How to Create An Amazing Customer Support Team

Provide them with a clear mission.

An effective customer support team is one that's defined in a clear, concise mission statement. It needs to define what it will do or how it will operate and the roles it will play. A successful mission statement states the purpose of the team, what it can accomplish and what resources are available. Having a clearly defined mission allows teams to work together seamlessly by aligning around a common goal and tasking those working on fulfilling that goal.

Give them everything they need to be successful.

Once you've chosen your frontline agents and given them a thorough orientation on your company, they're ready to tackle customer service. Although you're (probably) not going to have the financial resources of an Amazon or a Google, there's plenty you can do to ensure that your agents are equipped for success.

Bear in mind that these points focus mainly on the human aspect of customer support; having all the latest software and hardware at their disposal is helpful, but will not guarantee great service if your agents aren't getting the training and support they need within their team.

Here are some ways you can help create an amazing customer experience:

  • Provide clear expectations: It's important that everyone who interacts with customers is aware of what is expected from them. Not only should agents know how they'll be evaluated (and by whom), but they should also know what constitutes great performance—and what doesn't. If agent turnover seems high, it may be time to reevaluate whether or not current expectations are reasonable.
  • Give adequate tools: Whether it's providing expert analysis software or just allowing them access to whatever Internet browser they want, support staff need all the tools necessary for helping customers effectively. Don't short-change them by withholding the materials they need to do their jobs well!
  • Ensure communication within the department: Customer support teams shouldn't be islands unto themselves; make sure there are data sharing capabilities as well as regular opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration so that everyone has a broader picture of what's happening with your customers overall.
  • Streamline processes internally: Make sure that someone in management takes ownership of ensuring smooth internal processes, like scheduling shifts or managing new hires through onboarding. This may sound like micromanaging until you realize how much time will be saved when new hires don't have to wait around for days before receiving info related to their job duties—or when struggling departments aren't kept waiting because no one has time to address issues with their operational flow.

Offer them clear paths to growth and development.

As an entrepreneur, your entire business relies on the customer support team, which is why it's important to ensure that they're happy and well taken care of. The best way to accomplish this goal is to give them clear paths to growth and development within your company. Allowing your customer support team members the chance to grow professionally will help them take pride in their jobs, which will ultimately lead to better service for your customers. This can be done by participating in ongoing training initiatives or assigning them specific projects within the organization that allow them to expand their skill set.

If you can offer your customer support team members a clear path forward at work, as well as opportunities for self-growth, you'll find yourself with a highly motivated group of people who truly care about what they do.

Empower your agents to make decisions.

Creating an amazing customer support team is easier if you empower your agents to make decisions. Let them handle the small stuff, like exchanging an item for a different size or color, and let them know that you trust their opinion. Give them the tools they need—everything from your company policies to other resources (such as articles) that can help answer questions with greater depth. Provide a clear line of support for when they get stuck and give them access to you or another manager if needed. Make it clear that you trust them; people respond well to being trusted by those in authority. And last but not least, provide the right training and experience so your agents have all the knowledge and know-how they need to do their jobs well.

Training should be ongoing and updated as needed based on changes in your company or industry trends (like new technology), customer feedback, employee feedback, etc., so make sure it's something your team takes seriously by making it part of your overall business strategy.

Onboard your support team in a smart way.

A dedicated customer support team is an important part of any business, but a poorly treated and inadequately trained one can cause potential loss in profits. Rather than saying, “here are the tools you will use” or “talk to this person if you have questions,” managers should take the time to gently introduce new members of their internal support team. There are many ways to do this, but there are some methods that can be more effective than others:

Having a direct mentor or ‘buddy’ who is willing to meet weekly with the new member can ensure that they stay motivated and knowledgeable about the various services being offered by your company. For example, two people may work in different departments for your company, but even at just 30-minute meetings over lunch each week, it helps to keep both parties updated on changes that could affect their daily operations. Onboarding graduates from structured mentorship sessions into shadowing new employees during their first week on the job ensures that everyone stays on track with training procedures and current processes. This also serves as another way for new hires to get acquainted with other members of their department. If a team member has not yet been trained on how to conduct proper onboarding for a new hire (or if they simply don't know how), having a clear process in place can help alleviate possible confusion amongst your staff members down the line.

Encourage connections with customers and colleagues.

As a business owner, you're probably juggling several things at once. You might have to run the whole operation and still find time to answer emails or phone calls from customers. As your team grows, you'll be able to talk about the various departments' work and appreciate the contributions of each member. The more people know about what's happening in your company, though, the more they'll be motivated by your example. To get started, try holding "meet the team" sessions. During these informal gatherings, different members of your staff share their perspectives on how they can help customers—and it just might inspire other people to speak up too!

Your staff will also take pride in knowing that they're working alongside other skilled people who are willing to connect with customers when they need help—and that's important if you want a highly efficient customer support team. Encourage employees to reach out if they have an idea that could benefit customers or improve their own skills. In turn, these efforts will encourage others to try new things as well!

Show how their work makes an impact on the business.

Truly effective customer support is the result of a lot of hard work. While it may seem like the most important thing for an agent to do is respond to tickets as quickly as possible, keeping this priority over demonstrating results can be damaging and ineffective.

What's most important is making sure that agents have a clear picture of how they've helped improve both the customer experience and your business. This means:

  • Having a good view into what customers are saying about your business
  • Keeping track of their own use in various drivers of revenue (conversions, upsells, etc.)
  • Knowing what lengths they're going to in order to help solve problems quickly and effectively so that customers feel satisfied with their experience and continue doing business with you.

Monitoring these types of things will keep agents focused on helping solve problems instead of just putting out fires. It also ensures that when something does go wrong, at least one person in the company has an idea about where it's coming from and how best to handle it.

Create a culture where everyone wins, by empowering your customer support team.

With this in mind, I'm going to walk you through the process of creating an amazing customer support team.

It's crucial that your agents are empowered by a great company culture and a solid mission. So before you start growing your team, take the time to think about how you'd like them to feel when they come into work each day. Are they going to be excited to help people? Will they have autonomy in their jobs? Do they get enough of a chance to use their skills and grow?

Your first step is getting agents on board with your mission. They need to be enthusiastic about connecting with customers and their colleagues, but also clear about what's expected of them.

Without these basics in place, it will be nearly impossible for customer support agents to have the positive impact on your business that everyone is hoping for.

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