Customer service is a factor that differentiates a successful business from an unsuccessful one. This affects every part of the customer lifecycle, from acquisition to retention. It’s important for customers to feel that they are being treated with respect and not just as a mere number.
Regardless of whether you’re an established business or you’re newly scaling your customer success team, there are certain parameters you need to consider. For your customer service to be successful, you need a strong team that understands the value of its role in the customer journey and knows how to make it work for everyone involved.
In this blog, we will look at the 7 ways by which you can create a highly effective customer service team.
7 Ways To Create A Highly Effective Customer Service Team
According to HubSpot research, 93% of customers will purchase again if given great customer service. So, it becomes even more vital to build a highly effective customer service team. Here’s how:
1. Define KPIs
Measurable goals drive high-performing customer success teams. These goals are known as key performance indicators or KPIs. Defining clear KPIs for your team is vital since they allow your team to focus on critical metrics and understand how their performance affects your business’s overall financial and operating performance, as well as eCommerce metrics.
Now, these KPIs could vary based on companies and industries. For an eCommerce business, it could be the important information their storefront needs to assist their customers sufficiently. For a B2B product, it could be about providing timely upgrades on the product to maintain interest.
To better understand how to set these KPIs, you need to understand the following:
- Your company’s values
- Your legal responsibilities
- Your current standards and how you can improve them
- Your competitors’ performance and opportunities for you to pursue
To build even stronger KPIs, pay attention to:
- Employees’ opinions
- Customer feedback
Incorporate all these factors in determining your KPIs for your customer service team to set them up for success.
2. Use the right tools
Even if you have the best customer service agents working for your brand, they may not be able to improve your customer satisfaction rate without the right tools.
To ensure your customer service team performs at an optimum level, you need to provide them with tools to help them complete mundane or repetitive tasks quicker and more efficiently. The most crucial tools are the ones that improve communication, collaboration, and productivity. Also, they provide effective communication between your team members and customers and provide an omnichannel customer experience. This refers to an omnichannel experience; for this, you can use the WhatsApp Business Platform and send unlimited messages to your customers.
Here are some key tools you can integrate into your business to get the most out of your customer service team:
- Helpdesk software
- Customer relationship management solution
- Live chat support solution
- Phone chat support
- Shared email inbox
- Knowledge base
3. Train employees
You can’t please your customers without substantial support from employees working for your brand. The best way to do this is through formal employee coaching programs.
Additionally, create a knowledge base for your employees to access whenever they need help. You must also have a company culture that encourages reaching out to superiors to mentor the team and help them provide solutions that are in the best interest of the company and the customer’s best interests. Most of the time, companies also create timeline infographics to visualize all the projects and processes going.
Here are some of the industry’s best approaches to starting an employee coaching program:
- Senior employees mentor employees and trainees
- Implementation of a peer-to-peer learning program
- Industry experts conduct quarterly or half-yearly workshops
- Soft skill-based short courses taught by the human resource team
- Conducting training demos for new tools
- Do a skills gap analysis to address specific training needs
Further, you can ensure your customer service is updated on the industry trends and practices and business or product updates. Such knowledge will help them improve customer satisfaction significantly.
4. Create collaborative learning and development programs
You can have the best product in the world, but if your customer service is lacking, you will have a hard time selling it. A positive customer experience is crucial. To create a top-notch customer service team, you need to have the right people in place and train them in the best ways to handle any situation. This process is called learning and development.
A collaborative learning and development program is an integral part of any business. If you want to be successful, you need to emphasize your customer service.
The previous points covered the essential tools and the best approaches to employee learning. In this section, we’ll be looking at some ways by which you can conduct top-notch collaborative customer service training:
- Conduct role-playing activities to expose employees to potential situations they may face and assess their response to them. Then, you can provide the optimal solution so they may implement it when the time comes.
- Assign a buddy to the new hires, so they know they have a go-to person for all their business and task-related queries. It also fosters a collaborative and supportive environment which ultimately acts as a platform for the new hire to succeed.
- Provide “moment of need” training to your customer service team. For example, if you have a retail business, you must specifically train your staff to address customer queries for Black Friday sales around Thanksgiving.
5. Conduct surveys or feedback sessions
Conducting a host of even the most valuable training programs will be futile if you don’t understand what your employees want (and need). So, to get the most mileage from your employee initiatives, ask them directly what they need to thrive in their jobs.
You can conduct anonymous surveys to get honest feedback on how to do better as a company. Ask questions that provide a SWOT analysis — strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This will shine a light on practices you should amplify and ones that need to be curbed.
Further, you could conduct one-on-one feedback sessions with your customer service team to get insights on their day-to-day issues or common customer problems so you may eradicate with entirely. Of course, it is important not only to gather data but also to act upon the information you receive. Not only does it help you improve your business practices, but it also lets your team know their voice is valued.
Neal Taparia, who runs the gaming site cribbage-online.net, suggests running surveys regularly. “We run our employee feedback surveys every six months and focus on one takeaway to get right. Then we rinse and repeat six months later.”
6. Provide valuable benefits
A positive employee experience goes a long way in creating a positive customer experience. A company benefits when they offer benefits to the employees.
Benefits like paid time off, parental leave, access to upskilling courses, and insurance contribute to a great employee experience. Employees with access to these benefits are likelier to be engaged, loyal, and satisfied in their jobs.
If you run a start-up and are strapped for cash, fret not. Monetary benefits are not the only way to gain your employees’ loyalty. The more meaningful the incentive is, the more valued they will feel as individuals in the company.
7. Recognize employee efforts
There are many ways to show appreciation to your employees, but when you do it correctly, it makes a big impact. The work can be measured through employee time tracking systems that accurately record and reward their hard work. Giving a small token of appreciation is a great way to let your employees know you appreciate them. These tokens could be gifts or prized titles such as “customer service agent of the month.” These tokens help to foster a sense of team and customer-first spirit that helps develop and retain the best-performing employees.
You can also recognize employee efforts at annual programs and give them the opportunities they deserve to improve your business and their careers.
While it seems obvious that a business should provide great customer service, many companies don’t put in the effort it takes to create a professional, reliable customer service team. These are the types of companies that end up having to deal with angry customers and low profits. To create a great team, you must put measures in place to ensure that you provide the best training to your employees.
Ensuring all your employees are well-trained in their current roles and proficient in their soft and hard skills will help them provide excellent customer service and keep the customers returning. Encourage learning and development through internal programs and quick workshops or by inviting industry experts to come and train them. Further, you can regularly review employees’ skills and competencies to ensure continued professional growth.
Finally, provide them with the right tools and value their opinions so they remain engaged in their roles and can be assets for the business by providing unparalleled customer service.