When your customer support team is super busy answering calls and solving tickets, that’s usually a good sign – it means your brand is getting more popular, you’re getting new customers, and there’s a genuine interest in your product.
However, if your support team is constantly behind on their workload and struggling to keep up with customer inquiries, you might be doing something wrong. There might be just a few things you can tweak to make their work experience better and their output more efficient.
These changes can range from big moves like installing a VoIP business phone system similar to RingCentral to small interventions like changing your approach to customer service.
Here are some tips to make your support team more productive.
1. Make collaboration more efficient
If your team works in shifts, shares clients, and manages multiple assignments at a time, you want to make sure they have the right tools to collaborate. That means that everyone needs to know where everything is, what happened before their shift started, and how to deal with specific clients.
There are a lot of tools that can help you improve this process with features specifically designed for team collaboration. In addition to regular call center features, VoIP tools give you a dashboard for collaboration where you can leave comments on calls, access customer timelines, and assign calls to team members.
That way, all team members stay in the loop and the collaboration process is made much easier.
Once you implement this sort of advanced collaboration system, your team will become a lot more productive.
2. Nurture team spirit
When you have a large group of people working together, one of your top priorities should be the cohesion of that group. They need to have each other’s back and nurture a sense of understanding and collegiality.
You can’t have a group of individuals doing their own job from nine to five, disregarding their teammates’ workload and experience.
You can do this with some simple changes in your company culture or workdays. And, contrary to what some people believe, good work relationships are built away from formal meetings and interactions.
For example, this Harvard Business Review study found that teams that took coffee breaks together were more productive – their average handling time (AHT) improved by 20 percent! The company that employed these teams found that even their employee satisfaction numbers saw a solid increase.
So, make sure your team has enough time to socialize during work or even outside of work through team building activities. It will pay off eventually!
3. Simplify the process
If you want to help your team optimize their daily workflow, one of the first things you should do is analyze your customer inquiries and establish if there are any repeating patterns. You should then streamline the way your team responds to frequently asked questions to make everything more efficient.
Approaching every customer on a personal, case-to-case basis is important, but some questions are so repetitive and straightforward that creating canned responses can be very beneficial. Go through common questions with your team and create these response templates – it may take a while to set them up, but it will save you a lot of time going forward.
Another way to automate the process is to introduce sorting rules. You can do this even with Gmail: simply set up filters to sort customer inquiries into categories.
So, for example, you can set up filters that recognize when an email mentions “billing”, “invoice”, and “payment”, forward those emails to the designated team member, and even archive it so it’s searchable by tag.
That way, everything is more organized and it takes your team less time to find their task.
4. Allow your team to make independent decisions
It may look like a risky step, but giving your customer service agents more decision-making power can speed up the process and increase customer satisfaction.
Think about it – if an agent needs to consult with their superior every time they need to make a decision, the customer is left on hold. It’s even worse if the agent knows the solution but needs to get official approval from a superior. These processes are often unnecessary and can significantly slow down your team.
Resolving issues as quickly as possible is a must, so make sure your agents have the power to resolve them on their own. To give them this power, you should first equip them with the knowledge and confidence they need to deal with these issues.
This leads us to...
5. Organize information so it’s easy to find
Most customer service teams have some sort of platform or virtual space where they keep their most important resources. Storing these resources can be of great help when onboarding new agents, but experienced agents will find them useful as well.
The resources can help you in two main ways.
First, your agents will spend less time searching for answers if all the information is structured and stored in an easily accessible place. The last thing you want is for an agent to run around the room asking other, experienced agents on how to solve a particular issue.
Second, have you thought about sharing these resources directly with your customers? Many businesses have a “FAQ” section on their website which is often just company resources structured in a particular way.
This can help you optimize the process and even reduce the number of user inquiries.
Customer service is becoming an increasingly important aspect of running a business, as new generations keep prioritizing it over other factors. In fact, research shows that millennials are becoming a generation that’s ready to pay more for excellent customer service.
That’s why it’s important to run your customer support efficiently – because your customers can spot a well-run support team from a mile away.
Try some of these customer support tips and let us know if they helped your team!