All businesses are unique; they may encounter very specific issues on their way to prosperity. There is however a distinct set of customer support department problems each company will encounter at some point. Let’s take a closer look and think of a solution to each of them.
Lightning fast growth is a huge motivation to any founder. Big perspective inspires you to work harder and go further, improving day by day. And your customer service department should scale correspondingly to cover increasing workload. However, it might prove a challenge. Staffing process is quite time-consuming. And further educational process is going to take even more of your precious time.
This is the reason why some business owners start looking for a remote customer service outsourcing partner. The opportunity to delegate staffing and training process is too good to overlook. With an outsourced customer support provider, you’ll forget about training and onboarding, focusing on your main business development tasks.
We all get used to existing standards and procedures, and when some of them change, we just adjust to new rules. And often we forget to include these changes into training documentation. In some companies, changes happen every day! It’s difficult to keep the documentation updated in this case, yet this task is important. If your company is experiencing rapid growth, and your customer support department is constantly hiring new people, some of the agents must keep an eye on the training documentation and update it monthly. There is no limit to perfection, and you can always find some ways to refine your training program. If you delegate your support to a remote team, they will have to do it for you. They’ll design a structure and write solid instructions that cover any previously encountered issue.
Here it is important to note that dealing with angry customers should be an essential part of the training. We often forget to include this part, yet it is crucial for each agent to know how to calm down enraged clients. A set of trigger words, rules and resolution examples will serve as a reference to your customer support representatives.
This part is about an outsourced support department. When your agents work remotely, they might find team communication a tricky task. Questions and responsibility, duties and management will arise. Solid coordination mechanism is the key to success. Choose a communication channel for all your support agents (skype, slack, trello - whatever you like best). Appoint a project manager that will control the actions of other reps. Create a separate document with contact details, so people on the project can contact any member if they need to. Promote talks between your support agents, and they’ll soon become an integrate team.
You have your own idea and vision of your business. You know its past, present and future. You nurture specific values within your company. You know your customers, their problems and pains. And your customer service department must share these values, must convey the same message to the customer. It is easier to grow them in an in-house department, but what about remote agents?
Think about it during the hiring. Ask about the corporate values your potential partner shares within their company. They should correspond with your own vision of ethic business and great service. For customer service companies the most important value is building strong human relations with customers. With human relations service people are seen, heard, understood and their problem is solved. Human relations service makes customers loyal, they tend to buy more and business grows organically.
Sooner or later you will encounter a conflict in your team. We all can have different opinions on particular topic, and it’s important to resolve these conflicts in time. There are two major practices that can help.
Ask one agent to curate the conflict. He will talk to all involved reps, gather their opinions and offer a resolution plan. People are more likely to come to an agreement when their argument is mediated. They also cherish the chance to work out the best solution together.
In some cases, it will be easier and faster to let the involved parties close the dispute without and help. If you know about a conflict in the team, but all sides are willing to settle this without an intervention - give them this opportunity. It’s perfect of your agents are capable of dealing with such issues themselves, not breaking into your busy schedule.