Customer service provides a link between customers and a company. It is through the customer services that a company can get feedback from their customers about the products and services that they have to offer and also provide solutions to customer’s queries and inquiries. In short, customer service job responsibilities involve satisfying customers’ needs. This is done by developing customer service policies and selecting staff members to help out the customers. Creating a good rapport between the organization and the clients is done by the customer service department.
Customer service job responsibilities include listening to customers queries and coming up with solutions for the problems as fast as is possible. This should be done with much professionalism. It is important that a client completely understands the information that is being conveyed to them. The main aim of customer service should be able to give advice to clients.
Customer service job responsibilities also include among other things the performance of administrative tasks, handling of assessments and following up on the organization’s clients. Customer service is also responsible for preparing reports detailing any unresolved issues and keeping records of all transactions and interactions between the organization and the customers.
Changes to customer service job responsibilities due to COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a general trend to layoff full time employed customer service and call center agents. Don’t worry, the job has not disappeared as many have in the face of technological change and innovation, rather it has been modified to meet the market demands related to lockdowns and quarantines. Many governmental mandates have limited access to public and private buildings which restricted commuting and travel to commercial locations. Further, with the institution of social distancing rules, employers were encouraged to discourage the provision of in person services, limited to essential employees only.
Growing demand for independent private contractor customer service representatives
So, who fills the vacuum to handle customer complaints, customer call orders, and responds to Chatbox questions? Many large companies such as AirBnB, Barnes & Noble, Bath Body Works, DirectTV, Disney, Home Depot, Signet, Sprint/ T-Mobile, TurboTax and others outsource their customer service and call center departments to cut costs; often to third parties who hire independent contractors working from home.
Advantages and disadvantages of work from home, remote work and tele-commuting customer service jobs
There are advantages to working from home remotely for disabled, those with child rearing, elder care responsibilities, retirees, or those located in geographically remote areas where full time, in person, on location jobs are sparse. Some of the disadvantages of accepting a job offer as an independent contractor working from home is the requirement to buy “your own home office equipment: computer, two headsets, and a dedicated phone line.” Additionally, many third party operators require their independent contractors working from home, to pay for their own background check, take a voice and computer systems assessment, sign a nondisclosure form, pay for introductory training and pass a qualification exam; even before your very first paycheck!
In addition to these minor inconveniences for the convenience of working from home, ProPublica chronicled others. ProPublica, a nonprofit website created for the purpose of raising the awareness of abuse, conducted an investigative survey of 100 customer service representatives currently and formerly working. What they found overall is that in spite of the many advantages from tele work, remote work or full time working from home; the working environment for many independent contractors are replete with “limited hours, close monitoring, and strict performance measures that put them in constant fear of losing their jobs.”
Customer Service Job Responsibilities (specific links)
Meet the Customer Service Reps for Disney and AirBnB Who have to Pay to Talk to You, ProPublica, October 2, 2020.
We’re not Allowed to Hang up: The Harsh Reality of Working in Customer Service, ProPublica, July 21, 2021.
Dr. Mead, PhD, MBA, MA http://www.ishareknowledge.com is a consultant and blogger at http://edfraud.net specializing in human behavior, school and social psychology. She can be contacted at: tonya at ishareknowledge dot com
Category: Customer Service Job Responsibilities