-service. Knowledge base software assists in creating and managing these resources efficiently. Examples include Bloomfire, Slite, and ProProfs Knowledge Base.

Multichannel support software

In an omnichannel environment, customers expect support on their preferred platforms. Multichannel support software enables seamless management of interactions across various channels, ensuring a consistent customer experience. Popular options include Zendesk Support, Freshdesk Omnichannel, and Salesforce Service Cloud.

The best cobrowsing software

Fullview is an advanced cobrowsing software that provides an in-depth view of a customer's screen, allowing agents to guide users and even remotely control their screens to solve issues faster. This comprehensive view allows for faster identification of issues and precise solutions.

It's user-friendly, requiring no downloads or plugins, and operates through a unique session ID or URL for easy access. Fullview also features session replay for detailed customer journey analysis and filters and tags for session categorization and analysis.

Conclusion

Mastering the soft skills and various software tools discussed throughout this article empowers customer service representatives to become true customer champions.

From cobrowsing and session replays to helpdesk software and knowledge bases, these tools equip customer service representatives with the necessary resources to provide efficient, effective, and personalized customer service.

By embracing technology and honing their soft skills, customer service representatives can navigate the ever-evolving customer service landscape and contribute to a more satisfying and positive experience for every customer.

Here’s another article on the 12 best customer service practices.

Sources:

Last checked: 13-Dec-2023

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