What Does a Customer Service Officer Do? (With Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 May 2022

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 officers work closely with clients to resolve problems, share product information and process requests. They use excellent communication skills and patience to provide support to customers and create a positive work environment. If you want to pursue a job as a customer service officer, learning their duties may be useful for you. In this article, we answer the question, 'What does a customer service officer do?', provide the steps you can take to secure this position and share the skills you may use while working in this role.

What does a customer service officer do?

The answer to the question, 'What does a customer service officer do?', is they're responsible for working with customers to provide support and answer questions about the company's products, services or policies. Here are the duties they complete while working:

Answer questions

Customer service officers answer questions from consumers to resolve any confusion. They may answer questions through phone calls, emails, online chats or in-person, depending on their position. When a consumer contacts a company with questions, they typically speak with a customer service officer first to discuss their confusion. The officer may provide them with information about the company's procedures, and they can redirect the customer to a different department for more information about a specific topic.

Related: How to Improve Customer Service Management (Steps and Tips)

Use company technology

Customer service officers use company technology to document issues and communicate with customers. They may use software to record customer feedback to that management can assess it and determine necessary changes. They may also record customers' issues and document the steps they took to resolve them. Customer service officers may also use company technology to communicate with customers on a company's website or using a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Escalate issues

Customer service officers may escalate customer issues to management or additional support teams if they can't resolve the issue on their own. They may receive training to understand the situations that require escalations and the situations that they can handle independently. For example, a company may train customer service officers to always escalate situations that involve legal issues. By escalating issues, customer service officers can ensure that consumers receive the proper help from individuals that have specialised training.

Record customer interactions

It's common for companies to keep records of consumers' buying history and company interactions. Customer service officers may record customer interactions to include the topics they discussed or questions they asked. This may help the sales team to determine their future buying behaviours or identify trends among consumers.

Related: Satisfied Customers: Their Importance and How to Track Them

Process requests

Customer service officers process requests from consumers. They may process order cancellations, returns or exchanges, depending on a client's needs. Throughout this process, they inform the customer of potential costs or fees, and they provide information on when the request is complete.

Respond to reviews

Customer service officers often handle customer reviews to determine their workplace's strengths and areas of improvement. They may share customer feedback with members of management or other departments. They may also respond to negative reviews by providing an apology, enquiring about their experience with the company or offering compensation, like a discount or gift card, to resolve the issue.

How to become a customer service officer

Here are the steps you can take to pursue a career as a customer service officer:

1. Complete your education

Employers may require that customer service officers have a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE). While completing your education, try to take courses that may enhance the skills you can use as a customer service professional, such as communication, problem-solving, patience and close attention to detail. For example, taking a business course may enhance your communication skills and teach you about standard business practices.

Once you earn your SSCE, you can consider earning an associate or bachelor's degree in communication. Though employers may not require that you have an associate degree, earning one may help you further enhance your business knowledge and communication skills. Use online resources to find a degree program that's a good match for you.

2. Create a resume

Once you complete your education, you can create a resume that displays your valuable skills, experience and professional goals. Since you may have limited experience in the customer service field, be sure to emphasise your transferable skills. For example, you may share that you developed excellent conflict resolution skills while working in a volunteer role, which you may use while working as a customer service officer. You can also share about any previous positions, internships or volunteer positions that you worked in and the duties you completed in each job.

3. Look for entry-level positions

Typically, professionals can secure customer service officer positions with little to no experience in the customer service field. Look for entry-level positions that match your qualifications. For example, you may look for positions that require candidates to have excellent communication skills, a flexible work schedule and an SSCE. Once you find a position that's aligns with your qualifications, submit an application. Most employers require that candidates submit a resume and cover letter.

4. Complete training

Most companies provide customer service officers with training that teaches them how to resolve customer issues, document problems and resolutions, escalate issues to management and deliver helpful information to consumers. Typically, this process can last several weeks to months so that professionals have in-depth knowledge about a company's customer service policies and procedures. When you start a customer service officer position, complete the training and ask questions to help you understand policies and regulations.

5. Consider certifications

You may consider pursuing certificates to enhance your skills and make you a competitive candidate. Earning certifications in customer service may help you to secure job opportunities or achieve advancement in your career. The Customer Service Institute of Australia provides several certifications that relate to customer service. While earning your certificate, you can learn about conflict resolution strategies and customer engagement methods to help you enhance your work performance. Here are some certifications that you may pursue:

  • Certified Customer Engagement Excellence

  • Certified Customer Service Leader

  • Certified Complaint Handling Excellence

  • Certified Customer Service Excellence

Customer service officer skills

Here are the skills that customer service officers may use:

Communication

You can use communication skills while working as a customer service officer to explain your workplace's policies, procedures, products or services clearly. You may explain concepts and answer questions using language that's easy for consumers to understand. By having excellent communication skills, you can lower the chance of confusion or miscommunication taking place. For example, if you work for a retail store, you may communicate your workplace's return policy clearly so that customers can return their products within the proper amount of time.

Related: Examples of Verbal Communication Strategies (With Types)

Conflict resolution

As a customer service officer, you may use conflict resolution skills to assist customers that may be unhappy with a company's products or services. You can employ this skill to assess the customer's complaint and encourage them to remain calm throughout the resolution process. Having excellent conflict resolution skills may allow you to keep a positive work environment while handling problems.

Related: How to Handle Interpersonal Conflict at Work (With Examples)

Patience

You may show patience while helping customers that are disappointed in their experience with your workplace. While these customers are upset, you can show patience by listening to their issues and asking questions to better understand the situation. You may also provide encouragement to them and assure them that you want to help resolve the issue and enhance their experience.

Computer skills

It's important that you use computer skills to navigate a company's software and communicate effectively with clients. You may use your computer to retrieve product information, process returns and exchanges or document customer interactions. By having excellent computer skills, you can ensure that you save the files properly and make it easy for management or other customer service professionals to access customer information.

Customer service officer work environment

Customer service officers can work in a variety of industries to assist consumers. They often work in an office setting while handling a computer or using the phone to assist customers. Typically, their positions require that they perform independent work, though they may collaborate with management or other customer service professionals to resolve consumer issues.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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