There are many jokes about how working on a call line can be a relatively frustrating process. Call center operatives hear it all, from the most vitriolic complaints, the oddest requests, and of course, requests for the same easily-accessible information multiple times a day. While you may have curated your own in-house support team, they often have other responsibilities, too. And it’s probably a team effort for them to respond to customers as and when they can.
This means that keeping your support staff happy, engaged, and dynamic (given what they have to deal with in a standard day), is important. It’s not always easy to achieve this. But luckily, with a systemic approach, you can make the support experience much easier to deal with.
In this post, we’ll discuss a few foundational and technical measures you can implement in order to ensure replying to requests is not only possible, but quick, easy, comprehensive, and reduces the rate by which users have to ask for clarification:
Leverage Convenient, Secure Technologies
It’s essential to make the support process easy for both parties. To begin with, a simple dashboard where agents can reply to your customers is worthwhile to invest in.
From there, you may use a chat bot for business to make certain customers are directed in the right direction when they need to be. This could refer them to pages on your website that answer their question, they might answer the question directly in the chat, or they may simply give the right support pathway so the appropriate department is contacted for a response.
On top of this, you may also integrate a secure communications platform. So, even those working from home can adequately reply to support requests throughout the day. This adds convenience to the life of your support worker. Due to many following the exact processes businesses demand of them. With this approach, you trust them to make the right decision and move on as necessary.
Clearly Define Responsibilities
It’s important to define the responsibilities of your support staff clearly. There’s nothing more damaging to the motivation of someone responsible for support, as well as the client contacting you, than a wishy-washy response layered under too much bureaucracy. That’s why it’s good to make certain support agents know what they have autonomy with. And what they may need specialist support for.
For instance, any account issues that require administrative control potentially need elevated to an account specialist. You may also give support staff some recuperative capabilities. These include applying account credit for goodwill, issuing refunds, or providing a free month of your premium service should a complaint have merit.
It’s good to train staff to be as dynamic as possible while having autonomy in most situations. But, it’s also good to help them know of and follow protocol where appropriate. After all, a simple flowchart to follow to show them what needs done, if it’s not too constraining, help them assist with multiple service calls in a day. Without having to put all the energy they have into issuing a resolution each and every time.
Multiple Communication Pathways
If you offer multiple communication pathways, then it’s important to ensure the platforms you use to manage that are adequately designed. In other words, your customer support agent should have access to Twitter direct messages. Those using your chatbot functionality, emails, and other social media channels.
This way then can reply to all messages, no matter where from or in what format. Especially, in a simple-to-read, streamlined, and convenient manner. Having to juggle many platform approaches can only waste time and lead to tired agents being unable to think clearly through their responses, especially if they have to log in several times a day.
Support Staff Protections
Ultimately, support staff deserves to work in a place that allows them their dignity. Support staff can sometimes be on the frontline of your firm. If a customer isn’t happy and isn’t interested in showing decorum about the issue, this can translate into the poor treatment of your support agent.
While support staff are the face of your brand, they should also have autonomy. Allow them to stop conversing with a customer should they feel the interaction has run its course. Or, if the customer is abusive. Of course, having the ability to not be treated poorly isn’t exactly going to make them happy, but it can prevent them from feeling burnt out, tired, and mistreated while trying to do the best for your company. As such, it’s worth granting them such powers.
Ask For Their Feedback
Of course, it’s important to listen to your support staff. They have the most frequent interactions with your customers day after day, and as such, know the complaints that are being raised. Along with the clarifications sought after, and the resolutions made.
As such, they need a means by which to share their insight. That might include giving feedback, regular debriefing team meetings, or a channel support staff can use to raise reports or complaints worth considering.
Moreover, any changes to the support process should always include the support team so you can weigh their advice and experience. Ultimately, making sure they’re able to provide a consistent level of good service is important, even if you hope to increase the number of requests answered during the day. With the advent of new AI tools, it may be that you’ll have these conversations in the near future.
However, it’s important to be careful about changing a working, successful, interactive, and healthy support platform. Because it can take a little time to get this right and a longer time to repair issues that you didn’t mean to inflict.
With this advice, you’re sure to keep your support staff engaged, happy, and dynamic at every level of your organization. We’re sure this will help you develop a consistent, coherent output worth appreciating. Most of all, your workplace culture and number of satisfied clients will benefit.