What Are The Key Responsibilities Of Support Agents

In a broad sense, the support agents interact with customers on behalf of an organization. The interaction happens through support channels such as emails, phone, social media platforms, and helpdesk channels. The agents provide customers with the organization’s information on goods or services and resolve any emerging problems the customers might face. Customer support is the backbone of an organization and therefore requires special attention. Efficient customer support requires efficient support agents.

Support agents' primary objective is to ensure high customer satisfaction. The agents, therefore, need to be knowledgeable, helpful, and empathize when communicating with customers regarding products and services. A support agent should also be familiar with the latest helpdesk software to be able to provide quick solutions and the most secure support. That’s right, customer support is not just about being polite and efficient. It is a place where data collection happens!

When searching for support agents for your organization, ensure to countercheck their efficiency and willingness to offer excellent customer support during sales and after-sales circles as well.

In this article, we will highlight the key responsibilities of support agents in an organization to save you time and facilitate the whole recruiting process for you. Scroll down!

1. Answering Questions About The Company

Knowledgeable support agents are one of the most important aspects of a good customer support experience. Support agents are required to answer both the specific and general customer questions about the organization's products or services.

The agents must therefore know the company inside out to answer all the customer's questions to their satisfaction. The support agent should master the basic things such as the company's motto and values to the most complex details about the company.

As a business, aim to train and educate your support agents about all the company's operations. Before you take in new support agents, organize orientation programs where they will be educated about the companies’ operations and the products or services offered.  

Training agents allows them to provide quick, accurate, and comprehensive customer responses. The support agent should therefore be an excellent communicator who is able to earn the trust of a client.

2. Troubleshooting Technical Problems And Resolving Issues

The helpdesk support agents are responsible for resolving product or service issues, troubleshooting problems, and providing any technical assistance to customers. Almost all companies have an IT department that is always on standby in case of any technical issues or from the clients.

The support team is well-endowed with technical knowledge to help solve any technical problems. Technical assistance may include maintenance, customization, and upgrading of a product.

Technical support agents need to have deep product or service knowledge and the required skills to help customers. For example, if you are a solar panel selling company, your support team needs to know everything about solar panels, how to install them, and how to maintain them.

In case a customer complains of any problem with the solar panels, a support agent should figure out the real problem with the solar and come up with a way to solve the issue. You do not want to find yourself outsourcing for technical knowledge while you have a support team at your company.

Technical support agents need to work closely with product development teams to ensure product optimization and to improve the end-user experience. The agents get to understand the genesis of a product and how to troubleshoot it in case of technical issues.

3. Making Transactions And Processing Orders

Some customer support duties may involve receiving and processing orders. Support agents may carry out business transactions and handle order cancellations, product returns, and exchanges. Transaction processing reflects the principal business activities of a company.

Business transactions include sales, production, purchasing, shipping, receiving, and billing. Order processing is associated with entry-level customer service jobs and is seen as a prime opportunity for those seeking to launch their customer support career.

A customer’s order has to be processed efficiently and timely. The customer support agent should be aware of all the business's promotional activities accompanying a customer’s order.

The agents should work closely with the sales department and should always be ready for first-level troubleshooting of all customers' order issues. The support agents also work closely with the production, sales, and supplies department and voice the consumers' concerns and issues for better product and service provision.

4. Telephone And Mail Processing

The support agent has the duty to provide exceptional customer service for clients through inbound telephone calls. An agent should listen carefully to customers and pay attention to details in order to process the customers' concerns. The support team should research customers' issues, connect relevant solutions to the appropriate departments, and provide the customers with clear and concise information.

The support agent should portray a caring and professional image of the business when handling telephone communications from the customers. The agent should record actionable insights and data for the business to ensure that customers' voices are heard and that the necessary adjustments are made for better services in the future.

Support agents should also accurately process incoming mail, emails, and fax customers' communications. The agents should ensure that the emails are processed and addressed promptly. An initiative should be taken to make outbound calls to the client to address issues and clarify concerns expressed in their mails or emails while providing first-class customer service. No mail is to be ignored, no matter the content. Replying to customers' emails or mails makes them feel needed and appreciated by the companies, thus increasing their loyalty.

5. Providing Proactive Customer Outreach

In today’s world, customers expect proactive and personalized customer support. Proactive customer support enables you to deliver value and success throughout your customer engagement. Proactive customer outreach speaks of the business’s transparency and openness and shows that you appreciate your customers.  

The support agents need to understand the customers' needs and be able to anticipate their challenges and desires even before they vocalize them. Signs that your support team is not proactive include outstanding invoices, decreased engagement with customers, and performance challenges.

According to business experts, being proactive shows that you are sitting on the same side of the table as your customers. Proactive customer outreach shows that you support your customers and that you have their best interests in mind and can significantly reduce sentiments as you can address issues before they arise.

Support agents may practice proactive customer outreach by partaking in activities such as:

  • Proactively chatting with customers through SMS or emails
  • Informing customers about real or potential issues with the company’s products or services
  • Monitoring brand mentions in all communication channels
  • Engaging in customer conversations on social media
  • Proactively asking customers for feedback after purchasing your goods or services.

When they do all this, the effects will be felt with the increment of sales in the company.

6. Collecting And Analysing Customer Feedback

The customer support agents are required to collect and analyze customer feedback. Customers will always express their views, whether they are satisfied with the services or not. Support agents do not stop at responding and resolving customers' issues, but they also go a step further to collect and analyze the issues. Feedback collection can be automated, and support agents may follow up with customers personally to see if solutions worked out for them.

A support agent should also write down the suggestions from a customer and forward them to the appropriate departments. Be patient when collecting feedback from the customers to allow them to pour out all their frustrations. Additionally, it would be great if the agent collaborate with the marketing teams to collect and analyze customer feedback to enable a complete overview of the customers’ wishes.

Customer support agents are the key to resolving customer issues quickly and effectively and determining the brand and the company’s reputation at large. The support agent is the main driver in some businesses, such as real estate or law firms.

Support agents should support customers through the channels of their choice, and support should be provided throughout.  Personalize interactions with customers and resolve their issues as quickly as possible. Support agents should possess skills such as empathy, patience, technical proficiency, communication clarity, problem-solving, and flexibility to provide customers with efficient support.

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