12 customer service job responsibilities: How to choose the right team to support your customer


Your agents are on the frontline with customers every single day. Finding the right agents to staff your team could mean the difference between an exceptional experience or an unhappy customer.

A great set of customer service job responsibilities ensures that your company is attracting the right kind of people.

Job responsibilities not only tell potential candidates what they'll be held accountable for on a day-to-day basis; they're also a way for your hiring team to find people that are a great fit for your team. When you're hiring the right agents, you'll be building a better customer experience from the team out.

Here are 12 customer service job responsibilities to help you get started:

1. Manage incoming customer service requests

This is the bulk of a customer service agent's day. Agents interact with customers reaching out through every support channel your company offers. Whether it's live chat, phone, email or even social media, managing inbound customer requests is the number one priority.

customer service

Managing customer service requests requires proficiency in every support channel when you're interviewing candidates, it's a good idea to inquire about previous support experience and multitasking skills.

Handling inbound calls, chats and emails also takes a certain amount of professionalism. It's important for these agents to manage their frustration and emotional reactions to avoid burn out.

2. Identify and resolve customer issues

When customers reach out for help, they're looking for the fastest route to a solution. Being able to understand customer questions and arrive at a resolution quickly takes exceptional listening and analytical skills. It's important your team understands how to ask insightful and direct questions.

the funnel effect call centre helper

The Funnel Effect via Call Centre Helper.

Customers who are experiencing issues aren't necessarily going to know exactly how to explain their problem without the help of your agents. Your team needs to drive the conversation with varied questions.

  • Open questions—help agents get a general sense of the customer's issue
  • Probing questions—dig deeper into the issue and mine for specific information
  • Closed questions—solidify understanding for both the agent and the customer

Look for candidates who have good conversational skills. They'll need to navigate customer frustrations and lack of understanding to move the conversations towards a satisfactory resolution.

3. Handle customer feedback and complaints

Customers will reach out for any number of reasons—customer service agents need to understand how to receive feedback and take complaints from frustrated customers. Being able to turn a difficult conversation into a great customer experience requires empathy and emotional intelligence.

customer service complaint

Look for candidates that know how to handle frustration effectively. It's just as important for customers to feel heard as it is for them to find a resolution.

This can be difficult to screen for, but asking direct questions about previous difficult conversations lets an interviewee talk about their skills openly.

4. Keep track of interactions with proper documentation

Keeping track of customer data helps you build a better contact center experience. Every agent needs to understand how their notes contribute to the overall picture of a customer's health. The more information your team has, the better they can move customers along their journey.

customer journey

While the exact note-taking process can be taught during onboarding and agent training, when you're vetting potential candidates, you can use their resume and communication to judge how well they use the written word.

You can also use this information to track how typical customers move through their journey with your product and identify areas of opportunity.

5. Provide accurate and complete information

Customer service agents need to understand how your company's product works and how it fits into the overall market space as well. This leads to a more comprehensive customer experience and gives your team a way to help the customer accomplish their own personal goals.

customer experience zendesk

A great customer experience leads to happier customers, via Zendesk.

New agents won't have this kind of knowledge immediately, but they need retention skills and be willing to learn new things quickly.

Internal training will help develop this job responsibility more than others, but it's definitely something your hiring team should take into account when seeking out new candidates.

6. Explain multiple solutions to the same problem

One of the hardest parts of customer service is being able to explain the same answer in a myriad of different ways. Customers will reach out with different skill levels and agents need to understand how best to explain solutions to each customer.

customer service explanation

This will be difficult to screen when you're creating your customer service job responsibilities. During interviews, it is a good idea to ask potential candidates to provide multiple answers to the same questions.

Being able to provide personalized responses will lead to a better overall customer experience.

7. Develop lasting relationships with existing customers

The customer experience is more than answering questions and providing walkthroughs, it is also building customer relationships to boost their loyalty. Agents need to understand how to foster these relationships to build on the overall experience.

why customers stick

Why customers stick via CTS.

Personality is going to be the biggest indicator of this skill. Make sure your candidates open up during interviews to get a better sense of their interpersonal skills.

Lasting relationships can also help boost retention. Keeping customers happy and engaged is a great motivator.

8. Speak with potential new customers about the product

Even if your company has a dedicated sales team, your customer service agents will undoubtedly be answering questions from prospective, as well as existing, customers. They'll need to understand sales best practices to talk about the product from that perspective as well.

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Potential candidates should understand that sales knowledge is a prerequisite for hiring. Every agent should understand the market space and your competitors.

When agents are able to wear a sales hat, as well as a support hat, it makes the team more well rounded and effective.

9. Upsell current customers with appropriate product recommendations

Your agents should understand the value that additional products and upsells provide to the customer. Being in contact with the customer every day gives agents unique insight into how these upsells can enhance the customer experience.

upsell opportunity neil patel

Upsell opportunity via Neil Patel.

Sales experience can help with this as well—but upselling should always take second place to supporting the customer and helping to solve their issues.

Look for candidates who have previous experience on the phone or in retail, where the core responsibilities overlap.

10. Coordinate with fellow agents to provide a consistent experience

Cooperation is key for customer service teams. Agents need to be able to communicate effectively with their peers as well as across other departments. This ensures a seamless customer experience as well as a great agent experience.

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Get a sense of a candidate's temperament on phone-screening calls and interviews. This aspect of the customer service job responsibility calls for potential candidates to be team players.

You can look at resumes for insight on this as well. When someone moves up within a company, that can be an indicator of their ability to work with others.

11. Escalate technical issues to the appropriate party

Bugs happen, technology fails, but it's your agent's job to escalate these issues to the right person when they occur. This requires specific technical knowledge as well as an ability to ask the right questions. When agents provide as much information in their escalation as possible, it makes it easier to solve the issue.

customer escalation zoho

Case escalation example via Zoho.

Make sure to include the required technical skills your agents will need to accomplish their daily tasks. These skills will inform their ability to do the job correctly.

Look at relevant work history and speak with candidates about a time when they needed to gather additional information to help someone solve their problem.

12. Provide feedback on internal tools and processes

Agent experience is just as important as customer experience. When your contact center is a great place to work, your agents will be better able to keep the customer happy. Agents should feel comfortable giving feedback on the tools and processes they use in day-to-day responsibilities.

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Your agents will be working with these tools every day; it's likely they'll understand the functionality in a significantly different way than you.

When interviewing potential candidates, ask them for feedback on the hiring process. This is a great way to see how they'll react as well as what feedback they provide.

The right customer service job responsibilities help you find the right fit

It's important to bring on new people that can get up to speed and integrate with the team quickly. When hiring new customer service agents, they should understand what day-to-day tasks they'll be responsible for when they apply to the job.

Finding the right agents to staff your contact center ensures an exceptional customer experience and helps you grow the team more effectively.