By Jessica Gust
November 1, 2016 - Listen up all fast growing businesses: this is key to managing growth properly!
Customer handling is paramount for a business if you want to provide a professional quality of service and remove the complexity of your industry for the consumer.
An effective, end-to-end customer service strategy will include engagement at all stages: pre purchase and customer onboarding, billing, technological support and post purchase care. If your company is expanding, then this will stretch your resources (not least your customer service team). A recruitment drive may not be within your budget. So the best move is to boost the productivity of your existing customer service team. Here are few strategies you can implement to go about doing it.
Automate. As your business grows, so will the number of calls that your customer service team experiences. Be prepared and automate processes where you can in order to contain costs and avoid wasted manpower. The most obvious option here is to invest in a virtual call management system to direct calls to the right area of the company and to deal robotically with some of the simpler queries. Naturally, the more complex queries should always be answered by specialists so as to maintain a quality, professional service.
Train. Provide frequent, up-to-date management training through workshops and on the job sessions. The trick here is to break your customer service team up into smaller groups and hold multiple workshops in order to sustain their attention and maximise learning. Try to make it as interactive as possible with group discussions, identifying issues experienced by the team that have arisen frequently and problem solving as a group using these issues. Your principal goals here should be for your employees to leave these sessions motivated, engaged and with an impeccable knowledge of the product/service.
Monitor. You must frequently monitor and listen into individual employees’ phone calls. Pick a call to listen into, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the call and what can be improved and discuss the points with the employee. Try to pick out those "coaching moments". This one on one method of training is extremely effective and should be done regularly. For example, review the employee’s etiquette and his/her use of specialist language. The use of professional language will encourage trust and demonstrate your reliability as a supplier.
Review. Regularly update and refresh the transcript according to current strengths and weaknesses experienced by the team. Analyse what is going well and what areas of the transcript need to be strengthened/addressed (i.e. - if a question or issue is recurring) and update the transcript accordingly. This is an effective method of identifying, managing and resolving customer issues.
Minimise bureaucratic methods and make your service is as clear and simple as possible. Whilst improving customer satisfaction, this will also boost morale within your customer service team because employees won't despair from long, tedious service cycles.
Digitize. Use your online presence to take some of the pressure off your customer service team. As most customers will ultimately research your business before purchasing, you should make it easy for them to find the information they require on your website. Allocate generously enough time and money to creating a clear, well designed website that is informative and can effectively resolve customer queries. This may include step-by-step guides, frequently asked questions (FAQs) or even a virtual pop up assistant designed to resolve issues that customers are able to instant message with.
And remember, morale is key to productivity. So turn your office into an enjoyable environment to work in, be generous with target rewards and keep those biscuit tins filled!
About the Guest Author
Jessica Gust is a Marketing Assistant at Localpeek.co.uk. She is passionate about new marketing strategies and is always eager to share her ideas through blogging.