As a customer facing unit, customer service team is in more ways than one the face of the brand, the front-line soldiers, and the flag bearers of a business. Providing the best possible customer experience and support is essential to retain customers and keep them satisfied and loyal.
According to study conducted by Forrester, 68% customers say they would be willing to pay more for products and services from a brand that offers good customer service. To ensure that customer service remains efficient and productive, it is important to chalk out and optimise the most productive method without burdening the customer support agents.
Practical Tips to Boost Team’s Performance
1. Establish clear goals and KPIs
A well-defined set of goals and KPIs is essential for any organisation to ensure everyone knows what is expected from them and how their performance will be measured. The customer support team is no exception. Listed below are some ways for establishing clear goals and KPIs for the customer support team:
- Define what good customer service looks like for your organisation. This will differ from business to business but could include factors such as response time, first contact resolution rate, customer satisfaction score, etc.
- Label your customer enquiries and study the collated data in real-time to train your staff. Use data to identify areas where the customer support team can improve. This could involve looking at historical data to see where customers have been slipping through the cracks or using real-time data to identify areas of high call volume or prolonged wait times.
- Work with the team to set realistic yet challenging goals. Once you have identified areas of improvement, it is important to work with the team to set realistic yet challenging goals that will help in improving performance in those areas.
- Establish KPIs that align with the business goals. This could involve tracking metrics such as the number of calls handled per day, average call length, customer wait time, first contact resolution rate, etc.
2. Automate where possible
From attending urgent requests, and handling customer complaints, to managing their expectations and delivering a delightful experience that keeps the customers coming back for more, the customer support agents function that thrives of collaborative culture. But when the efforts are wasted on mundane tasks that can easily be automated, it affects the productivity as well as the experience delivered.
Automating day to day tasks can help improve the team's performance. According to Mckinsey, 75% of online customers expect help within 5 minutes. So, your customer support team should be fast and efficient. There are several ways in which tasks can be automated to speed up the customer support process.
Businesses can use smart routing rules of a unified CX solution to automate the flow of communications by directing enquiries to set destinations based on expertise or staff availability. This ensures that each enquiry is dealt with efficiently, consistently and helps to free up time for other core tasks. Another way to automate tasks is using AI powered chatbots. From handling FAQs to directing customers to preset destinations, chatbots can be configured to handle simple enquiries and requests, freeing up human agents to deal with more complex issues. In 2023, almost 40% of all customer interactions will be automated using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Customer support teams can improve their efficiency and performance levels by automating where possible. This, in turn, leads to happier customers and improved bottom lines for businesses.
3. Keep it simple
When it comes to improving customer support team’s performance, one of the best things businesses can do is keep things simple. Streamlining processes and removing unnecessary steps can help your team work more efficiently and effectively. Define clear objectives and expectations for each customer support task. Create standardised templates and process flows for common customer support tasks. Use interaction data and analytics to identify areas of improvement and track progress and rectify situations in real-time. It is essential to encourage team collaboration to optimise the customer support team's workflow. Doing so has many benefits, including improved communication, increased efficiency, and enhanced creativity.
When team members collaborate effectively, they communicate better. This leads to fewer misunderstandings and mistakes, resulting in a smoother workflow. Encouraging team collaboration by provisioning a unified ecosystem for data and humans can help to promote a cohesive synergy within the organisation.
4. Promote learn-on-the-go culture
Promoting a culture of learning within the customer support team can be a great way to improve performance and boost morale. This not only helps in reducing agent churn rate, but also shows commitment towards a more inclusive, growth-focussed ecosystem. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Encourage your team to seek feedback - Feedback can be valuable for learning and growth, whether it's from customers, colleagues, or management. Encourage your team to seek and use it to improve their skills. You can use post-chat form to gather feedback from customers or send survey links via SMS and emails.
- Create opportunities for skill development - Learning doesn't just happen spontaneously – it takes effort and practice. Create opportunities for your team to learn new skills. Customer support team can label the customer enquiries to collectively study the interaction data and derive actionable insights from it in real-time with data visualisation. CINNOX also allows managers to monitor and jump-in on an ongoing conversation between customers and agents to aid them in real-time. Thus, presenting leaders with the opportunity to coach their teammates on the go.
- Make time for reflection - Reflection is an important part of the learning process, but it's often overlooked in the busyness of day-to-day work. Make sure your team has time to reflect on their experiences, both good and bad, and what they've learned from them.
By promoting a culture of learning, you can create an environment where your team can continuously improve their skills and knowledge – leading to better performance overall.
5. Use data to drive decision making
Make solid, data-backed decisions that will improve the performance of your customer support team. You can collect data about your customer support team's performance in a few different ways. From tracking the first-time resolution rate, to measuring the CSAT score, and determining the average handling time for each customer support agent, businesses can use interaction data from an omnichannel solution to identify and close loopholes.
The invaluable data also helps in predicting trends based on past customer behaviour. If you notice a spike in customer complaints during a certain period, you can investigate what might be causing that spike. A change in your product during a particular period could be the cause of the increase in number of complaints, or it could be due to a change in your company's policies that proved difficult for customers to get the help they need. Harvard Business Review reports that 80% of businesses use customer satisfaction scores to analyse customer experiences and improve them.
Businesses are focussing on automating processes to allow their workforce to expend their energy on core capabilities. Shorter enquiry resolution time, quicker response rates, and higher customer satisfaction remains central to increasing the rate of customer retention for businesses. Ultimately, automating and optimising everyday processes can help the customer support team craft better customer experiences and increase customer loyalty.