Improving your customer support with your current CRM is essential to keeping your customer base happy and happy customers lead to a successful business. Build a top-notch customer support team by giving them the tools and training they need to succeed.
Help them become the best they can possibly be by implementing these best practices:
Help Desk Software
Improving your customer support is an important puzzle piece in your business but for this department to deliver the level of service you want, they need to have the best tools. First, get your support team a powerful and intuitive help desk software platform. Look for help desk software that automates most support processes to reduce manual and repetitive administrative tasks, freeing up a significant amount of time for your support team and allowing them to spend more time getting to customer interactions.
For this try out an agile Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This software compiles all of your data in one place and provides help desk features that keep your support team streamlined With a CRM all of your customer support data will be visible for the entire organization to see so that everyone can have some insights into the most common issues that customers are having.
Hire The Right People
You get what you pay for. While it may be tempting to train lower-level employees in customer support so that you can pay them less, often this strategy does not work out. Lower-level employees at a certain pay level will leave your organization after about a year meaning that you are essentially training them for their next job. As a result, you will need to hire new inexperienced team members and start the training all over again, keeping yourself in a never-ending loop of team members with low experience.
On the other hand, when you have a team of experts who understand your product/service and are ambassadors of your business, the difference is obvious. Hiring top talent ensures that you are giving your customers the best customer support money can buy and that will keep them happy.
Use Automated Ticketing
Automated ticketing is one of the most important features to look for in a good CRM. When a customer has an issue, they don’t want to have to explain their issue multiple times to several different support reps. Instead with automated ticketing, you can pair a customer to a sales rep so that they are directed to the same person every time they call about a specific ticket. This allows them to form a relationship and reach a resolution much quicker.
Additionally, if the ticket needs to be escalated, the support rep should be able to capture notes about the issue, any solutions tried and any other relevant information right on the ticket so that if it is sent to someone else the customer does not have to start from the beginning when explaining the issue.
Use Specialized Groups
Divide up your help desk team into groups for specific products, services or issues. For instance, if you have 5 different products that you offer there should be a support group for each product. Likewise, you may divide by issues and have a group for troubleshooting, a group for new subscribers and a group for cancellations. This allows team members to become experts in their specific group resulting in faster service and solutions.
A CRM can automatically send tickets to the corresponding group. This allows team members to find resolutions to customer issues faster resulting in more satisfied customers.
Tag Your Tickets
Adding tags to your tickets helps you to keep them organized and allows you to easily search for tickets that all fall under the same tags. Tags can be anything you want from common issues customers have to the type of company the submitter is from.
Use these tags to filter and analyze your tickets. Find recurring issues figure out what customer pain points are and improve your product/service.
Another great time saver that CRM offers are canned or pre-prepared responses. These are drafts of repetitive emails commonly sent after specific triggers. For example, if a customer submits a ticket or sends your team and email asking a common question. Canned response emails can provide an instant solution and save your team a lot of time
Another way to improve your customer support is by using Service Level Agreements or SLAs are essentially contracts between you and your customers detailing the terms and conditions for your customer support. It lays out details like the maximum amount of time a customer has to wait for a response and other guarantees your support team provides.
This works to give customers peace of mind. They know when to expect a response and when it’s delivered on time, which builds trust and customer satisfaction. On the back end, these SLAs keeps your team accountable. With a great CRM, you can also see which team members aren’t living up to the SLA and identify low-performers to help them improve their work.
Divvy Up the Work
Make sure that your team isn’t overloaded. With a CRM you can divvy up tickets automatically to divide to workload. However, if your team still seems overloaded and are falling behind on their tickets and their SLAs, it may be an indication that you need to hire a few more reps.
An overloaded team will rush through tickets, are more likely to be short or rude with customers and are highly stressed. Happy reps deliver better customer service and produce happy customers.
Feedback is an important resource that can give you insights into what the customer wants. Use it for your support efforts by sending a customer satisfaction survey to find out what the customer thought about your support efforts. Figure out what you did well and what you can improve then implement changes based on the feedback. Even consider incentivizing consistently good satisfaction surveys to keep your support team motivated to provide stellar support.
Use Multiple Channels
Make sure that your customers can reach you through multiple channels so that they can contact you however they feel comfortable. Some customers prefer communicating via:
- Live chat
- Social media
Having multiple channels make things easier for your customers and shows that you care about your customers’ experience and helps improve customer support.
Create a Knowledge Library
Another way to make your customers comfortable is with a library of resources. Some customers prefer not talking to you at all and would rather try finding an answer to their issues themselves. So, by providing a library of knowledge and resources, your customers may be able to help themselves and be on their way much quicker than if they had to contact your support team and wait for a response. At the same time, it’s one less ticket that your support team has to deal with.
Take it a step further by allowing customers to help each other through knowledge sharing. Set up a forum where customers can ask questions about your products or services and other customers and brand ambassadors can answer their questions based on their own experiences.
Keep your Employees Happy
Stressed-out employees deliver substandard service, but happy employees turn out happy customers. So, find a way to keep your employees not only happy but motivated.
Ensure that you have enough staff to cover the workload and prevent backlogs. Implement incentive programs and employee engagement events. Set up employee appreciation gifts and volunteering opportunities. Build comradery and let your employees know that you care about their lives and well-being to keep them happy.
Try to Resolve at First Contact
The faster an issue is resolved the more satisfied your customer will be. As a result, your support team should always aim to resolve customer issues on the first contact. First Contact Resolution (FCR) is a rating quantified by issues resolved on the first try without having to get back to the customer or make them wait for a response. A lot of the strategies mentioned so far work to increase your FCR rate, like dedicated groups for example Customers value their time above all things so an excellent FCR rate reflects excellent service.
Make sure that you follow up on your closed tickets. This will ensure that your customer’s issue was fully resolved and shows that you care about the success of the product/service and the customers’ happiness.
The follow up doesn’t have to be a call but can just be one of those automated responses we spoke about above. This small gesture speaks volumes, building brand loyalty and satisfaction with your customers.
Measure Team Efforts
Lastly, make sure that you measure team efforts and identify weak links in the chain so that you can strengthen them and make improvements. Use your CRM to analyze your support team’s efforts to see ticket backlog, average issue closing time, which reps are struggling and other metrics of that nature.
A world-class customer support experience is essential to build trust and customer loyalty. This will help you create brand advocates who have had such a great experience with your company that they take it upon themselves to spread the word about you. It’s one of the most powerful ways to gain new customers.
Great customer support is key. It creates a stream of return customers that convert into a reliable revenue stream. So, stay on top of your customer support team and help them become the best by implementing these best practices!