Two Functions of a Customer Service Department

by Jared Lewis; Updated September 26, 2017
Customer service representatives create a positive atmosphere for customers.

The customer service department plays an important role in the survival and continued functioning of any company. Although there are many different roles that a customer service department plays, two major functions of the department that affect an entire business include public relations and the creation of a positive company culture. The tasks and activities of customer service representatives are directly related to these to major functions.

Public Relations

The customer service department is largely responsible for establishing and cementing the relationship of the company with the public. Customer service representatives are the first line of contact with the public for many companies. Companies that have a strong reputation for customer service exhibit helpfulness in assisting customers. Members of the customer service department may even establish long-term relationships with customers through continued interaction and repeat business.

Customer Retention

Customer retention is directly related to the public relations function of the customer service department. Through continued interaction with the public, the customer service department creates an image of the company that leaves a lasting impression on the customer or client. Customer retention is not always dependent upon the product produced or the price that products are sold for. Instead, some customers are willing to pay slightly more for a product in exchange for above average customer service.

Company Culture

Customer service representatives who have a positive and upbeat attitude can also help to create a positive employee culture throughout a business. The creation of a positive employee culture can be infectious for a business. Customers can sense when employees genuinely enjoy their jobs and enjoy interacting with customers. Customers who sense this positive employee culture tend to gravitate toward the business because of its atmosphere as much as they do for its products or services.

Sales

The financial well-being of a company is largely dependent upon the product or service that it offers. Customer service representatives often play a key role in the sales produced by a company. The customer service department can either serve as a direct sales agent or an indirect sales agent that upsells additional products and services beyond what a customer already has or normally would buy. The positive culture created by the customer service department, along with the offering of additional needed services, can create an atmosphere in which customers look forward to purchasing new products in the future.

2016 Salary Information for Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives earned a median annual salary of $32,300 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, customer service representatives earned a 25th percentile salary of $25,520, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $41,430, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,784,500 people were employed in the U.S. as customer service representatives.

About the Author

Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.

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