Sooner or later every startup comes to a time when the flow of tickets turns so big that dealing with it becomes quite difficult. This is the exact time when every startup starts thinking about setting up a customer service team to make sure that no tickets and inquiries get lost in a growing flow.
It is a natural order of things for startups — first all the inquiries are answered and managed by one person only. Then, with the flow increasing, more and more people get involved into the process. Soon we are looking at a whole department of specialists who are building customer service relationships with those who need their help the most — the customers themselves.
But building an IT support team might not be the easiest of tasks, given how many KPIs they have to follow and how much stress they have to deal while maintaining them.
Building a Customer Service Team: How to?
We have spoken to Daria Leshchenko — the CEO of SupportYourApp company — they provide outsourced customer support for clients all over the world. Daria has a very long and vast expertise in building customer service teams for clients with different needs and different KPIs. All in order to make sure that industry bar is high enough to satisfy even the most demanding businesses. Daria claims that the most important key to success is listening to the customers very carefully — a practice, neglected by a lot of modern businesses.
And it seems so peculiar — now that we have the possibility to communicate 24/7, we really do listen to others less and less. And technical support teams are rarely the exception. So, what are the key ingredients to providing successful customer service?
Customer Support Team — The Most Important Things to Remember
There are several points to check when setting up a support team:
1. Be sure to teach them well
Teaching the support team, especially an in-house one, to be polite and caring is Customer Service 101. Making sure that your team possesses enough knowledge and enough materials to always provide the customers with the best service possible will, in the long run, turn them loyal as well as provide you with a stable customer base.
2. Be sure to provide them with everything they need
It is certain — no team can and will be effective if they lack the most basic tools for performing. Good computers, headsets, working hours and free office coffee. Today these are industry standards. Neglecting them will surely result in low KPIs and, as a result, very low customer satisfaction rate.
3. Be sure to listen to them
Just like the members of the support teams are listening to your customers, you need to listen to your support team. Think of them as the face of your company — after all, they are the first ones who your customers talk to. And if you want their first impression to be favorable, you need to invest your time and attention into those who play in pivotal role in your customer point of view build-up.
4. Create a positive and friendly environment
People are always more productive if they operate in a friendly environment and when they feel the support of those around them, especially when it comes to co-workers. Why? Think about it, how much time do co-workers spend together on a weekly basis? That is right — at least 40 hours per week. And the more we can trust and rely on them, the more productive and confident we can be.
As you can see, everything matters when setting up a customer support team. These points are twice as important when talking about startups as they need to be addressed right away — a luxury that big and old corporations might not always afford. But, luckily, startups can pay as much attention to them as they want, meaning that they can set up the processes right from the very beginning, allowing them to focus on their operation and agenda and not on their support team in the future.
Support Teams and Pitfalls: How to Not Get Into the Trap?
One of the key features of any start-up is the lack of experience, which is completely natural, given that they are only in the very beginning of their professional path. It is also natural that they would need a lot of help and advice on how to best set up their inner processes and what to look out for especially. What are the most common pitfalls when it comes to setting up a customer service team?
Of course, when it comes to inner processes, it is easy to understand why some might start rushing to get all setting up over with — the faster the set up is done, the faster customer service team is going to start working and the faster your customer satisfaction rate is going to climb. But rushing has another side — the faster you set up, the more likely you are to miss something and to create bottlenecks in the process. Surely, there is no point in stalling either. Make sure to aware your team about concept called customer journey mapping, that helps there most.
The best solution here is to set up a calendar and a deadline. Having some scopes will ensure that the process goes by smoothly and in a timely manner.
● Failing to check-up
Checking-up on your team is vital. You need to understand whether the team consists of enough people, whether their knowledge is up to date and whether they have everything they need to be at their most efficient. Neglecting this responsibility can lead to your falling out with the team and subsequently, losing the grip on their processes and, as a result, on the quality of services they provide.
● Not getting into their processes
You have to understand what every customer services agent goes through when they work for you. Try being a part of the team for some time to really see what kind of inquiries they deal with and how much time they need to close at least one ticket. This will help you set realistic KPIs and will ensure that you and your team speaks the same language — a point, vital for every start-up.
● Failing to provide feedback
Just like in any big corporation, start-ups need to have their own feedback system to make sure that everyone’s work is watched and accounted for. Every growing business needs to have its own reward and penalties system that will help them establish order and show career opportunities that every professional can get, if they show great results in their field.
Surely, setting up a customer service team is not the easiest of tasks. Even the youngest businesses need to think ahead and see their strategy in order for the team to be working smoothly. And what is the best way to ensure that you have a loyal customer base than to set up, train and maintain your own customer service team that is going to be there for the customers 24/7. Minding all these steps and pitfalls will make sure that your service team is efficient and happy. Just like your customers.