Customer Service: Overview, Products & Services

Resources Designed to Support and Improve Customer Service Operations

What is Customer Service?

Customer Service includes all of the activities associated with satisfying customer needs before, during and after the sale of a good or service. Effective customer service extends beyond merely responding to customer questions and complaints. Ideally, good customer service should attempt to eliminate, or reduce, root causes related to goods and services that cause the complaints or inquiries. Customer service can often make or break a company, especially in highly competitive markets with several similar product offerings (e.g., cable television, telecommunications, insurance). Common activities performed by this function include customer account management, managing customer reward programs and initiatives, handling escalated customer complaints, processing customer product returns, and answering any questions pertaining to product or service offerings.

Org Charts

A typical customer service function is composed of several common sub-functions, or teams, that work together to manage customer accounts, manage customer reward programs and initiatives, handle escalated customer complaints, process customer product returns, and answer any questions pertaining to product or service offerings. Browse our Customer Service organization chart page to learn about the roles and responsibilities of each major function. Then, download our org chart template (PDF, Visio, PPT) to plan and support customer service operations improvement efforts.

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Best Practices

Check out our customer service best practices page to view selected descriptions of work methods that have been proven to produce better results (as compared to other, similar methods). Want more? Download our Customer Service best practices guide, which provides a healthy selection of valuable best practices that can be incorporated to improve customer service operations. There might not be only one "best" way to perform every task. However, there is always a "better" way.