There are many different definitions of successful customer support. You determine which version applies to your own organization individually. Align your support and your team with questions about your own values or corporate goals and create a self-image.
This definition will serve as a guide for all your future agents (for example: "The customer comes first"). It will eliminate the need for follow-up questions and coordination loops, as your team will be able to make quick decisions on their own.
Let these customer support philosophies inspire you:
- "We are the trusted companion and support our customers in achieving their goals - through a simple, innovative customer experience that puts people at the center." (Telekom, German telecommunications company)
- We're not competitor-obsessed, we're customer-obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backward." (Jeff Bezos, Amazon)
- "Delight customers by putting employees first." (Disney)
- "Actions are bigger than words." (McDonald's)
Although it sounds logical at first, it becomes a time-consuming task when searching for the perfect colleagues. A simple job description and clumsy enumeration of company benefits are standard in job postings - but you're not looking for a standard agent, you're looking for a true service hero... Why not try a slightly different job title to stand out from the crowd?
Wanted: "Head of Customer Love" or "Problem Solving Ninja (m/f/d)" - a creative job description can be the key to your success in the competitive job market. Clearly, you should stick to the truth, and despite the creative title, make it clear what kind of job it is.
Define your customer service as a broad field of activity and highlight real tasks in the interview to avoid misunderstandings. Running through sample cases also provides more clarity on both sides. By the way, a welcome bonus of picking different personalities is that they can look at challenges from a variety of perspectives and come up with even more imaginative solutions.
It is almost negligent to see social media like Facebook and Twitter or messenger services like Telegram as pure entertainment programs for customers. On the contrary, more and more users prefer to use these channels for short status queries, complaints, suggestions, or criticism. This requires your companies to act quickly.
Find out which services are used particularly heavily by your target group and find employees with the appropriate skillset. After all, responding to posts in an efficient, yet friendly manner requires different communication than making time-consuming phone calls.
Tip: Simply link all your communication channels in your smart helpdesk Zammad to always keep track of open conversations. Here's an overview of all the channels you can integrate.
Once the team is in place and the foundation is laid, the real work begins. Workflows, wordings, and handling must be defined to ensure that Customer Support runs smoothly and consistently across multiple heads. Functions such as text modules, templates, and knowledge base articles, which a team lead can predefine (and which should be constantly kept up to date by everyone), can help you. Give your colleagues all the basics they need to get started so they can work quickly.
Keep in mind that using complex systems and software can also impact workflow. However, employees who fail to use the extensive tools and are unable to realize the programs' potential are not the source of the problem. Rather, the limitless features are often the reason for overwhelmed teammates. In this case, less is more: instead of bloating a system with unnecessary add-ons, you should only use those that are really necessary. Check out these all-time-favorite features of the Zammad helpdesk that will increase your productivity.
Once you have collected enough insightful data, regular reports provide information on productivity, customer satisfaction, and potential for improvement. You can use this information to better align the support levers (who is responsible for what and when) so that your customer service remains at a stable level.
However, always put all the figures you collect into context so that you can draw the right conclusions for improvements and optimization. After all, just because one agent takes longer than all the others with their responses, their satisfaction scores and upselling may be twice as good out the back. You can evaluate every aspect individually - but it is only in the big picture that the really helpful correlations become apparent. Therefore, define the most important parameters that should be strengthened by the Support in your organization early on. (These should then also be incorporated directly into your team's service definition, e.g., "For us, customer service means never having to wait more than 24 hours for an answer.")
Stagnation is certain doom. Products, service packages, and operations may change at short notice as companies exceed a certain size. To ensure that new updates reach customers, it is essential to inform employees in the Support team about upcoming changes. Training sessions and workshops combine knowledge transfer and a sense of belonging that drive joint development.
Conversely, your Support team can also constantly pass on important impulses to the Product, Sales, and Marketing teams, as they always have their ear close to the customer and are the first to notice bumps on the road.
To create a positive support experience on the customer side, it's not only important to be proactive*, but also to provide the necessary frameworks, tools, and information for all agents. Lead your team with strong talent, clear workflows, and shared goals. That way, you'll live Customer Service instead of just dutifully providing it. After all, no organization has ever been recommended because of the nice song that is played while you hold the line...
*By the way: You can learn more about the topic of proactive Customer Support here.