So your business is growing. After a thorough assessment, you have decided that a simple mailbox cannot handle the volume of the incoming questions, issues and praise anymore. You need to set up customer support.
As a process, at first customer support seems quite straightforward. You hire a person or a few, who are doing their best to resolve incoming customer calls, emails or chats for your business.
However, in reality, it isn’t quite a walk in the park. Both setting up and managing customer service requires extensive experience, time and resources. There are two ways to go about launching customer support. Some companies decide to outsource but some prefer to have their agents on the company premises. Either way, you can use this customer service checklist as a template for launching your own customer support.
1. Define the functions
There are more than one type of customer support. Previously, we have talked extensively about 4-level tech support tiers and each of their specialities, varying in complexity of the issue and agent expertise. Relying on these, you can make a decision of whether you may require one level of support, two, or perhaps a chatbot with a possibility of further escalation. This is a point of setting your customer service strategy by defining the key objectives.
But how to know which support tier may work best for your business? There are a few questions you can ask to set your goal clear:
- Will the department deal with financial queries or technical problems?
- What are the issues it should look at?
- What are the core business values your customer service should be based upon?
2. Choose and implement software
Your product or your client base can tell you which platforms will work best for support. Depending on a few factors (for instance, whether your product is digital or physical, age of your audience, their tech-savviness or region of residence), phone, email, live chat or even social media may be chosen as your channels of client support.
Companies worldwide provide a large availability of helpdesks for processing customer service tickets. With some tweaking, helpdesks can be customized or enhanced by developing protocols and process matrices for different ticket types, de-escalation, customer feedback tools and text expanders for a smoother workflow for your agents. It also makes sense to implement time tracking and productivity tools in order to further analyze the work of teams and agents.
3. Hire a dedicated team
A professional HR can help you identify fitting individuals during the recruitment process. However, if you will be looking for candidates yourself, a few key characteristics that define suitable contact center agents are: emotionally intelligent, good communicators, calm under pressure, organized, accurate and effective.
Hard skills are also important but since soft-skills are everything, be prepared to spend time on screening and interviewing to hire the right candidate. Moreover, since it’s an entry position for many people, you should mind the long-term value people could bring to the organization, such as whether they may take on a leadership role later on, or reinforce other departments.
4. Build knowledge base and conduct trainings
The training process is among the most essential for your support launch.
In order to have a high level of customer support, your employees must not only be right for the job at hand, but also well-trained in specifics of the product they support and essential customer service skills. The task here is to gather all technical details about the product and to build a comprehensive set of materials for your team to learn from. Time and expertise in the field are needed for training and delivering materials in a way that commits the knowledge to agents’ memory, besides leaving them with an ability to apply these newly-gained skills in practice.
‼️ Here is the list of steps needed for the full integration of your new team:
- Customer support agent onboarding
- Introduction to company values and other departments
- Product specifications and functionality introduction
- Training in product support
- Training in software
- Launching to full independence
🌟 Additionally, regular feedback talks should be performed to ensure professional improvement of your agents.
5. Set Quality Assurance and KPIs
After everything is set up, it is important to track the quality of your contact center. Collecting correct data is one of the major steps towards steady improvements, since it may be analyzed in accordance with your operational and experience KPIs.
Most of the helpdesk tools have an analytics feature to track workflow, and it’s highly recommended to choose the one that fits your support needs in particular. These give you an ability to conduct follow-ups, like checking customer satisfaction level and contacting them back if the review is negative, which leads to an increase in overall support quality and creates a feeling of your company going that extra mile for customers.
6. Develop a bonus system
Surely, to keep your employees motivated in producing better work, an encouragement system is recommended. Based on the measured KPIs, you can observe agents who perform best and reward their hard work with bonuses and perks. This also helps to create benchmarks of customer support services in your company or outsourced team.
These are just the core items to check when you are planning to launch a customer service, however, it might include many more!
In case you felt overwhelmed by the extensive work, don’t worry. If you wonder what this list looks like with SupportYourApp, here’s a hint — we take care of everything for you, even customize this checklist upon your needs and specifics of your business.
The process of launching a company’s own customer support requires a wide range of both human and material resources. Understanding potential pitfalls, many businesses decide to outsource this task to professionals, making sure that the quality of the service does not reduce with the transition. We understand the intrinsic value of a quality customer support for the prosperity of your business and are glad to help.
😍 To learn more about our services, click here!